MySpace Wants More Clicks
I don't mind that MySpace creates lots of options that suck away hours of your life: pages of bulletins, email, the forums, the vids, etc.  But the thing is, that's user-generated content.  I'm happy to click though those pages because they have something to offer.  What fucking pisses me off is the fact MySpace is constructed in such a way that at every turn you're forced down blind alleys of pages you don't need to be on.  Why?  Because Tom and Rupert get paid for the pages they sell ad space on, no matter how useless they are.  Some examples:

The home page.  First thing you see after you log in?  Not your home page.  No, that would make sense.  Instead you go back to a page you click through to get your home page.

Your Fisher-Price mailbox.  There is nothing so innavigable as MySpace's inbox.  While the avatars make it remarkably friendly for even illiterates, you can't do shit with it beyond compose or reply without AN ASSLOAD OF CLICKS.  Even the email services run by click-hungry conglomerates allow you to sort by sender and date (at the very least), to view 25 to 100 items at a time, etc.  MySpace?  Fuck no.  Not even a text search.  You want to find something in a message?  Enjoy scrolling through page after page of ten messages at a time, dumbass.

"Your message has been sent."  This is a dead end page.  Why not drop me back in the mailbox at the very least assholes?  No?  Why not?  Oh, because you get to post an ad on an otherwise redundant page.

New!  New comments, new mail, new friend requests, new blog posts, new friend requests approved, new posts in the forums.  The shit never lets up.  It's one thing to be notified when there's something you need to check, but in many of these cases, you already checked the shit elsewhere, and it doesn't care.  The new post in the forum?  It's the one you made.  You click back through to read what you just wrote.  Myspace profits.

"New" Bullshit.  A corollary of the above.  For about a month MySpace kept sending me notifications of New [any of the above] when, in fact, there was nothing new.  A glitch?  Maybe, but it took more than a month to fix.  In the meantime, they profited from my having to click it periodically to determine if I really had any new messages awaiting a reply or if they were just jerking me off.

Captcha.  Ostensibly proposed as a way to keep spammers from sending us messages, it's just one (or two or three) extra step(s) that keep friends from sending one another messages.  Even if you turn off the setting to curb the bullshit, you'll still get shit like that even when friends (i.e., individuals on one another's approved lists) try to reply.  Worse yet, compared to any other graphic-based passcode system, this one is BY FAR the most indecypherable to humans.  Not content with intelligible words in recognizable typeface on a grainy background, this shit looks like a manifesto by Timothy Leary written in the back of Cheech & Chong's van being pursued by the LAPD.  The result: You can't get it right the first time... so MySpace gets an ad on the error page... and then another when you fuck it up again.  And so on.

How hard would it be to do what other sites do?  How hard would it be to do something like this?:

Searches.  While the "browse" page allows you to specify which strangers you'd like to meet right down to the narrowest subset of overlapping demographics (black Jewish 19 year-old female within 5 miles of Laredo with a graduate degree), good luck when you're searching for old friends.  Your options are limited to name, display name, or email address.  Whereas the last of this is by necessity unique, the other two aren't.  If you know with some certainty where John Smith is geographically, you might stand a chance by narrowing it down (after the fact only = another page click for MySpace), but good luck trying to lasso your target out of what should be an easy Venn diagram to construct out of eliminated distractors.  No, there's no follow-up options for specifying gender, age, education, etc. that would allow a pinpointed search.  Instead, you click through pages of search results (delivered 10(?!?) at a time) to maximize... you guessed it... how many pages you have to load up with ads profiting MySpace..

Copyright 2008 Ale[x]plorer.

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