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MySpace: A Place for Dolts

By dbickett in Internet
Sun Jul 17, 2005 at 07:37:25 PM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)

You are probably all aware of the ever popular website MySpace.com, where teenagers, adults, and everyone inbetween goes to engage in incredible ego trips and incessant forays of commenting and message sending. If you've ever visited this angst-ridden, teenie-bopper haven, you'd be surprised to find that it can actually be mildly entertaining, given the right crowd. For the same reason, you wouldn't be at all surprised to find that its concept of security is an incredibly perforated one, given its very rugged and rudimentary feel, and its questionable URL schematics.

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As you probably inferred, I am guilty of participating in this never ending bandwidth party online. It's popular for the same reason AIM became popular: it's trendy, computer-illiterate people can manage to make it "go", and consequently 'everyone else is using it'. The resulting chances of you being able to recreate your tangible social network in this ad-infested chaos are high, and soon you become fond of the feeling when you get a message saying someone has commented on your profile. You know that you'll think of an appropriate comment to put on their profile in a few days too, and it will continue this way until you break the internet. Or, as the case may be, you break MySpace (probably more likely as this article suggests, but we're getting ahead of ourselves).

Before I give you factual and logical evidence of the technical blunders this web app has made, I'll build some foundation, starting with the void that "Tom" (the MySpace handle of the creator) received at birth in place of his stylistic intuition. The most noteworthy thing is this: the ads. They're everywhere, absolutely EVERYWHERE. There's one at the top of every page, one on the right when you're checking your messages, and eight others placed strategically beside every other feature, on every other page. If I didn't run Firefox, the problem would probably be exacerbated by the absurd amount of popup windows that would be appearing on my screen. This alone makes the entire experience ridiculous, but it goes on.

There are artifacts of past features where they used to be, saying "This feature no longer exists here. Go here instead." I think there are three or four of these just on the post-login page alone, and though it would be justifiable for the first week after the disappearance, they DON'T GO AWAY. I'm sure I could think of more with very little effort, but I'm going to leave it at this third and final damning trace of stupidity: the Extended Network feature.

You see, when you sign up for MySpace, you instantly have your first friend. You're immediately best buddies with the most popular person on MySpace: Tom. Now, to understand the stupidity of this, you have to understand that this is a social networking mechanism; if I'm friends with John and John is friends with Sally, then Sally is syllogistically my friend, and if I visit her profile it will tell me just that: "Sally is in your extended network". But if EVERYONE is friends with Tom, then there might as well not be an extended network feature at all, and he is defeating the purpose of his time and his website. Basically what I'm saying is, Tom is a dumbshit.

But there's a reason why none of this matters. There's a reason why he wins even though he programs in Cold Fusion (I have yet to meet someone who uses Cold Fusion and isn't a complete moron), even though he has no sense of style or ergonomics, and even though he's lazy as hell: he gets an enormous amount of money from the website. Movies, bands, dating services, clothing companies, non-profit organizations, and even the US Army advertises on MySpace. And if you recall an earlier paragraph, they don't wait in line, because he fits every god damn one of them on the same page. Every page. So you see, there's a reason why I've never been too frustrated with all of the above, because I knew that I could call him out on as many fouls as he made, but as long he makes (tons of) money and I don't, he wins. Until now.

Finally, we get to the crashing end of this dissertation, beginning with me trudging through everything I've elaborated on so far: I was using MySpace. Now of course, like any good businessman, he's going to do everything in his power to make you join his website. As such, unless you are logged in you can only see the bare surface: you can see someone's profile, but you can't see all of his or her friends, comments, blog posts, and, worst of all, you can't see all of their pictures. Tragic, right? So we join, and we are sucked into this black hole. The point I'm making is, you're not going to be able to exploit this flaw unless you have an account, so let's all run over there, now, and sign up. (I know I'm getting alot of "Yeah, right" looks now).

Here I am, however, browsing someones extended page of friends, and I notice something curious in the url that doesn't appear anywhere else: userName. Now, anyone that's written some kind of LAMP web app (admittedly, this is not a LAMP app, but the same principles apply) that was at all user-oriented will know that the key to the database table is, in MySQL terms, the Primary Key. It's the id of the row that tells you absolutely everything about a user, and usually when you're viewing something related to that user (like the user's profile, for instance) you simply put the user's id in the url of a link. From this, you can display all of the user's information using one database query, right? Exactly. But it looks like Tom got a little too lazy.

Tom had no problem querying for the user's name on the profile page, but when you're viewing their extended friends it seems like Tom took a shortcut. In order to display the user's name on the View Friends page, he uses a variable in the URL called userName that, as it suggests, informs the script of the user's name. The page uses this name to write the link "Back to <userName>'s profile" and the header "<userName>'s Friends", and I couldn't help but laugh smugly. I didn't even consider that this wasn't just an innocent (and extremely novice) programming mistake, and any number of practical jokes could be played by sending people links to their friend's pages with the name changed to something defamatory or jocular. But then I wondered, just how direct was the passage of this variable in the URL to the screen in front of me? I decided to find out.

I started putting little html snippets in this userName variable in the url. I used "</table>" first, and since userName appeared in several nested tables, the visual became very warped. This confirmed that Tom wasn't checking the validity or content of the userName variable at all; he made the tell-tale mistake of trusting the input from the client, and now he was paying for it. Next I tried inserting javascript, knowing that he filtered it out in all of the other pages, and sure enough something simple like <script>document.write(document.cookies);</script> revealed a whole slew of information in the place of this user's name.

What was at first a simple practical joke or internet "magic trick" that could be used to impress or confuse your friends was now a massive security breach that could, with a little effort and know-how, enable snooping into, or even compromising of, people's accounts. Links could be propogated that contained remotely linked javascript files (commonly known as "cross-site scripting", or XSS), and as soon as people clicked the link their cookie could be snatched surreptitiously. I've taken a look at these cookies, and unfortunately Tom wasn't silly enough to put the password on the client's machine, however he does put a ridiculous amount of information there. Two of them are base64 encoded: one ends up as plain text containing all of your profile information, while the other is a bunch of garbled nonsense that is evidently masked even further, however I don't recognize the format.

To sum this up, I'll tell you that the latter part of this article (the part where I address the security issue) is nothing new. A quick google search for any combination of "Myspace", "cookies", or "XSS" reveals that there are numerous instances exactly like this one where XSS was possible on MySpace, but they were either on forums with "binary" in the name and Matrix-mock-up backgrounds, or elitist security websites that do this kind of thing on a regular basis. However, as far as I can tell this one hasn't been reported.

The whole situation simply highlights the double-edged sword that is the internet: it's an incredible source of exposure and accessibility, but any old moron can make a buck or two if he has the time and the motivation. And, to Tom's credit, he has made a buck or two.


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Display: Sort:
MySpace: A Place for Dolts | 70 comments (56 topical, 14 editorial, 0 hidden)
Is there a reason you wiped the comments? /nt (2.25 / 4) (#1)
by destroy all monsters on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 07:33:57 AM EST

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
I had to repost (none / 0) (#2)
by dbickett on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 08:26:25 AM EST

When I moved it to voting the formating got screwed up, and I couldn't edit it again.

[ Parent ]
nice (1.83 / 6) (#4)
by wirespace on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 08:47:11 AM EST

uh, well written and interesting article.

Fuck MySpace (2.33 / 9) (#5)
by Magnetic North on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 08:58:15 AM EST

Nice article, but this:

as long he makes (tons of) money and I don't, he wins

is insanity defined. I'm just guessing here, but are you an American?

I don't pretend to shun the almighty USD (2.00 / 3) (#6)
by dbickett on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 09:01:38 AM EST

I worship it.

[ Parent ]
Ho ho ho. (2.07 / 14) (#14)
by What Good Is A 150K Salary When Living In NYC on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 12:41:32 PM EST

How pathetic, you insignificant little prat. See, capital always has, and always will drive societies and ultimately determines "great" individuals and collections of individuals. You'd have to be a fucking moron to consider somebody, say a genius like Oliver Heaviside, who perished in squalor and poverty because he essentially abstained from Capitalism his entire life, being a total introvert. Everyone the world over agrees that the Roman Empire was a "great" society, seeing that it conquored a huge portion of the world and managed to force the region's great wealth and centralise it into a great political, economic, and military force. Egoism drives every sane, self-preserving human impulse, and the drive for acquiring capital to sustain bloodlines defines sanity. Even the ultimate goal of every Social Democracy or Communist regime that ever existed is an egoistic, tribalistic one which seeks to acquire and pool together enough capital to sustain the lives of shitting, drooling, idiotic troglodytes. So yes, the "American" consideration of the rich as winning at the game of life is perfectly correct.

Skulls, Bullets, and Gold
[ Parent ]
I like your style (3.00 / 9) (#17)
by Magnetic North on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 03:14:32 PM EST

Great use of insults, sweeping generalisations and baseless assumptions.

[ Parent ]
Yours too! (none / 0) (#43)
by jd87 on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 02:26:24 PM EST

Love your style too: how you criticized his post, and said absolutely nothing specific. Didn't you mention something about generalizations? Yeah, I think you made a huge mistake.

jd87: Now with 100% more content!
[ Parent ]
Not mine, surely! (none / 0) (#47)
by Magnetic North on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 08:56:18 PM EST

Hi again "What Good Is A 150K Salary When Living In NYC".

I said I like your style. Do you think it was sarcasm? You shouldn't be so insecure.

[ Parent ]
Collectives vs individuals (2.50 / 2) (#46)
by rodentboy on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 06:55:31 PM EST

I'm guessing this is a troll but I'll bite.

Sure maybe we could say that America and Rome are great 'collections of individuals' based on how efficiently they sopped up resources from elsewhere and centralised them. But would the average citizen of these great societies felt great living in them? (To say nothing of the 'below average citizen')

All great socieities in history have been based on slavery, the ancient greeks had slaves do everything for them, giving them time to philosophise in the agora, the romans relied on slavery as well and perfected the resource extraction mechanisms of imperialism, making them an even 'greater' society.

Today we are even more advanced, we have slaves and we are still operating as an empire but the best thing is that we have fooled the slaves into thinking they are free, some people call them wage slaves.

I find the crass equivalence you are trying to create between accretions of capital and 'greatness' to be naive to the point of repugnance.

[ Parent ]
So basically... (none / 0) (#64)
by Kadin2048 on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 09:16:56 PM EST

So basically, you're telling me, if I want to live in a great society, and be remembered thousands of years after I'm dead, all I have to do is somehow get together and exploit a huge number of underpaid laborers?

In all seriousness, all your post did was prove the OP (possibly troll's) point.  Great societies exist because of huge pools of capital, either physical (greeks, slave labor) or financial (today).

I think you have a point -- it's something vague about perhaps wanting to create a society that's "great" without being great in the tradition of societies that have come before, which I find laudable but also hopelessly naive. However you should come out and say that, if that's what you mean. Instead you just backed up the troll.

[ Parent ]

That's a very general statement (1.80 / 5) (#11)
by dbickett on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 11:25:07 AM EST

The error this article elaborates on is trivial to fix.

Woops (none / 0) (#12)
by dbickett on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 11:26:21 AM EST

This was intended to be a reply to another comment

[ Parent ]
oh man you haxor. (2.00 / 12) (#15)
by Linux or FreeBSD on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 12:42:38 PM EST

lol xss is lame. it took me like 10 minutes to find a better myspace vulnerability than this. but yes, tom fails it (it is handling input).

What's wrong with AIM? (1.85 / 7) (#16)
by pHatidic on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 02:12:39 PM EST

Is there something that makes the AIM protocols less l33t than ICQ/MSN/Yahoo/GaduGadu/Novell/Lotus/etc? With Adium they all look exactly the same to me. The only one that is really functionally different is Jabber, but that came out after AIM/ICQ had already dominated the US marketplace.

Yes - offline messages (3.00 / 4) (#35)
by mek2600 on Sun Jul 17, 2005 at 08:37:33 PM EST

Yahoo and ICQ has them. That's the #1 thing that knocks AIM and MSN down a notch in my book.

[ Parent ]
IAWTP (none / 0) (#42)
by Mr.Surly on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 01:08:43 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Re: Yes - offline messages (none / 1) (#59)
by tanner andrews on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 07:45:18 AM EST

Yahoo and ICQ has them.

So does AIM. We call it e-mail.

[ Parent ]
Wow, you are awesome. (1.06 / 15) (#19)
by eumenides on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 04:08:43 PM EST

Go cry yourself to sleep.

Best Bit (2.16 / 6) (#20)
by collideiscope on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 04:09:18 PM EST

<cite>Basically what I'm saying is, Tom is a dumbshit.</cite>


Hope is a disease. Get infected.

Am I the only one on myspace (none / 1) (#52)
by ckaminski on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:16:22 AM EST

who DOESN'T have Tom as a friend?

[ Parent ]
Nope (none / 1) (#61)
by circlemadisonavenue on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 03:06:05 PM EST

I signed up just so i could see pics of this chick i know online.


[ Parent ]

+1FP Because I think Tom should see this (none / 1) (#26)
by destroy all monsters on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 09:22:15 PM EST

Despite the fact that my previous comments were about MySpace having significant uses in the music and entertainment fields.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
Some positives about MySpace (2.50 / 2) (#27)
by destroy all monsters on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 09:33:16 PM EST

It actually has a useful purpose -  that being networking for business (at least in the music and entertainment businesses). Not Orkut, Friendster, Tribe or LJ can say that.

 Additionally out of the developer/owners I've dealt with at one time or other he's considerably more responsive than Brad. He also has something of a sense of humor, which seems to be lacking amongst pretty much any other owner/developer than Rusty.
Putting together an Evil Brad account would have gotten suspended pretty much at once, whereas Evil Tom is on a huge number of people's friends lists.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice

I can kinda back this up.. (2.00 / 2) (#29)
by vhold on Sun Jul 17, 2005 at 12:32:00 AM EST

a friend of mine is a rabid MySpace freak and he got a 'job' doing party promotion through people he met on MySpace.  It's not really a job, but considering how much he was already going to clubs, it's somewhat beneficial that he can get in free and whatever else the point is.

[ Parent ]
Is he getting paid? (none / 0) (#41)
by destroy all monsters on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 10:59:57 AM EST

If he is I'd call that a job. There's a huge number of dj's, radio folks, bands, clubs and other entertainment related groups out there. I'm glad that one of my fellow local dj's turned me onto it.

It's all about the networking, and in the entertainment field that's even more important than anywhere else in as far as making decent money is concerned.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]

WTF is Brad? (none / 0) (#39)
by Chewbacca Uncircumsized on Sun Jul 17, 2005 at 11:46:41 PM EST

The Livejournal guy? I can't imagine how anybody working there could retain a sense of humor, what with the goth chicks bringing everybody down.

[ Parent ]
Goth chicks rule. [nt] (none / 0) (#53)
by mr strange on Thu Jul 21, 2005 at 06:15:06 AM EST

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]
Three things: (2.66 / 3) (#28)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 09:44:07 PM EST

  1. With out having signed up, every page I visited was "in my extended network".
  2. Any website this bad needs to be wiped from the internet.
  3. I don't care.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
interesting (none / 1) (#30)
by insomnyuk on Sun Jul 17, 2005 at 01:47:07 AM EST

I would like to see a discussion about why the vast majority of Xanga and MySpace pages are aesthetic abortions: ugly, unreadable, and barely resembling English.

"There is only one honest impulse at the bottom of Puritanism, and that is the impulse to punish the man with a superior capacity for happiness." - H.L. Mencken
I did not read this article n/t (1.00 / 24) (#31)
by Jason The Raging Alcoholic Physicist on Sun Jul 17, 2005 at 01:03:26 PM EST

dorks :/ (none / 0) (#33)
by ske on Sun Jul 17, 2005 at 07:44:39 PM EST

Turns out both Aesop Rock and El-P has Myspace blogs. Yes i'm dissapointed too.

That is a damn shame (none / 0) (#38)
by Chewbacca Uncircumsized on Sun Jul 17, 2005 at 11:45:24 PM EST

The guy on as MF Doom is obviously not the real Doom, though.

[ Parent ]
lol (1.00 / 9) (#34)
by meanmrmustard on Sun Jul 17, 2005 at 08:14:52 PM EST

///enjoys drugs
//annoyed by ugly people
/doesn't wear condoms
THe myspace problems (3.00 / 2) (#36)
by British1500 on Sun Jul 17, 2005 at 10:00:31 PM EST

1. For a period of several months, images would NOT load at all. Of course, I'm betting all the ads came in instantly. Priorities, you know. 2. There is too much freedom with customizing your page. Any teeny-bopper insists on holinking entire music videos, javascript prompts, seizure-inducing color schemes and blinking backgrounds. It makes certain profiles 100% unreadable. Yes, thank you for embedding a 1024x768 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in your bio. Yes, we know you like that movie, and Chris Farley.

You are correct. (2.81 / 11) (#49)
by bakuretsu on Tue Jul 19, 2005 at 01:21:27 PM EST

I used to agree with you. There was a time when I thought in my mind, and felt in my heart of hearts, that design on the Internet should be controlled, made sane, given the gift of taste. But no more.

I am a graphic designer and web designer by profession, training, and experience. That side of me wants to grab the 'net by the neck and shake it until all the idiots fall out and then pee on them and make it all right again.

But that's just the point; you can't shake the idiots out of the 'net, so aren't we better off knowing exactly who they are from the get-go? When I stumble into someone's profile that is written in white MS Comic Sans on pink with three Coldplay videos autoplaying simultaneously, I think to myself, At least I didn't waste my time.

Two sides to every coin, my friend.

-- Airborne
    aka Bakuretsu
    The Bailiwick -- DESIGNHUB 2004
[ Parent ]

I'd like to make a new account to (3) this twice. (none / 1) (#54)
by glor on Thu Jul 21, 2005 at 11:54:13 AM EST

Disclaimer: I am not the most intelligent kuron.
[ Parent ]

Hotlinkers (none / 0) (#60)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 09:00:39 AM EST

This idiot was hotlinking to one of my gallery images. My god, I hate to see any of my images sharing a page with such a load of utter crap.

I told the admin and they took care of it. Now I've got a hotlinking prevention script, because this was not the first time some teen idiot hotlinked my images to their crappy blog; this slutty thing was using one as a background image (photos for bg images? WTF?)

[ Parent ]

It would be a shame (3.00 / 4) (#37)
by doormat on Sun Jul 17, 2005 at 11:15:24 PM EST

if someone used that username exploit to wipe the database of all content.

Such a shame.

(note: I am not advocating hacking in any sense. If this were to actually happen, I'd have nothing to do with it)


Fox will own MySpace (3.00 / 4) (#44)
by LaserSoup on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 03:05:59 PM EST

Yahoo is reporting that News Corp is buying Intermix, who currently owns MySpace.
Maybe they'll find a way to make it better. Probably not. They will probably be adding Fox News headlines into each page and other attempts to integrate with other News Corp properties.

A match made in heaven (3.00 / 4) (#50)
by Magnetic North on Tue Jul 19, 2005 at 02:45:47 PM EST

is shorthand for NT

[ Parent ]
Should have been called the 'I hate Tom' Article (none / 1) (#45)
by Specks on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 05:34:08 PM EST

The friends networking aspect of MySpace is essentially broken. What broke it? Tom did by adding himself automaticaly to everyones friends list and usualy people don't bother to take him off. So everyone is linked through him somehow. Even if he is removed from yours. MySpace severely dilutes the word "Friend" and most of those in your network are really acquaintances. You don't hang out with 90% of the people that are on your friends list nor do you talk to them all. Leaving a comment doesn't count. That number in your friends list is basicaly just a meaningless badge of honor.

Yep. (none / 0) (#63)
by Kadin2048 on Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 09:09:26 PM EST

"That number in your friends list is basicaly just a meaningless badge of honor. "

And that's exactly why people do it.

[ Parent ]

Myspace Pays off for me too. (none / 0) (#48)
by smarcusaurelius on Tue Jul 19, 2005 at 02:53:46 AM EST

I "design" "layouts" for my "friends" and get "paid". Seriously though, if you know CSS and Photoshop you can make overlay templates that the kiddies love. They'll pay (maybe even sign up at a Gratis site or two) and you'll be happy you have a sexy myspace profile. You'll be even more happy to have "friends" with profiles that were designed and not "pimped out".
What's your brainchild? Come see ours.
For those German speaker among you... (none / 0) (#55)
by gbrandl on Thu Jul 21, 2005 at 06:30:30 PM EST

Do I have to say "beepworld"?

Zwei Dinge sind unendlich: Das Universum und die menschliche Dummheit. Aber beim Universum bin ich mir nicht ganz sicher. -- Albert Einstein
shops (none / 0) (#56)
by kmarius on Thu Jul 21, 2005 at 07:48:19 PM EST

I've seen webshops where you could change both the product name AND price by manipulating the URL :-)

MySpace is scary (none / 0) (#57)
by coryking on Thu Jul 21, 2005 at 07:55:21 PM EST

I cannot belive how popular a peice of shit like myspace has become.  His fucked up profile has tons of nasty javascript crap on it that completly trashed my computer to the point of formatting it (which was also the last time I ever used IE)

I will not spoil your next article, but I will say I know exactly what security flaw you are about to expose and it is in full use my friend.  It's amazing how fucking shitty of a programmer tom is.  I could not belive the sensitive information that jackass stores in cookies, URL's and other things.

Quite frankly, for a site that popular, Tom's lack of security (or care for that matter) is appalling and what I consider to be highly unethical.

i should read... hah (none / 0) (#58)
by coryking on Thu Jul 21, 2005 at 08:08:42 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Right, it is a social networking mechanism, and... (3.00 / 3) (#62)
by nostalgiphile on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 07:39:27 AM EST

Let me say from the getgo that I found this to be a really intriguing, informative article in several ways. The security blunders you discovered on this website are articulately described and you draw out the subtle distinction between the technical problems of the website and its social engineering aspects.

Only problem is, I am still wondering what you think of MySpace.com as a social networking system--esp. given the provocative title "MySpace users are dolts" (I agree btw). Essentially, most users of MySpace are in their late teens and appear to have a very limited understanding of the internet and the world. MySpace appears to be a highly successful way for these kids to hook up in some form or another, however moronic, and I'm glad that someone has pointed out that the way it does so is fairly idiotic and cynical.

MySpace basically encourages these net noobs to share their identities thru the snapshots/webcam images/pics of their choice in hopes that the "community" will see these and be attracted to something therein. The basic organizing principle of MySpace is that you "Rank" people's profile pics on a scale of 1-10 (bulleted as 1=cold, 10=hot) and this makes them more/less "popular" in the MySpace community. The Top 25 Women/Men sections feature those with the highest overall scores (the current #1 babe is a 20 yr old cheerleader named Britt).

See, in a very real sense, MySpace is the mainstream antithesis of K5--which one mirrors the real world best is an open question--and I would like to hear more about that from you and others...Are they "dolts" just because they are using a website with bad security/coding?

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
You read too much into it (none / 0) (#66)
by dbickett on Tue Sep 13, 2005 at 11:20:28 PM EST

The title is provocative to get people to read the article, nothing more. Were I to make a generalization for the entire Myspace userbase, I would be insulting myself as well, and I'm not intent on doing such a thing. To this day I enjoy using Myspace as a mechanism to keep in touch with people I know and/or appreciate, but at the same time I can't help but scoff at the redundant, overlapping, self indulging quizzes that people take and post for all of their friends to see.

That essentially epitomizes what I dislike about that website, but I don't really spend much time thinking about it. It is the way it is, and to each his own. If people choose to use the website that way, they are entitled to do so. Really the most critical parts of this essay were geared more for humor than for the actual angst they're saturated with, and that's more or less an important thing to keep in mind.

[ Parent ]

Myspace is for dolts (none / 0) (#65)
by akivameda on Mon Sep 12, 2005 at 07:52:52 PM EST

Ahhh...again the chasm between the "intellectual" and the "artist" widen. Myspace may be full of kinks and silly ways of programing, this I only know from what you posted. Myspace is not just used by egotistical kids in their late teens, its also used by artists; particularly musicians. I too hate all of the advertisements and wish that they didn't exist. Furthermore, if this rumer is true that Myspace will be bought by the same people that own Fox it won't be as great anymore, if just for the fact that it carries the Fox name and finances them and nothing else. Yet, Myspace is a great way for independent artists to get their music heard and network with other artists, independent to mainstream. Unfortunately, there is a serious deficiency in the music industry today, just like there is in the internet, except our problem stifles real art. Capitolism and marketing have taken over music. This is why if one plays 92.3FM for an hour it would seem as though the only artists out there are Greenday, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Pearl Jam and the occasional Led Zepplin song. Sorry if Myspace insults you and your intelligence, but the music avenues on the internet and on the radio insult my intelligence. Myspace is a breathe of fresh air and hopefully a breathe of new music.

I'm glad it exists so I can find new music (none / 0) (#67)
by Equipoise on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 09:02:43 AM EST

I agree that it's a good place for musicians. I've only been on for 2 weeks but already I've discovered dozens of artists I never would have known about otherwise. Musicans make other musicans their friends, so if you find one you like, you can branch out from there to find others. Sure there's some people who never should have opened their mouth, let alone recorded it, but the beauty is, if it's bad I don't have to listen to it. I can just click off the page and try someone else.

Before MySpace you would have had to specifically know about a musician, then find their URL, go to their page, search around to see if there's mp3s, download them, then listen. It's it bad, you would have gone through a lot of trouble. With MySpace you can taste many in a short amount of time. If you like them you can listen to all 4 songs available. If you really like them then you can go to their web page and buy the CD.

I can't speak about the security problems and I don't like the ads either, but it's free, and I notice this site has ads on the left, on the right and at the bottom. Come on. I just ignore ads whenever I can.

Music is what I'm after, so I don't have to pay attention to teenage attention-seekers. The kind of music I like doesn't appeal to those kinds of people.

MySpace has problems, yes, but so did the old Napster and that was a pretty wonderful way of finding new music. I'm just greatful that people can discover artists such as

Happy Rhodes (www.myspace.com/happyrhodes),
Barbara Shaw (www.myspace.com/coleswhalen),
Kate Earl (www.myspace.com/kateearl),
Lindi Ortega (www.myspace.com/lindimusic),
Sista Otis (www.myspace.com/sistaotisandthewhollyrollers),
Kirsty Hawkshaw (www.myspace.com/kirstyhawkshaw),
Smokehand (www.myspace.com/smokehand),
Two Loons For Tea (www.myspace.com/twoloonsfortea),
Judie Tzuke (http://www.myspace.com/tzuke),
Audrey Gossett (www.myspace.com/audreygossettsmusic),
and so many more. All those were linked on the Rhodes Friends list. I could spend hours a day there, just checking out links. I've now bought CDs from several of these people.

I hate to be considered a dolt, but learning about new music is worth it to me.

[ Parent ]
lol (none / 0) (#68)
by RickJamez on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 11:04:42 PM EST

my space is like the web going back 10 years, with the graphics and the layouts. so much for web 2.0
free cell phone wallpapers
Semi-interesting article. (none / 0) (#69)
by XHTMLflavoredCEREAL on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 01:29:49 PM EST

I guess the only thing I'd like to say is this: It would appear as though the article revolves around the assumption that Tom himself is a programmer/coder/developer - when he actually is not.

How Popular are Adult MySpace Sites ? (none / 0) (#70)
by cindylou on Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 01:56:28 PM EST

How popular are sites like Adult Personals now that myspace exploded. These sites offer free everything - adult webcams - adult pictures - adult videos etc. Will the all these new free adult sites hurt sites like adultfriendfinder which charges monthly fees ?

Good point, maybe project managers should note (none / 0) (#71)
by mattrilla on Sun Mar 04, 2007 at 06:09:16 AM EST

Hey, firstly good point. MySpace is cobbled together really badly but they guy does make money and you can't argue with that. The amount of money though, you think he could use some of that to pay for programmers who knew how to code HTML and web apps properly! A friend of mine recently lost her contact list, and yes, for her it was a bad day - for a lot of young people social networks give them an escape from bullying in school or just help boost confidence. But MySpace's poor programming and frequent profile deaths - well its just sloppy. The sentiment that it shouldn't be done better, well ok if they guy is making money is that the most important thing? I personally think no - MySpace now has a responsibiliy to ensure their user information is protected and sloppy programming is just no deal for me. I manage a personal loans site called Finute and if I did the same with my customer information I could be sent to prison! So... MySpace should buck up their ideas and realise to make money you need to keep an eye on the risk of hacking/failure.

MySpace: A Place for Dolts | 70 comments (56 topical, 14 editorial, 0 hidden)
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