How a journalist can best use MySpace

MySpace is lame, so how come many journalists are on the site and, as I posted recently, I now have a MySpace page too?

In last week’s post, I described it largely as just another front in the world over branding my name online.

Others see it for slightly different purposes.

MSNBC commentator and Philadelphia Daily News editorial board member Flavia Colgan has a page. I can only speculate, but, judging from what she shares on her page, I suspect she sees it as an easy way to help brand her identity – her name, her position and her work.

She has more than 600 friends. I have 74 friends, and a handful are musical artists – I’ve found MySpace to be a great tool for storing lesser known singers whom you want to continue to follow, so that might not work for the average, young journalist, particularly one like me who likes to set up these social utility accounts and then touch them as infrequently as possible.

It is still the most used social networking site in the world, so it’s worth figuring something out.

So, I combined the two and demanded that I would find some way to push towards my Web site, something most networking sites encourage, but MySpace makes frustratingly difficult.

Adding a blog’s RSS feed to your MySpace profile can be frustrating. Because MySpace doesn’t allow JavaScript in profiles, the links in the RSS feed often aren’t clickable. [Source]

What a Widgetbox RSS box looks like

MySpace is slow and, let’s face it, almost always ugly. Though young musical artists can catch attention and design nice looking pages, most pages end up looking like some crazed teenager, a cluttered, messy remnant of free web pages of the late 1990s. (And does any site overuse captchas more?)

That’ll have to be the death of MySpace, which is losing its ground against Facebook internationally – even though it is beating out Facebook in unique individual visits from U.S. locations, which is better for its profits.

Using Widgetbox, though, you can create a decent looking Flash RSS feed, though visitors can only copy a URL and place it into their address box. If I have gotten any traffic from it, I can’t tell obviously – because there is no click thru – but doubt it. Still, the opportunity is there, so if my MySpace page get a high Web search, it pushes to my Web site in a professional way.