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Myspace - A popular fad connecting skaters and everyone else

When I first hear about the popularity of social networking sites like Friendster and Myspace, I groaned. "Just what we need," I thought, "Another place for people to hibernate from the face-to-face world we all seem to hide from."

myspace logo

It wasn't until I was researching a job opportunity that I even ventured into one of these sites. The company - who later decided not to hire me (bastards!) - was interested in complimenting their website with a Myspace account. Knowing nothing about social networking sites, I set up a profile on Myspace to check out the scene. Using this sk8 site for content, I began surfing around to see what sort of sk8 stuff I could find.

I found a lot.

I've read that was the third most popular destination on the web (briefly in mid 2006). Rupert Murdoch spent $500 million to aquire it and it's been splashed across major news headlines repeatedly. Can all this attention be good for them. I'd say, No. Very few things remain cool once everyone knows about them. And isn't that sort of the definition of a fad? It's cool for a while, then we all move on to other things. It's the nature of our disposable society - nothing lasts forever... or needs to. Something new will always come along to occupy our interest.

Who skates on Myspace?

Sk8-wise there are several types of people you'll find:

  • Skateboard manufacturers
  • Skateboard shops
  • Skate Parks
  • Skateboarding organizations
  • Old school skaters
  • Pro skaters
  • Random kids who skate
  • Complete morons who are bored with life

Make Friends Then Get a Life

I did a search on Myspace for "Tony Hawk". Doesn't everything start with the birdman? I found his page and clicked the "Add to Friends" button. I looked at the folks listed in Tony's top friends area and began viewing their profiles. Inside an hour, I had navigated through a hundred profiles, clicking for friendship. By the end of the day Tony Hawk was my friend, along with several sk8 parks, shops and manufacturers.

I like to hang out with my friends, have bar-b-que and drink some wine. Maybe Tony Hawk will drop by for some ribs and Cabernet. Well, Myspace friends are not like normal friends. By normal, I mean people you hang with face-to-face. Not people who grant friendship with the click of a mouse - sometimes in bulk by "selecting all".

I know a guy who considers hanging out with friends the same as logging onto a chat room for the night. That's some twisted stuff. Socialization is an important part of everyone's life. You don't have to be the life of the party, but at least go outside and say Hi to someone - even a random stranger.

Regardless of your social rating, Myspace is a quick and easy place to rack up friends. So, what is a Myspace friend? Once you are on someone's friend list (meaning they are on yours too), your profiles are linked in a manner of speaking. Bulletins are similar to e-mails, except they go to the Myspace accounts of everyone on your friend list. Did you do something cool or find something you want to share? Send the info (text, links, movies, whatever) in a bulletin and every one of your friends will receive it when they log into their Myspace accounts.

If you're a sk8 shop owner and you get in a cool new product, you can use a bulletin to tell everyone to get down to the shop and spend all their money. Cool! As far as I can tell, that's the only cool thing about Myspace - Bulletins. One more thing... if you add Rob Dyrdek as a friend, don't forget to also add his dog.

All Roads Lead to Porn

In my travels through social networking, it did not go undetected that, porn star, Jenna Jameson is on a ton of friend lists - so I checked out her profile.

Jenna Jameson
Jenna Jameson Myspace icon Brianna Banks
Brianna Banks Myspace icon Jenna Haze
Jenna Haze Myspace icon Ginger Lynn Ginger Lynn Myspace icon
Nina Hartley
Nina Hartley Myspace icon Jessica James
Jessica James Myspace icon Charlie Lane
Charlie Lane Myspace icon Sandee Westgate
Sandee Westgate Myspace icon

Jenna had more pornstar friends, from whom I requested friendship. Before I knew it, my friend list was littered with porn stars. Next my Bulletin space was overflowing with strip club appearances, XXX movie releases and invites to "cum" see my picture-of-the-week. It's fascinating the sort of things that pornstars feel the need to communicate. Some are just pissed and venting because someone called them a "dumb pornstar" or sometimes they find something funny that they want to direct everyone's attention to.

The funny thing is there are all sorts of porn stars on Myspace. Girls from the 80's to today's chicks and even a former pornstar who's been born again - classic! And you can't help but read a few of the comments from random guys begging for dates. I'm sure most pornstars aren't too interested in dating people in random pockets of the globe.

Don't think its just the girls out there hawking their pornographic wares. The male stars are out there too. No friend list is complete with out the hedgehog of porn, Ron Jeremy. I also found Randy West.

Naturally, you have to take all this with a grain of salt. You can't be certain a person's identity is valid - unless they post a salute pic.

With such a mix, you'd think Myspace would be downright fun. It could be, but even though my friend list is chock full of people - more than I'd ever plan on being real friends with during two lifetimes - it's still just a website that connects one stranger to another.

All in all, I think I'd rather talk to a friend on the phone or go to a movie with someone.

Myspace Can be Useful

Despite it's fad-like attraction, myspace has actually proven useful to me once or twice. A friend of mine used to own a skate shop in White Plains, NY. The market and his lease got the best of him and he had to close. I had moved away at the time and didn't know until coming back to the NY area. I was really bummed to find a Laundromat where his shop used to be. But with a little digging on the web, I discovered he partnered with someone and opened a new shop nearby.. and they had a Myspace account.

Just remember, Myspace is a fad. It may be useful and fun now and then, but it will fade and something new and better will emerge. Go make a new friend - WITHOUT YOUR COMPUTER!

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