1. ARE YOU SMART AND/OR INTERESTING?
If you are smart and/or interesting, you can easily create your own site. On your own website the possibilities are endless. You can blog all you want, add huge galleries of photos and videos, private message boards for you and your friends to contribute, etc. People who want to visit your MySpace account (and actually care about what is there), will come to your private site as well.
If you are smart, you don’t even have to be interesting to start your own site. I have lots of friends who fall into this category, and proudly count myself among them. Even if we’re not that interesting to most people, at least we’re interesting to each other. The last thing I want to do is advertise what a boring dolt I am to a bunch of “cool people” (like those on MySpace)
If you are interesting, you don’t have to be smart. Use your charisma to get one of your smart friends to help you out.
2. PROXY SERVER WASTELAND
Your personal time at home is too valuable to waste browsing around MySpace. If you can’t do it on someone else’s time, don’t bother. Unless you are living in 2006, MySpace is probably already blocked by the proxy server where you work. If not, you may want to consider looking for a job…the guys in your IT department aren’t well managed, and the whole place is going to hell in a hand-basket sooner or later.
Of course I’m joking. You should work while you’re at work, and work on your own stuff while you’re at home. I was just kidding (but not really).
You will more than likely be able to access your own site from work. This will allow you to continually keep up with what your friends are saying about you, what photos of you have been posted, and what other people are saying about your content. Sounds like MySpace, right?
One other plus is that you can set up your own webmail account on your site that probably will not be blocked by your proxy at work. Even if your company blocks most webmail (gmail, hotmail, etc) they’ll not be on the lookout for your site.
3. HOW BIG WAS YOUR LAST CHECK FROM MYSPACE?
Just for the sake of argument, let’s say you are smart and interesting, but just not famous (yet)–you have no book to pimp, no movie coming out next month, no album you recorded in your basement, and no calendar that features you in provocative poses with arctic animals. What exactly are YOU getting in return for providing MySpace (News Corp.) with all of this content about someone as original and cool as you?
If you notice, MySpace has ads all over “your” page, but they aren’t leaving messages asking where they can send your share of the revenues, right?
Set up your own site, throw a couple of AdSense ads up there and see what happens. Worst case scenario, you will get exactly what you’ve been getting from MySpace, maybe even 2 or 3 times as much. 😛
Best case, you’ll write a few interesting things that get picked up on bigger sites, and tons of traffic flow your way.
MySpace, along with other sites that are nothing but user-provided content, makes millions of dollars a year off of what YOU write and post! Don’t give it away for free! Keep it for yourself.
4. MY SO-CALLED FRIENDS
I’m willing to concede the fact that every now and then you will find someone, or they will find you, on MySpace that you’ve lost contact with over the years. But those years are probably before 1995 or so. At this point, do you really care? I mean REALLY care? Sure, it’s nice to catch up, but you aren’t friends anymore, otherwise they wouldn’t have had to look you up on MySpace to find you.
Your real friends are the ones that send you a message when their email address or phone number changes so that you don’t lose touch. You may not talk to them on a daily basis, but you feel it’s worthwhile to maintain a point of contact with one another. You don’t need MySpace to keep track of your friends.
Your real friends will be delighted to visit your site.
MySpace is mostly spam. I’m not talking about the “buy viagra” or “xanax at wholesale prices” spam. I’m talking about the people and bands you’ve never heard of and have no interest in knowing asking you to be their friend all of the time. The biggest clue that you are being spammed is to check out their MySpace page. They will have at least 3,000 “friends” along with a page full of witty comments from their friends like “thanks for the add!” or “what up baby girl?”
Invariably, each of the ass-clowns who left a comment on their site have a thousand or so friends themselves. It’s like there’s some sort of contest to see who can get the most links from desperate people they don’t even know.
Put up your own site, and you won’t have to deal with this–at least not at the same level. Yeah, you’ll get some spam on your blog if you have comments enabled. Just make sure comments have to be approved before they are posted and you are safe.
Again, if you are even a little interesting and have a squirrel’s brain, it’s time to leave the world of “thanks for the add” and put up some real content. Even if you like the stupid side of MySpace, make it your own.
6. JANET JACKSON SAID IT BEST–CONTROL
If you have your own site, YOU control who gets on, what content is displayed, who gets a link, what kind of ads to run. Although there are plenty of people who will have a hard time navigating anything that isn’t exactly where they think it should be, you’ll have complete creative and editorial control on your site with layout as well.
Quite frankly, I’m tired of all the chicks using MySpace as a launchpad in their quest to meet me. I’m taken, and I like it that way. So give it a rest.
If you’re like me (and I’m sure you are), build your own private haven from these psychotic impudent strumpets.
8. A HARD PILL TO SWALLOW
Let’s face it. MySpace just isn’t cool anymore. Ever notice when you log on you can always see links to the “cool new people”? I hate to be mean, but if someone is just now getting a MySpace account, they may be new, they may be smart, and they may be interesting. But they definitely aren’t cool.
In fact, most MySpace accounts created any time in the last year or so were created by people who are not cool. since more accounts are added every day (about 230,000 according to Wikipedia), MySpace is becoming less and less cool by the minute.
Based on Wikipedia’s numbers, in the last year alone, 83,000,000 accounts have been added. I don’t know about you, but my tipping point for cool in a group is about 66.67%. If 1/3 of the people in a group aren’t cool, the group isn’t cool.
Start your own site, and only let cool people–at least let people you think are cool–hang around.
9. PUNK ASS KIDS
The older I get, the less tolerant I am of all these punk ass kids. In reality, it isn’t so much that I’m less tolerant as much as it is that I’m jealous that I can’t be a punk ass kid too.
Whether it’s annoyance or envy, I don’t want to be around them unless I’m making them run at rugby practice. I don’t want to be their friend. And I especially don’t want them finding out about how cool Tom T. Hall and Bobby Bare are. Everyone knows that once a punk ass kid thinks something is cool it is only a matter of time before it sucks.
If you are like me, this is a great reason to start your own site. You can talk about boring things that already suck like reading books, politics, or earning a living and building wealth. These topics are sure to scare off the punk ass kids. They’ll never come close to finding you if you’re on your own.
10. TRADE-IN VALUE
It never fails…as soon as something great come out, something greater comes out a little bit later. As they say at my place of employment, “take good and make it better.” As our ADD lifestyle in this country says, “yeah, it was good last year, but it sucks compared to (insert thing that will suck next year here).” If you don’t believe that last sentence, re-read this article.
By going out and staking your claim on the web, you’ll be prepared to handle the next big thing–or not–it’s your choice. You can keep all of your content and work and version up when the time is appropriate. When something bigger and better comes along, take your assets with you instead of starting over.
When you are using someone else’s asset, like MySpace, you are subject to the whims of the people running the company and changes in the market.
For example, lots of us had Yahoo! mail accounts and thought they were great until Google came out with Gmail. Now Yahoo! mail sucks. Actually, it doesn’t, but that’s the perception.
The bottom line is that by going out on your own, what’s yours is yours. You are in complete control of everything and are able to change and upgrade with the times.