21st Century Media.
Monday, September 25, 2006
  What happened to Friendster?
In the past month or so, a lot of people have been talking about an MSNBC report which claims that MySpace.com does little to protect its users, of which there are over 10 million. The oft-used quote many have taken from the report is that MySpace is a "hotbed" for computer infection.

The New York Times has also recently reported about the investigation by 20-year-old blogger Trent Lapinski into MySpace's history (though it has been recently archived, damn you TimesSelect, I will not pay $4.95 for an article you published 9 days ago). According to Lapinski, everyone's "friend" Tom and his partner, current CEO Chris Wolfe, previously worked at a spyware company before the website's launch in 2003. Public outcry - as in, you know, web comments of angry 18-year-olds - suggests that people are going to start leaving the site and seek other methods of online networking.

But seriously - is anyone really going to go back to Friendster?

I logged in today after probably a year of forgetting/not caring that I had an account. Considering that on MySpace I have 138 friends, and on Friendster I have 12, I would say that my Friendster profile kind of makes me look like a dork. Not to mention the fact that my default picture is my yearbook picture from high school. I'd link but I'm too ashamed.

The features are really the same as MySpace - at times, even better. Friend updates enable those of us who actually enjoyed being stalkers with the Facebook news feed to find out what our friends have done to their profiles recently. Album features allow not just for self-aggrandizing photographs of 14-year-olds in bikinis, but also allow for your friends to view your photos and see what you've been up to lately. There are connections to group and fan profiles, as well as profiles of people in your area that are close to your age. There's music, there's blogs, there's classifieds. The best part? Very few ads.

Anything that would take business away from News Corp seems like a good idea to me, and it's unfortunate that Friendster has taken such a backseat when its content is forward-thinking and ad and spyware free. Too bad it won't catch on. Sadly, I still don't even have the determination to update my Friendster profile. Murdoch and MySpace have taken over the world, and I'm just a minion.
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