Story Value

random musings and episodes from the life of a 40 something comidienne/corporate refugee/mom - since whatever doesn't kill you provides excellent story value.

Monday, February 26, 2007

This space is Myspace ... this space is Yourspace

OK, so I just received an invitation to a MySpace event where one of my so-called Myspace friends will be travelling across the country to find the mythical Tom Anderson, "starter friend" to millions of Myspacers.

Pretty clever. I wish I thought of it myself. They'll probably be all over YouTube and get a development deal for some sort of reality TV show that chronicles their journey. Very surreal. Sort of like those paintings of a painting, within a painting, within a painting. Television and web media is now just a derivation of itself. Hearkening back to my old financial services days, I would have to say that we're now trading futures and options on content. Ow ... It makes my brain hurt as much now as it did on Wall Street

By comparison, I am a mere Myspace dilettante. I dipped a toe into the cyber community pool because I heard it was a great network for comedians. Many of the comics I know use Myspace as a great marketing tool. They build audiences, distribute videos, and even sell jokes. They all speak in a whole new language of Myspace stats. You are how many friends/views/kudos and bulletin board posts you rack up. I can't keep up with the Myspace Joneses ... I just enjoy a contact high by being part of the party.

I'm still agog that I was able to friend (v) Tina Fey, Jon Stewart and Amy Sedaris. I know they probably had some minion accept me -- Either that, or some 55 year old postal worker who ordinarily poses as a pre-teen cheerleader is the Myspace Tina Fey ... but I'm still living the dream.

It took me a year to get over my real-life passive-aggressive tendencies online. I'm a pleaser by nature. When I started out, on MySpace I was eager for any kind of friend. I'd get a few friends per week -- usually other comics, or local comedy fans who had seen me perform.

Occasionally, I'd get the cruisers that must search by locality for romance. I had a few creepy come-ons from a married cop that lives nearby, a weird hairless guy who flexes in his living room and a 21 year old who loves older women. The last one had me a little psyched. I forwarded that one to my husband who just rolled his eyes and bit his nails in a fit of mock jealousy.

The problem was that, just like real life, I didn't' know how to say no. I just left the friend requests in my in-box indefinitely. To deny offered friendship seemed entirely too harsh and cruel. I thought I might be barraged with angry emails ... "Who are you to deny me?!!" So, I just let them sit -- but it nagged at me. I didn't want these friends, so what to do?

Finally, my friend Violet pointed out that these folks could see that I was ignoring them by logging in and not accepting their friendship. Yikes, I had been outed. In one single fit of empowerment, I went in and denied about 22 pent-up friend requests -- some months old. It felt great. So far, no major repercussions. I don't think my denial rocked any one's world.

I once agonized about ditching and blocking a friend I had previously accepted when she filled my comments page with dopey daily Jesus-grams and sparkly unicorns. She seemed so nice at first, but when I was receiving 3 - 4 emails per day telling me she had posted some other ridiculous Spencer Gifts drivel -- she had to go. I now have the rule that I will not Myspace friend anyone I wouldn't friend in real-life. Not like I'm that picky in 3-D, but standards have to start somewhere.

Today, Myspace has rounded the bend where I now get routinely friended by people selling crap. The clever ones pose as a real persona and try to make their fake pharmaceutical pitch an after-thought. Increasingly, Its just a full-on porn/pharma/insurance sales come-on. I have no trouble instantly denying spam friends. I struggle with denying all those folks who are trying to raise awareness about the choking game, childhood disease or missing people, but its starting to feel like those agonizing chain mail emails where we're supposed to send a card to the dying girl that never existed.

I'm not yet the MySpace Greta Garbo ... but I am getting fatigued reading daily blogs from conspiracy theorists, receiving pod-casts and bulletins about obscure causes and being invited to sign up for sweepstakes. I'm still hanging at the party, but for now -- I'm just driving slowly on the MySpace driveway on Sundays ...