So, through the invitation of a friend who is also a heavy social networking service user (or at least member of many), I am now on Yahoo! 360 (Beta) in addition to many other social networking sites. I think my main motivation in joining these sites is that basically, in a nerdy way, I like filling out forms (it feels like completing a test really fast and knowing all the answers) and I just get sucked in by others joining these sites. Part of me also likes the idea that maybe somebody from elementary school will find me on one of these things if I list every single place I’ve lived and every single school I’ve attended (including kindergarten in the “round building”). Of course, part of me is also slightly concerned that as cosmic punishment for offering up my data to all these sites without thoroughly researching their security and what they do with my data, I am going to be the victim of identity theft or stalking (cyber and/or real).
All that aside, after fiddling with Yahoo! 360 for all of ten minutes, it looks pretty feature rich to me (although they also don’t let you just point to your own RSS feed instead of using their blogging tool– they say it’s “coming soon”) and offers some nice privacy settings support that provides some comfort and peace of mind. Also, it’s got way better/cleaner/more professional design and since it’s not even one month old, it doesn’t seem to have the sketchiness that has become MySpace. Although I’m not sure that’s a good or bad thing. I would almost want to suggest that my friends get onto 360 as a less sketchy and more professional looking alternative to MySpace, but I don’t think that either of those things would appeal to most of my friends. They, like most people, like MySpace (and the net in general) to be where they can be a little dirty, a little less professional, and free to create some of the most difficult to read, annoying to load, multmedia rich content-filled Web pages to serve as their presence on the World Wide Web. And that, my friends, is called serendipity.