The year is 2003-2006, MySpace is where you could just find about everyone your age. Everyone I knew in School had a MySpace, I had a MySpace. Teachers, Law Enforcement and adults would bad mouth and speak out against the website making it seem worser then it really was by saying it was unsafe. Maybe it was unsafe back then due to some hacks, but other than that talking to a random dude at a bus stop is kinda unsafe also, it’s a risk you can take, you could meet a creepy serial killer or some nice guy because you never really know till you try to talk to someone and get to know them. I remember one of my teachers got this crazy woman who seemed Anti-Tech to come in and give a slide show. She showed how she would hack in to MySpace and show all this set private information. At the end, where people would ask questions, people asked how she hacked it and she said she wasn’t going to tell because she knew we kids would do it.
I kinda think looking back now, she wasn’t really hacking as you would think. I looked up information on it before and all the so called “hacks” don’t work anymore. The way they would work is you would take the persons MySpace user id, not the username, but the number like say 10290292298(random number i just typed) and use that id with different urls because it didn’t check privacy in some areas. Also teachers and other adults would say privacy settings didn’t matter. I never understood why, maybe because of the hacks that got fixed. I always did and i do today trust privacy settings when they are set right and implemented by the social networking site correctly.
So back then All of us young people liked it. Teachers hated MySpace. I once taught people in my class in English back in middle school how to use proxies. About a few days later, after different teachers noticed people were on MySpace when it was blocked, our principle went to the class rooms in the eighth grade one morning to talk to us about it. He told us if any of us got caught from now on we would lose our computer privileges for the rest of the year. He said he would also report our MySpace name to MySpace so they would delete our account. I’m not sure if MySpace would really delete an account just because a principle told them to, i really doubt it. I think he was saying it just to scare us. Not all of us was under 13. But i don’t think the principle or any teachers really found out who showed people how to use proxies.
After the use of proxies, the school locked down the internet. The word proxies or proxy anywhere in the url would cause the page to be blocked. Google and Yahoo was even blocked. This was censorship, and i don’t understand why schools don’t embrace technology(One reason i’m home schooled now), but that’s another post for another time. Towards the end of the year, Google, Facebook, YouTube and other sites worked again. MySpace did not. Teachers and adults hated MySpace it seemed, us young people loved it. MySpace was awesome, older people didn’t understand that.
MySpace was really new, Most people didn’t see anything like MySpace. So i think social networking and web 2.0 being really new scared older folks. Us young people are willing to take more risks and try more things. So MySpace being popular and really new technology, some bad news stories made it scary and bad for older people who blindly listens to everything the media says.
I loved MySpace, we should share pictures better than you could with Email. Upload once, show a group or more of people. You would comment, chat and do lots of stuff in one site. It was awesome.
Facebook opens up so anyone who’s 13 and over can sign up. I didn’t really hear about it much around then I don’t think and even when i did hear about it, I was like “MySpace is awesome, I’m never getting a Facebook.” Well times changed, i now have a Facebook, and i use it more than MySpace. I check Facebook everyday. I might check MySpace every month or two. Each time I check it, I only see bands, public figures, etc. Not anyone i personally know. Also most of the updates look like they were posted via Twitter. Facebook seems more public than MySpace. Twitter might even be more popular. I don’t use MySpace anymore, and the reason is the same reason I would stop using Facebook. The reason is: No one I know uses MySpace anymore. So if people stopped using Twitter or Facebook, I would stop using that site also.
Twitter becomes more popular. Facebook is very popular, even with Twitter. Twitter is very simple but I don’t think it will be more popular than Facebook anytime soon. It just has that cool/neat factor. Like how messages have to be short, lots of profiles are public, big dataset for searches.
Now days, I think people understand privacy settings more than back then and social networks are more mainstream. Now days, i don’t seem to hear lots of bad stuff about social networking sites as much. I still know some people still don’t trust them, like my Mom, Grandpa, step dad and some teachers still don’t have any type of social networking profiles.
Lots of products now says have social aspects on it. Like how Games will let you tweet your score. Let you login with Twitter or Facebook. I think social networks today are more part of the web, and will stay that way. I know some older people who have Facebook’s also, like one of my friends mom. So I think for some older people, not all social networks are crazy to do. Like my grandpa doesn’t really get the point of why people would post what they are doing on the web, I try to explain but he’s like “Why not just mail them your photos?” or “Who cares what i think?”. So i think social networks are more popular among young people. I would say 30 and under. According to my informal research of being on the web most of my life.
I also am more likely to try an app if i don’t have to sign up by filling out a form, giving a password etc, and can just login with my Facebook or Twitter account.
2011 – Tomorrow
I think the social web will keep growing, and will be more social sites and apps. I think its very possible someone else could come along and build a new social networking type of site, that could make Facebook be on life support like MySpace. If a lot of users move over, and can get there friends to move over, i think the new site will be successful. I think with social networks, the amount of users isn’t the only thing that matters. I think it matters how many circles of friends you have also, meaning a group of friends with common interests.
I think MySpace is on life support, in 2010 they did a redesign, even allows you to login to MySpace with Facebook. I think MySpace is on life support, meaning that they are trying to save it. I don’t think MySpace has much hope anymore anyways, and should just be unplugged from life support, but then again, I don’t work at MySpace so i can’t see internal numbers of traffic and stuff. But looking from the outside, its dead to me. But when or if MySpace is officially declared Dead by the owners of it, or even if they still keep it up, just not that popular… It needs to rest in peace, because MySpace was a good man back in the day and died as an old man even tho it was replaced by other sites with cleaner interfaces, more or less features it was the one who started it all.
I think later down the road of time, Google will the social networking site everyone’s on, and not Facebook. I think Google is more mature than Facebook. Plus Google has Orkut which isn’t that popular in the US, so i don’t think Orkut will be Google’s big social network in the US. But Google has Gmail(Lots of people use it), YouTube(Lots of people use it also). They have Picasa, Blogger and other components you would find in a social network. So Google is already a social network, but we don’t really look at Google that way because of the way Google is designed, same way as how we don’t look at Google as being a web portal. Facebook and all of it features are together and it looks like what you would expect. Yahoo is a web portal and lots of stuff is on its home page. On Google, it’s all over the place. Google has features of a social network or web portal, you just have to find it. I think this is why people don’t think of Google being a social network. I have a feeling Google is trying to build a social network, and even if they get it right product wise they still have to get people and their friends to use it.
I think the social web will keep growing and will be important. I think as fast as things are changing in the next 5 or 10 years, Facebook might not be the number one social networking site. I am still not sure what will happen to MySpace. I heard rumors they are trying to sell it. But can it grow up to beat Facebook, I doubt it. Will MySpace be around in 5 years. I think so. Will it be popular, maybe, maybe not. Its kinda hard to predict the social networking space, right now Google, some start-up or your cat could be working on something that will change social networking space forever that I or you don’t really know about yet.