Ah, the joys of social networking. You can know who all of your friends’ friends are, and you can see their mood or the music that they put up for public display.
All in all, participating in social networking sites can be a cool thing to do, as long as you are sure to be careful with your personal data and you do not let yourself be too open with what you share. When you deal with choosing your social networking sites, you cannot avoid taking a look at the biggest of the two sites on the scene.
Those two sites are MySpace and Facebook. Of course, if you are trying to get a look at each site all you will have to do is search Google for each of their names, but that does not give you a bunch of detailed information about the sites in order to help you make an informed decision about which of the site to join.
Before you get on board with one camp or another, let’s get to know each of your potential suitors. That is not to say that you don’t have the option of having both at the same time. Who says that you can’t have your cake and eat it too?
MySpace was the first prominent social networking site. It’s main claim to fame is the wide variety of ways to customize your home page. You have the ability to add, move, or delete the pieces at will. In addition, users of this site can also change their page by adding music or changing the wall paper that you find on the background of the page.
MySpace Features Worth Mentioning
1. Bulletins - A virtual board where you can post messages for your friends.
2. MySpace TV - A system similar to YouTube where you can upload and share videos.
3. MySpace Mobile - This feature lets you use MySpace from your cell phone or other mobile web enabled device.
4. MySpace Karaoke - Exactly what it sounds like. You can upload audio of yourself singing for your friends to rate.
5. MySpace Polls - You can create polls for your friends to vote on.
FaceBook is similar, but customization of this site by the addition of applications. You can add images and many other fun things like games, gifts, countdowns and just about anything else you can imagine. If you want to send emails with video posts or give your friend a virtual egg that will hatch in a few days time revealing a silly image, say a pug dog in a top hat, then this is the site for you.
FaceBook Features Worth Mentioning
1. The Wall - A section where your friends can leave you text messages.
2. The News Feed - Want to know what your friends are doing without having to check their profile page? Well the news feed can tell you. Sorry, there are no local, national, or international news on this feed.
3. Photo Albums - You can group, label and comment on your photos. They can be set to private, or you can allow your friends to comment as well.
4. Marketplace - A classified ads section similar to Craigslist.
5. Pokes - Send your friend a message with a harmless poke, have a virtual drink with them, or throw a polar bear at them. Its all clean fun.
6. Gifts - As mentioned above, you can give your friends virtual gifts, from inspirational to silly.
Both of the sites will give you the ability to share information with your friends about your life, send messages to a bunch of your friends, and share your photographs with them. They also both allow you to set a portion of all of your information to a private setting so that you may be sure that what you say and post is only accessible to people who you believe will be responsible with your personal information and not use it to, say, steal your identity.
No matter which of the two sites that you choose to use for your social networking needs, or even if you do not make the difficult choice between the two, it is always a good idea to know what you are getting into before you take it upon yourself to go ahead and sign up. Now that you know go on and have yourself some fun with it. No holds barred.
A Brief History
MySpace was started in 2003 by the employees of a company called eUniverse. In July of 2005 the company was purchased by News Corp, which is best know by their flagship brand, The Fox Network, to most people. In 2006 and 2007 MySpace began to expand into non-US based markets such as the United Kingdom and China.
This site was founded by a Harvard undergraduate student in February of 2004. Facebook had a slow growth, initially open only to Harvard students, then to all university students and high school students. It was not until September of 2006 that the site was made available to the general public. Several attempts have been made to buy the company by larger media networks, but so far the company remains in the hands of its original owners.
While both of these sites allow you to block your private information, MySpace has found themselves the target of a great deal of media and parental concern about the site’s safety for children. Either site, if used improperly can be a personal security risk, but the truth is that one site is no more of a risk than the other.