Myspace Profile Layout

241

As technology evolves, it makes means for creative expression more accessible to everyone.  This has been seen seen with the introduction of the printing press and later the computer, both of which made information easier to share and to reach. One such advancement was the invention of Myspace. Myspace came onto the digital scene when the idea of social websites was still in its infancy. While some others existed, such as LinkedIn and Friendster, Myspace was unique because it allowed users to completely customize their profile pages with just a few lines of code. This began as a coding error, but quickly became the star feature of the website.  This was such a big deal because it “assisted in narrowing the gap between consumer and producer (an essential Web 2.0 concept); where before it took a web designer with significant training to create these personal spaces online, now it could be done by nearly anyone, anywhere, without any of the knowledge previously required to create a site.” 

Many teens jumped at this opportunity for sharable self-expression. However, many were quite wary of this new technology. The rise of websites that allowed anyone to produce and share content struck up a panic about that democratization of the public sphere and what it would mean for existing industries like web development and journalism. In the case of Myspace, people were concerned about how giving non-professionals access to these tools and shocked at them breaking "the rules" of coding and design with their bright, busy, complex layouts. But ultimately, Myspace was successful because it fulfilled a need for self-expression for users. The creators saw this and leaned into it, encouraging users to “break” their website and make it their own. In the end, this served as an introduction for many into the world of design and coding, creating a whole new generation of professionals. I think that this goes to show how opening the doors of design to anyone and being receptive ultimately only serves to push the field forward.

Customized Myspace profile page layout.
Source: web.archive.org
Customized Myspace profile page layout.