MySpace cowboysThey run the fastest-growing Tom Anderson (left) is the "soul" of MySpace, while Chris DeWolfe is the business brain. Web site on the planet. They have 100 million friends. Not bad for two guys who just wanted a place to hang out.
By Patricia Sellers , Fortune editor-at-large August 29 2006: 9:20 AM EDT
(Fortune Magazine) -- One night this past April, Tom Anderson was surfing MySpace.com, as he does for hours every night, when he spotted a link to something called kSolo on another member's profile page. The service, Anderson learned, lets you record karaoke online and e-mail songs to friends. A karaoke man himself (he used to be the lead singer in a band called Swank), he immediately tried kSolo - playing a scorching anthem called "Cowboys From Hell" by the thrash-metal band Pantera. "It was cheesy but great," Anderson says. The next day, he told his business partner, Chris DeWolfe, to check out the site.Just three years ago, the exchange between Anderson and DeWolfe might have ended there, a failed musician and a frustrated entrepreneur bonding over karaoke. But Anderson and DeWolfe don't just obsessively use MySpace - they founded it. Last July, News Corp ( Charts ). agreed to buy their company, and they decided to stay on as president and CEO.
The adult accused in the Pennsylvania case is awaiting trial on 12 charges of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
The South Carolina family has two daughters, age 14 and 15, who were allegedly lured, intoxicated, drugged and then sexually assaulted. The two accused adults have been arrested and await criminal prosecution.
MySpace announced Wednesday that it will launch Zephyr, software for parents to monitor their children's interaction on MySpace . The software was met with criticism, however, as it is limited in access and
Posting too much information on social networking sites may be dangerous
The Cool Technology Paradox: A technology is no longer cool once adults adopt it. Therefore, no adults will ever use a cool technology. This spring many parents throughout the United States became aware that their children were leading double lives -- one in the physical world and one in the virtual world. A series of television news "expos es" on the dangers of sites like MySpace , Facebook , Friendster , Xanga , and other social networking Web sites popular with children and adolescents caused parents to 1) see if their children had such accounts, and 2) call their children's schools to make sure such sites were not available to their children there.The knee-jerk reaction by most school districts was to block a wide swath of social networking sites. Problem solved.Not.
Here are seven things all adults need to know about social networking sites like MySpace
1.Social networking is enormously popular with young adults. Studies show that nearly 60 percent of students consider themselves Internet "content" producers -- and that content, much of it personal, is often displayed in blogs and other social networking spaces. MySpace alone has more than 60 million users. And although MySpace might currently be the most popular social networking site, it is by no means the only one.
3. Blocking sites at school won't keep kids away from MySpace. Schools are reacting to social networking sites by simply blocking them -- often at the price of blocking useful resources as well. By working around the filter or simply using unblocked filters at home or in public libraries, kids will get access and will consider schools increasingly irrelevant in their lives. That means we need to give kids access to social networking environments, but also teach them how to use such sites safely.
4. Some degree of danger does exist for MySpace users. Reports from Maine to California indicate that predators do indeed use sites like MySpace to converse with teens and possibly lure them into physical contact. Teaching students to not divulge too much personal information and to treat online strangers with caution should be part of every school's safety curriculum.
5. Young people need to understand that material posted on the Internet is public and might have unintended implications. Although most students have their peers in mind when they post, they need to be aware that adults can and do visit social networking sites as well. And information on them can remain available for a very long time. A poster ( Good Signs ) produced by Minnesota State University, Mankato, asks students "Who might see your online profile?" and goes on to list: Your friends, Random students, Professors, Employers, Your coach, Campus Security, Law enforcement, Sex offenders, Residential Life Staff, University Judicial Board, Parents, and Grandma. The MySpace organization is working toward a safer online experience for users. Online safety expert Nancy Willard reports on the efforts MySpace is taking to create a safe online environment for teens. (Willard, Nancy. My Visit to MySpace . WWWedu. March 22, 2006) "But," she says, "parents should not expect MySpace or any other Web site to do their job for them!!! These sites are not babysitting operations."
6. Teachers might want to check to see if they have had a MySpace account created for them. You might Google yourself to see if your students already have created a MySpace or similar account for you. Just guessing here, but it might not contain the same information you would have chosen for yourself.
MySpace From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
MySpace is a social networking website offering an interactive, user-submitted network of friends, personal profiles, blogs, groups, photos, music and videos. MySpace also features an internal search engine and an internal e-mail system. It is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, USA, while its parent company is headquartered in New York City. According to Alexa Internet, it is currently the world's fourth most popular English-language website, the sixth most popular website in any language, and the third most popular website in the United States, though it has topped the chart on various weeks (note it is possible that other websites have a greater number of unique visitors). The service has gradually gained more popularity than similar websites to achieve nearly 80 percent of visits to online social networking websites. It has become an increasingly influential part of contemporary popular culture, especially in English speaking countries. The company employs 300 staff, is owned by News Corporation, and does not disclose revenues or profits separately from News Corporation. With the 100 millionth account being created on August 9, 2006 and a news story claiming 106 million accounts on September 8, 2006, the site reportedly attracts new registrations at a rate of 230,000 per day.
7. MySpace and social networking have value. Technology Director, Jason Johnson reminds us: "Teen blogs are not about the technology -- they are about feelings of belonging and being loved. They are about trying on different personalities. They are about someone who feels isolated connecting with others who share their interests or insecurities. They are about all the same things that have existed for hundreds of years, hidden in notebooks and scribbled on bathroom walls and whispered over telephones. The content of MySpace.com bears discussion, not obstruction. It is where some schools and parents are looking to better understand and aid their children and students. Our dialogue should teach them to use the site effectively and about what they can hope to accomplish with it." ( The Case for Social Networks )What's a teacher to do? Stay informed about student uses of technology. Build student trust by maintaining an open mind about new social phenomena. Teach students about potential hazards of all