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Today's word on journalism

Friday, January 20, 2006

Variations on "truthiness":

"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please."

-- Mark Twain, author, newspaperman and humorist (1835-1910)

MENTORS WANTED: Media professionals in all fields wanted to serve as email mentors for journalism students. If interested, send email slugged "Mentors" to Ted Pease ( is cyberspace 'home' for thousands of USU students

By Greg Carter

December 22, 2005 | E-mail, instant messaging, bulletins, blogging, classifieds, advertising, personals, contact directory, and much more. One stop shopping is the name of the game in the world today. A website has capitalized on this to become one of the most popular online communities. is the new site to find on the internet that is growing by millions of members a month.

According to Alexa, a web site rating system mentioned,'s now 42,612,214 members have raised the site to the eighth most popular site in the world. This popularity has created a whole life of its own.

This ability to communicate so effectively is one of the reasons why Myspace is so well-liked. If you can't reach someone in the instant messaging you can leave an e-mail. If you want to announce a party you can send out a mass bulletin. The blog area lets you discuss any topic, and anyone can contribute. People can see the progression of discussions on the comment boards in people's profiles. Pictures of any kind can be displayed on a profile. One person interviewed mentioned she likes that she can use the power of myspace as a recruitment tool for her sorority. All these different forms of communication in one place is what make the site such a successfully social place.

The internet is the place where people can be themselves. The website makes it very easy for people to customize their little corner of myspace. You don't have to search very deep to find people that are putting on a face very different than the one that they show in person. One interview told the story of an old friend that approached them. The friend's profile was so different from how the person knew them that they didn't recognize them.

The power and popularity of this phenomenon has spawned a few trends that could not have been planned for. While members personalized their sites they posted their favorite songs. Then bands started created profiles all to themselves. The band uses the visibility of the site to grow. One person interviewed has a profile of his own, and a site for his budding Synthpop band. His personal site only had 15 friends until his band started to gain recognition. Now he has 80 friends, and his band has over 250 people that know about his music. One extreme example of Myspace's power to help fledgling bands happened in the UK. According to Strategic Public Relations the band Arctic Monkeys was getting their work noticed on Myspace, and they rose to the top of the charts in the United Kingdom with absolutely no album released in the normal way.

On there is an article about the part that myspace has been playing in the commercial world. New bands have been able to use the site to grow without needing a lot of money or jumping through the hoops of the music industry. However, the music industry has taken notice of the potential of myspace. Clickz reports that there are major music labels, and well established bands all over in myspace trying to promote their new albums. Other industries that have also seen the ability of Myspace have been TV, movies, books, and even political groups.

Of the students at Utah State University, 2,500 belong to the site. It's their social community online. The lists of friends that people have on their profiles are a great way for people to meet others and network with all kinds of people. With all the ways that people have to display their interests, friends and friends of friends can quickly come together by searching member's profiles. One example of the power this site has to communicate with friends comes from an interview with an avid user. One of the first friends that this person had is in the army and Serving in Iraq, and Myspace is the primary way he keeps in touch. is a good way for people to communicate whatever they want to. Using the power of the internet lets people communicate in all the different ways the internet has to offer, but now in one place. People seem to be able to be themselves more on the internet, and this is a huge meeting place for them to do this. All of the options that people are given in the site opens many doors that people couldn't do before. It's a great portal to break down barriers that people have.


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