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March 12, 2007 | by  | in Opinion |
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The MySpace Experiment – Part 2

Last week we started a MySpace experiment. We became ‘Gwen’, a 22 girl from Auckland whose interests included Polaroid photographs, CSS and fashion.

Our goal was to see how popular we could get in little over a week. See last week’s Salient for our method, this week we present to you our results:

  • We started off with Tom, the creator of MySpace (and default first friend) as our only friend, but by the end of our experimentation period we had 125 friends. This may seem a meagre amount to those of you with heftier friend counts, but it’s all about the power of exponents. Going at our present rate, 500 friends could easily be achieved within a month; and we might even be able to break 1000. Imagine the possibilities if we could be bothered going on with this thing for a year. We could become friends with everyone in existence (on MySpace) and you’ve gotta admit – that’s pretty popular.
  • For some reason we got really trendy with record companies and bands, maybe because we’re a hot topic or maybe because they’re just doing the same thing as us and trying to get as many friends as they can. 70% of unsolicited requests were bands. It’s all about numbers though so we accepted everybody.
  • We targeted lots of ‘cool’ and ‘hot’ and ‘scene’ people, and of course those with mega friend counts. The real test is not how many friends you have, but how cool the ones you have are. The key is to drain the coolness from their friends list to nourish your own.
  • We became even more cunning by adding people with private profiles to our friends list. Firstly, they appear snobby and too good for MySpace, which makes them cool. Furthermore, once one adds you, all their friends think you are actually a real person because you busted into the private person’s sphere of influence. And then you get more friends
  • We tried to make most of them New Zealanders but we also thought Aussies and ex-pat Kiwis were also acceptable. A few Americans/UK peeps + bands was also sweet to add some flavour and variety to the mix. We thought all Americans would be kinda cheating though. And it is, alot of American Myspaces seem to be all about numbers or finding God, so they’ll accept anyone…and we wanted to look cool goddamit!
  • It’s really not that hard to pretend to be someone else on the internet – and it’s pretty damn funny (check out Blanketman’s profile – we’re pretty sure it’s a fake like us, but then again the dude has an ipod so I guess you never know)

So to finish, MySpace and getting popular – it’s really not that hard – it’s all about the layout of your page (everybody loves sexy page design), the right interests and music tastes, the super hot photos (extra points for MySpace-angles) and of course – the comments and friend requesting (i.e. pillage as many people as possible.) However the thing is that popularity on MySpace unfortunately doesn’t really translate into popularity in the real world unless you’re Tila Tequila but hey, it is a really good way to waste a lot of time when you should really be doing something productive.

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