More On MySpace

In reference to recent articles on MySpace, I’ve had some people ask me how they can jazz up their MySpace profile, so I thought I would give you some hints on this. MySpace works a lot with HTML code, so there are some hard and easy ways to design your profile. If you know HTML well, you can create your own designs. All you have to do is add the code under the “About Me” or “Who I’d Like to Meet” sections in your profile and the new designs will show up. You add the codes while you’re modifying your profile.

If you’re not very familiar with HTML, there are several pre-made profile designs that you can choose from. With all of them available, it’s easy to create a custom made MySpace layout. You can do a search for “MySpace Layouts” in your favorite search engine (Google, Yahoo!). There are tons out there and they all bring different designs to the table. Once you find one you like, you just need to copy and paste the code they provide into the “About Me” or “Who I’d Like to Meet” sections while you’re modifying your profile. When you have the code in, just click on “Preview Profile” and you will see your new design come to life! Then all of your friends will be able to see your new profile layout as well.

You can also do a search for “free background images” in your favorite search engine and you can use those for your background. You will need to be familiar with HTML code to that though as well.

Now, I have been getting some e-mails from people who are concerned with MySpace safety, so I thought I would also include a little information on that topic. Everyone who is concerned is absolutely right, there are some things everyone should be aware of when creating a profile on MySpace. But, with everything else aside, MySpace really is supposed to be for fun.

Most of the safety issues come into play with young children. It seems as if MySpace has been in the news a lot lately in regards to some minor vs. adult situations. I really don’t need to go into detail with all of that, but it is a good idea to know what you or your kids could be getting into when creating a profile on MySpace.

Unfortunately, some people make it harder for others to enjoy a simple “friend” site like MySpace. The Web site officials have taken some initiative on these issues though, such as requiring anyone who creates a profile to be at least 14 years old and they monitor the profiles regularly to make sure everything is going safely.

Here are some tips for you as you venture in the MySpace world. These are more for parents with younger children, but they are good for everyone to keep in mind.

1.) Monitor your child’s online activity by doing several random “shoulder surfs.” Just walk up behind them and see what they’re doing. They may be upset that you’re “invading their privacy,” but you’re the parent, so it doesn’t matter!

2.) When you create a profile, don’t include too much personal information. Don’t write anything that would make it easier for a stranger to find you in real life. All of the profiles on MySpace are using public space, so just about anyone can view them.

3.) People are obviously not always who they say they are. MySpace is meant to be used to meet new friends and connect with new people, but don’t ever meet someone in person without someone else along with you.

4.) Don’t post any pictures or journal entries that would hinder your reputation later on. If you don’t want certain people to see certain things, don’t include them anywhere on MySpace. It’s just safer that way.

Whatever you do, just have fun with the site, but always keep an eye out and be safe!

~ Erin