In sort of a danah boyd postscript, I heard on NPR this morning the story “Facebook, Myspace Divide Along Social Lines.” A lot of this is the same old “white and rich people use Facebook, brown and poor people use MySpace,” though it is a little more nuanced than that in this story. The story did remind me of one of my early experiences with MySpace and part of a talk I gave at Creighton University back in 2006. To quote from the NPR story:
MySpace pages do look busier than Facebook; on MySpace you can customize graphics and music while Facebook is limited to one spare blue-and-white design. The MySpace clutter seems to symbolize something more to these kids. Sixteen-year-old Nico Kurt lays out his view of the MySpace users this way: “It seems trashy to me. The only people who use it are trashy people.”
The “trashy thing” rang true for me, at least what I remember. Back in 2006, it was impossible for me to chose a profession like “Professor,” “Teacher,” or even “Student,” but it was very possible to chose the profession “Go Go Dancer,” and it was easy to join professional networks having to do with nightlife, fashion, modeling, gaming, and television. Now, I am assuming that things have changed on MySpace a bit in these regards, I don’t know. The only time I visit MySpace nowadays is when I click on a link for some indie band that has a site there. But “trashy” and “cluttered” are both good adjectives for MySpace, IMO.
Oh, and I think I trust Nico Kurt’s judgment in a couple of other ways: Facebook is likely to be replaced by something else coming along before too long, and Twitter is for old people.