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Social Review: Navigating the New MySpace
By: Christine Geraci
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There are no custom skins or backdrops. I cannot emote my mood through an icon. But this is not the early 2000s. This is the new MySpace.

Today MySpace hitched a ride on the release of investor Justin Timberlake's new single, "Suit & Tie," and opened up its newly designed interface to the public by promising you could get the single if you signed up. 

I thought, OK, I'll bite. And then I silently snickered, remembering how cartoonish and silly the old MySpace had become before I finally ditched it for Facebook back in 2007. 

But I assure you, all that of that campy nonsense is gone. What I found instead was an interesting return to MySpace's old school roots as a social network for musicians and creative-types looking for a way to introduce and promote their artistry without spending big bucks. And this, I must admit, was oddly comforting. 

Before entering, users are asked to pick categories with which they most identify. All of these categories are creatively driven, with the exception of "Brand." 

MySpace features a design that forces you to scroll left-to-right instead of down for browsing. This felt strange at first, but you get used to it. To start making connections, you must visit the "Discover" section, where you're able to peruse what's trending, as well as personal profiles, where you can explore recommended people to follow, as well as browse organically. 

The new MySpace also serves as your own personal DJ, with a Music section where you can explore songs on "high rotation," new artists, albums, and recommended music items. Then, you can create a "mix," name it and share it with your connections. Pretty cool stuff.

There's a similar browsing mechanism for videos, and a Radio section that provides a Pandora-Spotify mash-up type of experience, where you can choose an artist or music genre and get an instantly generated radio station suited to your musical tastes. Anything you play shows up in your activity feed, unless you select to make your "plays" private. 

To sum it up, this social network isn't exactly for everyone...but then again, it could be. It's for people who like music. It's for people who like art. It's for people who like an expertly turned phrase. And maybe, just maybe, this will be MySpace's saving grace. The revamp of this social network creates an unapologetic air of exclusivity that people — especially creative people — just might want to access. Not bad, new MySpace. Not bad at all. 

Are you on the new MySpace? What do you think?

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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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