Wednesday, November 14, 2007

throwing in the towel

i've had enough of it. i tried folks, i just can't take it anymore. i was pressured into the myspace phenomena by friends. admittedly it was fun when i started. post a comment on a friends page to let them know you were thinking about them, maybe congratulating them on something they had completed, or wishing them a happy birthday, etc. it was also fun to get some attention & have friends posting on your page. i was able to hook up with a few really good friends for which i had lost contact with completely. for that, myspace was invaluable.

the myspace operators got lazy though... the interface in my opinion has always been clunky. remember, myspace was built for teens, so site usability was never a real concern. when news corporation (rupert murdoch) bought myspace for $580 million in july '05, myspace was reportedly the 5th most visited domain on the internet. as of september '07, the site continues to attract new users at a rate of 230K per day & myspace claims to have over 200 million active accounts from users worldwide. given that the world’s population is 6.6 billion, that means 3% of the world’s population is on myspace. while that number doesn't seem all that high initially, consider that only 1/6 of the world’s population has access to the internet. that means that almost 20% of all users on the internet have a myspace account. in more clear terms, myspace accounts make up 67% of the US population.

as a result of all these accounts/users, the site has become extremely slow. i would have suspected that when murdoch bought up myspace they would have put more horsepower (servers, networking gear,etc.) behind the site to speed things up. in my opinion it has gotten slower since the purchase due to all the added advertising messages & links to video. i've got one friend whose page takes over a minute to load; that's ages in internet time. that's assuming pages do load, who has encountered this error countless times? "Sorry! an unexpected error has occurred. This error has been forwarded to MySpace's technical group." despite just the clunky interface & slow loading pages, the inefficiency in using myspace is too much. here is a typical scenario of sending/receiving e-mail via myspace. this scenario is very similar scenario to sending/receiving comments.

1. visit
2. login
3. skip advertisement
4. view friends
5. click on a friends page
6. wait for page to load

when walking through this example i got “the error” three times. when the error pops up i have to click on “home” which takes me to the myspace home page, & then have to click “home” again to take me to my page & then I have to repeat steps 1 – 6 again. given that the application bombed on me three times it took me 24 steps to get to step 7 which even 7 steps is too much.

7. click on “send message”
8. type a title to the e-mail
9. type body of e-mail
10. click “send”
11. now logout of myspace

now your friend reads their new e-mail & responds to you. now you get an e-mail in your in real e-mail that tells you that you have a message on myspace so you’ve got to:

12. visit
13. login
14. skip advertisement
15. view inbox
16. click on e-mail link from friend
17. read e-mail & either respond, delete, etc.
18. logout

thus far i’ve described a clunky interface that is slow, breaks a lot, & is inefficient to use. while that should have been enough to make anyone throw in the towel that isn’t what finally put me over the edge. the SPAM is what finally broke the camels back.

each time i would login to myspace to send/read a message, update a profile, add/change a picture, etc. i would immediately start receiving spam messages. all of this spam not only results in spam in your myspace e-mail/page, it lives in your daily e-mail too. & you’ve got to go through steps 12 – 18 to look at all the crap you are being spammed with. it was seriously like clock-work; i would login & do something on myspace & in the hours following me logging in i’d get like 3 or 4 new friend requests. normally a chic with a normal name, maybe a name that i know so i think it’s a real friend. following login i’d find a pic of a chic half dressed leaving me a bogus e-mail or telling me to visit some website to chat.

on sunday i logged into myspace to upload some new pics & drop some friends a few comments. in the 24 hours following me logging out i received 40 SPAM messages. that did it, no more myspace for me. & now, i’m not going to start using facebook either people. i suppose i’ll just have to resort to e-mail, calling people, & god forbid actually meeting people face-to-face to talk.


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