Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Myspace fakers

I was just browsing through for the first time in ages, and I can't help but notice the total lack of originality or even honesty in the so-called personal profiles.

I originally joined MySpace because someone posted a message at a Yahoo group I belong to in order to announce that he had started a group at MySpace regarding one of my many online interests (no need to dwell on that right now). I joined MySpace, joined the guy's group, posted some pics, and that was mainly that. I've visited Somaya Reece's MySpace page a few times; she's the model/actress whose site I posted a link to sometime back (and keep changing the postdate -- you'll see it's presently above this post today). But for the most part I didn't really browse the site.

Well, today I decided to browse the site. I have to admit, it wasn't so much that I was looking to make friends or anything like that; I prefer to do that face-to-face, or at least not on a site that's dedicated to such things. And I admit upfront that I was browsing mainly female members in the 18-to-40 age range, looking mainly for photos, because I do a bit of photomanipulation and wallpaper creation (OK, the Myspace group I had joined relates to, uh, photomanipulation. Nothing gross, but there it is). I couldn't help noticing that I was seeing the same profiles over and over again.

A good rule of thumb: if the member is a female, 18 to 25, with a fashion pic or glamour pic on her intro page, and her only listed friend is Tom, the company founder, and her site background has Britney Spears in the top lefthand corner, the profile pic is probably not really her.

I would think that the MySpace management would crack down on something like that, lest someone using the site with more serious intent (like networking) come to doubt how much value there is in it. MySpace has millions of members, but you'll see the same profile pics over and over again, and the same profiles over and over again. Some of them don't even bother to change the contact info in the About Me info they've swiped from elsewhere, which means they'll have conflicting contact info in their intro and their About Me section.

I was surprised to see how many celebrities have MySpace pages, but then, in light of all the copycatting, how can anyone be sure that the apparent celebrity behind any particular page is really who they purport to be? I saw what appears to be Jessica Simpson's site, and Ashlee's as well, and they seem to be on the up and up. There are many members claiming to be Jessica Simpson, but something about this one page in particular had me convinced that it might really be hers. But "Jessica" has Britney Spears listed as a friend, and I have some doubts, after looking at "Britney's" page, that the actual Britney Spears has anything to do with that site. She actually says, for example, that her birth name is "Britney Jean Spears Federline." Um, does that mean she was born married to Kevin? That would explain the need for annulling the 55-hour marriage to her old buddy Jason Alexander rather than getting a divorce. Or is Kevin Federline Britney's brother? (A redneck joke is brewing in my brain but I don't want to let it out here and now.) And I'm sure that if I'd done more looking, more silliness would have jumped out at me.

It's interesting also that "Jessica Simpson", an internationally known celebrity, has only about 10000+ friends, while one of her friends, a "supporting-actress" type from some show on one of the newer TV networks (I should have saved her name -- her site was listed under Myspace Music, and I *think* her name was Alex M) had over 100,000 friends. Would the real Jessica Simpson, assuming she really does have a MySpace site, really be trumped so badly by a newbie? So even the seemingly genuine Jessica Simpson page may be a fake, along with the myriad of obvious fakes. I mean, come on girls, how many sites would Jessica Simspon have anyway? Would she even be bothered to start an account with such a morass of fakery?

One of these days I'll fill out the rest of my profile, and maybe even personalize the layout of the site, but who uses MySpace to look for an over-the-hill type like me anyway?

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