In my exploration of social media over the past few years I have signed up to a variety of networks; Twitter, Facebook, Jaiku, Pownce, and MySpace to name just a few. I use them to market my writing, make connections, and catch up with friends. Essentially, I use them to do the thing they were designed to do: connect with people.One of my earliest forays into Social Networking was MySpace. I have been a member of MySapce for a few years now, but I never really did anything with it. Most of my friends are not particularly tech savvy, and while I added a few people to my network, I never really invested much time or energy into it.Facebook, on the other hand, I came to more recently. Although I have been using it for a shorter time, I found it to be more useful; more of my friends were there, communication was easier, I liked the layout, there were a hundred reasons why I liked Facebook more, and it became my de facto social networking site. That it was ballooning in popularity is an obvious statement, and the media made reference to the upstart Facebook knocking MySpace of off it’s perch. MySpace was old and tired, no one went there anymore. Facebook was the place to be. When it came to marketing, spreading the word about my work, I naturally focused on Facebook. It was newer, fresher, more exciting, more people, a wealth of reasons, all backed up by media hype extolling the virtues of this site. But what is interesting is that the hype is not backed up by the numbers.Yes, Facebook is growing at a fast rate, and yes, MySpace numbers have stalled. But, if you look at the stats, MySpace is still on top, and by a huge margin:
I can’t help but wonder why MySpace gets such a hard rap from the media. There has been much written about the demographic of MySpace Vs. Facebook, with MySpace attracting “Latino/Hispanic teens, immigrant teens, “burnouts,” “alternative kids,” “art fags,” punks, emos, goths, gangstas, queer kids, and other kids who didn’t play into the dominant high school popularity paradigm.” while Facebook attracts “(t)he goodie two shoes, jocks, athletes, or other “good” kids.” MySpace is attracting negative press, and looked at as tired, finished, and no longer popular not because of the facts, but because of the bias.What’s most irksome to me is the fact that I relate much more to the demographic of the MySpace kids vs. the Facebook kids. Those kids are much more my people, and those are the kids that would probably be more interested in the sci-fi and fantasy writing I do. It would appear as though, lead by the media, I allowed myself to follow the herd at the expense of the actual crowds. It’s a mistake I hope I don’t repeat.What factors have informed your decisions in using social media? What attracts you to a site?