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The Northerner

Myspace vs. Facebook

Wilson, Keith

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Superman or Batman? Star wars or Star Trek? Myspace or Facebook? In the new millennium, the epic showdown that even the sober and unaffected seem to be concerned with which of these two social networking giants is superior.

Just taking a stroll through the loggia of Steely Library will reveal the sheer number of students actively ignoring each other so that they might be social – online.

With all that time invested in checking messages, ‘poking’ each other and posting bulletins, who has time to compare the ups and downs of Facebook and Myspace? The Northerner does. So read on and decide whether you’d rather be a soldier in the Facebook or Myspace army.

Naked Girls?

On MY Internet??

Many students may not care one way or the other when it comes to a professional or dignified method of communicating with their friends, but who hasn’t felt a little awkward when Grandma walks by as a giant ad of a scantily-clad woman pops up over a fourth of their Myspace screen?

Facebook wins hands down when it comes to uniform layout and overall professionalism. That’s not to say that Facebook will make any binge drinking photo album suddenly appealing to prospective employers, but at least you can open Facebook at work and only have to explain why you were wasting time and won’t have the added time of convincing everyone you’re not a pervert.

Unlike Facebook, Myspace has the added advantage of being able to code that allows it to look any way a user programs it to look (if they are programming-savvy) or to copy-and-paste pre-made codes from other Web sites, which is a mixed blessing. While it allows for much more customization, it also leads to some of the ugliest, slowest, glammed-out pages the Internet has seen since the ancient days of Geocities.

What about my hilarious photos?

Facebook scores again when it comes to photos. While Myspace lifted its initial photo limitations long ago and incorporated Facebook-esque photo albums, Facebook has had them much longer and they’re not only better laid out and easier to use (like nearly all of Facebook’s features), but they also wrote the book on tagging, which makes finding your friends easier. Myspace recently added tagging to their laundry list, but it’s not quite up to Facebook par.

Myspace wins when it comes to music however, with every band known to man (approximately) accessible to add to your page (and inadvertently scare friends looking at your profile in the library who had no idea their computer had speakers).

As in most cases, Facebook’s apps (small ‘programs’ that you can add or remove to your page with ease) have comparable features. But you have to find them first. In the case of cool music applications, try iLike.

Applications

Here is where Myspace is truly left in the dust. While code can be added to your Myspace page for virtually anything you like, it’s hopelessly complicated. Facebook has thousands of apps to do nearly anything you can think of, all within a categorized in-house database. Try “iBook” to show off the books you’ve read, “Know Me Well?” to quiz your friends, “SuperPoke!” to add ‘pwning’ to the list of things you can do to your friends, or the classic ‘Causes’ to share your political and religious views or even the self-explanatory “What’s Your Stripper Name?”

If-your-friend-jumped-off-a-bridge syndrome

When it comes down to it, the real thing stopping students from leaving Facebook or Myspace behind is their friends. No matter how many ‘bots’ posing as hot girls spam up their Myspace inbox, or how creepy they find the incredibly invasive (but notably, removable) feeds off Facebook that tell everyone when they’ve ended relationships or found new friends, users stay where their friends are likely to spend their time. So while Myspace holds the audience (55,778 to Facebook’s 14,782 according to ComScore.com’s Web site), and Facebook the ability to customize on a manageable and professional level, users seem only to care where their friends are.

There is some common ground: Were NKU to ban the two sites, the libraries would once more be the barren wasteland your parents remember them to be. Let’s not dwell on what that means academically or on a societal level and just agree it’s good to have people in the library.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Myspace vs. Facebook