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Why MySpace? Part II or More MySpace Alternatives

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Ah, MySpace. What would a day be like without them screwing up something else? Mashable reported earlier that MySpace users were getting error messages that their accounts had been deleted. According to the article, Tom was kind enough to send out a message saying it wasn’t so, they were just moving some databases around. Really – can this site be any more unprofessional?

On a related note, maybe there is hope for the future of social networkers everywhere. The response I received to the first MySpace alternatives post has been pretty encouraging – clearly people are interested in other options.

Just in time for this post, there’s a new MySpace alternative on the scene called Cyworld US that introduces a different concept to the social networking space. Users get “minihomes” and an avatar called a “minime.” You can trick out your minihome using acorns,the Cyworld currency system that you have to spend real cash dollars to accumulate. If you’re reading this, and you’re 6-10 years of age, or know someone who is, then I suggest you check this out. I hope you have better luck figuring out the user interface than I did.

Now here’s one that I’m really liking. It’s called Bebo, it’s integrated with Skype, and is reputedly the UK’s leading social network, even ahead of MySpace. The interface is uncluttered, and there are a ton of skins to choose from, but it doesn’t appear to be nearly as customizable as MySpace. Of course, you have the standard videos, quizzes, polls, blogs, etc., that MySpace offers, but it appears that you get more photos. (How hard can that be when MySpace only offers, what, 12?) They’ve also recently launched Bebo Bands, a competitor to MySpace Music. Unlike MySpace Music, though, bands can upload unlimited tracks. The force is strong in this one, Luke.

Finally, here’s one that I think could take off in a big way, if marketed properly. (If the hiring powers that be are reading this, give me a call!) It’s called SportsMates and it’s the MySpace alternative for sports lovers. Mashable! knocks them for the interface design, calling it ugly, but I’ve seen worse. What I think SportsMates needs to concentrate on is signing up users. (Make the signup process a little shorter, guys. Six pages is kinda ridiculous.) Get the users in there and this has the potential to take off.

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