myspace and other online social networking things are kind of interesting, ya know? Although blogs/journals have an aspect of social networking, especially with the use of feeds, comments, and blogrolling/links tools, social networking online really started to take off with six degrees. The Six degrees community was loosely based on the kevin bacon game which is loosely based on the play six degrees of separation which is loosely based upon the theory of Small World Phenomon which was developed by Stanley Milgram. Basically, the everybody is related theory. ;) Six degrees the community was online from '97 to 2001 and sold for 120$ million US. Yes, million. Following the success of six degrees, Friendster (2002), LinkedIn, and finally myspace (2003). After what sounds like a falling out at Friendster over people posting pet info, dogster.com and catster.com started as offshoot of friendster.
Developing sort of at the same time but with a slightly different scope (online publishing vs. social networking) was the blog: xanga (1996), LiveJournal (1998), blogger(1999), Diaryland(1999).
I'm not sure I really like myspace, mostly because it seems so juvenile in a lot of ways. I was part of six degrees and friendster and I even participated in a six degrees study a few years ago which was very interesting. Basically, you were given the name of someone else in the study, and you had to try to find a way to send a message (predetermined from the researcher so that we all had the same message) without direct contact. You could only use friends, aquaintances, etc. and it all had to be done via email. I do not know if my message every made it to my intended target, I know that whoever had my name never got their message to me. Of course, when you take into account how many people actually vote, or do community service, or anything to better the world in anyway, well... the fact that the messages ended up in limbo, is probably to be expected.
Anyhow, a few interesting/odd things about myspace:
Teen posts suicide note on myspace
more about myspace as a culture
the myspace generation
social networking blog
wikipedia: six degrees
wikipedia: six degrees of separation