Edge

Users get more out of MySpace

Top-tier social network MySpace.com has listened to its online college community. Pulling a page from Facebook.com and even RateMyProfessors.com, MySpace recently added a slew of new customizing features geared towards college users-both current and alumni-for them to toy with and implement into their profiles.

Easily accessed from the login homepage, users are now able to rate and compare comments about their professors, list their enrolled classes, connect with people in those classes and add a more personal touch to their profiles with their majors and Greek affiliations.

“We’ve always had a lot of college users, but we hadn’t served them well,” said Tom Anderson, president of MySpace.com. “We didn’t make it easy to add classes or fraternity/sorority associations. We got requests for the features, so we added them.”

MySpace is an extensive online community network-one of many that have become popular-that allows anyone with an Internet connection to create a profile with customizable blogs, pictures and message boards. Users of all ages can sign on and play games, listen to music (including pre-album listening parties) and collect hundreds of friends while sprucing up their pages with music videos and background images.

And thanks to the new features, the college users say they are making the MySpace world more of their own, joining together with friends from their own schools as well as schools across the country at the click of a mouse.

“The features are good in the sense that they bring the whole package together for MySpace users,” Adriana Jaramillo, sophomore, said. “A lot of young people live and breathe MySpace, so it’s great that they now have features that better connect them to their universities.”

“Users love [the new features],” Anderson said. “I haven’t received any [negative feedback]for the school features. Only positive.”

The professor rating system, for example, which uses a one-to-five rating scale with chili peppers to determine whether a teacher is “hot or not,” has been a big hit for some students on campus. Dozens of professors are already listed on the rating system.

“The professor ratings helped me pick out the classes I was going to take,” Cristina Puerto, sophomore, said. “Students can also post a comment about the professor, an option that’s not available in the ratings the college themselves provide.”

Students from other colleges share the positive sentiment.

“My friend set up a groups page for the human rights organization that we started in school,” said Adriana Zambrano, a student at FIU. “It has proved to be very effective when it comes to keeping people updated.”

“It’s nice to have these features here on MySpace,” said FIU student Danny Comellas. “All in all, they’re convenient and simple.”

Rafael Sangiovanni can be contacted at r.sangiovanni@umiami.edu.

October 18, 2005

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.