I’m back on MySpace! I’ve been checking out New MySpace, and I thought I’d share my experience with you. MySpace used to be so fun, and I really hope it will be again. They’ve already thought of a great new unique feature for self-expression that should thrill anyone who enjoys Pinterest: Mixes. (See number 11 below.) Here are twelve images to give you an idea of what the rebooted MySpace is all about.
UPDATE! I talked about New MySpace, as well as reviewing all the social media strategies that worked or didn’t work for me in 2012, when I was the special guest on the Twitter chat #mediachat on January 10. Click here to read the transcript of that chat!
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1. Register! MySpace, thank goodness, still respects the musicians, artists, dancers and writers who made it famous in the first place. They accept mononyms, stage nyms, pen nyms and any other sort of nym. And for those of you who don’t have a stage name, but want the kind of identity protection offered by Pinterest and WebMD, you can do the first name/last initial thing (preferred by all of my female non-techy friends.)
While your “full name” can be anything, your “username,” which becomes part of your personal MySpace profile address, can’t be identical to anyone else’s. If you want your name to be part of your username, and you have a common name, be prepared to be creative!
2. Choose your account type. It won’t make much of a difference right now, but eventually each account type will have unique layouts and apps. This is already true for musician and photographer accounts. Marketers: Notice that there’s a “brand” account!
3. Your profile: Avatar, cover image and bio. Here’s what’s really different about new MySpace: your profile scrolls horizontally! What you’re looking at here is the “start” of my profile. To the far left are my avatar and links to my connections, my photos and my “mixes.” (More on mixes later!) Then there’s space for a large cover image, and after that a short bio. Right now you can only feature one URL, but eventually you’ll be able to feature several.
Profile cover image dimensions: The minimum size is 1024 x 768. The recommended size is 1920 x 1080. The maximum height and width is 2000px.
4 & 5. Your profile: The “content and activity” area. Here are two views of my “content and activity” area. Note the Pinterest-style individual image modules.
6. Photos. Here’s a shot of the photo gallery.
7. Searching for people and musicians. This is what New MySpace search looks like. Yes, the name you’re searching really is that big! The results are broken down into categories, so if you’re looking for a particular song, you only have to scan the “songs” column.
8. A musician’s catalogue. I don’t think there’s anything particularly striking about the new musician catalogues and profiles, but that’s not at all a bad thing; musician and label websites are often very hard to view and navigate because they’re filled with tons of confusing images and links. At least this is easy to use!
UPDATE! 2013 02 09. When I wrote this article, by chance, the musicians I knew had chosen to limit their profiles to their catalogues, which is why I thought their profiles “weren’t particularly striking.” Turns out that many musicians, particularly independent ones, have full profiles that include a stream and mixes.
9. Connecting with people, musicians and graphics. New MySpace uses two linked circles to symbolize a connection. MySpace uses the word “connect” in unexpected ways. Not only do you “connect” with people and bands, but you’re said to “connect” with photos and songs. “Connecting” with a photo that some else has posted will duplicate that photo in your profile’s “content and activity” area.
10. Browse People. When it comes to connecting with new people, New MySpace is a lot more like Twitter than Facebook. On Facebook, you’re unlikely to get to know someone new unless it’s through a mutual friend. On Twitter and MySpace you’re likely to meet new people because you share common interests. Right now the browse feature is very much in beta; the only parameter besides city is type of music. Yes, they’ll be adding more!
11. Mixes. “Mixes” are a completely new MySpace feature that really should have their own article. Basically you can add photos, video, songs and status updates into a type of album called a “mix.” Think of it as a multimedia horizontal Pinterest board. MySpace generates three for you: one of all the images and songs you’ve ever uploaded, one of all the cover images you’ve ever uploaded, and one of all the profile photos you’ve ever had. Yeah, the last two are pretty lame. You’ll definitely want to make your own custom mixes.
12. The Help Screen: UPDATED 2013 02 01! Go ahead, find the “help button.” I dare you! When I first wrote this article, I actually through MySpace was hiding their help section, but they’re not; it was just really, really hard to find, and I don’t think it was deliberate. They really thought it was obvious! Anyway, if you look reaaaaaly carefully at the veeeeery bottom of the screen, you’ll see a row of links, including “Help.” Or you can go to http://new.myspace.com/help. Right now they have real staff members answering your questions very quickly, so I kinda feel like I’m going to regret giving this away, but I guess if they get overwhelmed because so many people learned about their help section from this blog, that’s a good problem for me to have.
Finally: What about blogs? “Classic” MySpace had a pretty cool blogging platform. Photos looked great, and uou could make it very clean and easy-to-read. (Or admittedly, you could make it a hot mess.) On the left is an entry of mine from 2009. I asked if New MySpace would have something similar, and what would happen to our old blogs when all the Classic profiles become New. MySpace hasn’t decided how they’ll handle blogs yet. They may offer them via third-party applications. They did say that a lot of users want to have blogs on New MySpace.
Have you tried New MySpace? Tell me all about it in the comments, and don’t forget to add a link to your New MySpace profile!