surpasses in web rankings

There is so much going on in the online social networking space that it’s impossible to keep up with it all. I follow the business-focused tools and communities very closely, but the more general social tools not so much, so the recent news that now surpasses in Nielsen web rankings came as a bit of a surprise.

One of the attractive features of MySpace is that it lets users totally customize their home pages, and many have done so extensively. You can even use JavaScript on your page. This, combined with their brand name, reinforces a strong sense of home page ownership by the members.

One downside: the user interface for setting up your profile is horrendous. On one page, you have to click to a separate page to edit each individual field on the page, rather than editing them all in a single form. I was truly dumbfounded by this. I also encountered several bugs uploading photos.

This is another site, like orkut and Tribe, where the boundaries between personal and business are fuzzy at best. “Networking” is one of the four options as to your reason for being on MySpace, but that question is right next to questions about your sexual preference and relationship status.

Bottom line: if you’re young, hip, and know some basic HTML, MySpace gives you far more freedom to express yourself visually than you can within the canned profile templates on most other sites. But for business purposes, the lack of boundaries make it suitable only for those who don’t care about those boundaries.