A client of mine asked me if I could go in and customize their MySpace profile. Figuring I’d just be entering some hex codes into input boxes, I agreed to help out. 3 frustrating hours later, I’ve succeeded in doing noooooooothing! There is no theme management or customization type area. In order to change the style, you have to enter a hacked and slashed version of html and css into any of the boxes that contain your information.

Obviously, customization was an after-thought… and they really shouldn’t have bothered with it. The profile pages (or at least the band profiles) are a disgusting mess of nested tables and I actually thought I had traveled back in time to 1997 while viewing the source – yes, it’s that bad! Each table cell having a background colour attribute set to white – which you later override using…

table {background-color: transparent;}

Notice the formatting there… you are forced to do that as it doesn’t seem to recognize proper css formatting.

Oh – the best part! You can’t use the pound (#) sign, at all! Amazing! It replaces it with .. after you publish.

I’ve never bothered with MySpace – even after a few invites from friends. Every time I clicked the link to check out their profile, it just looked like an old school Angelfire site. No thanks.

I wonder if there are any of these types of sites that have decent templates. Look at how well Blogger‘s doing and they went down the right path… having the leading standards and css designers do their templates.

Anyway, don’t use MySpace. But if you do… don’t try and customize it. That’s 3 hours I’ll never get back.


Comments

Hi I really like what you’ve wrote about MySpace. It’s kinda funny because we believe the same thing. My friends all like MySpace and I cannot figure out why. I’ve attempted to customize it but you really cannot make it look *good*. You can make it look like the first webpage you ever made when you were learning what tables were and it was cool to put animated gifs everywhere. So I’ve given up on customizing MySpace. I also wanted to comment on your blog and how much I like the style that you’ve given it. I’d like for you to check out mine too.. It’s fairly new yet its still based off Kubrick theme.

iridecent perception

Hey William,

I’m still not over this! I can’t believe a site of that size can be so shitty! You’d think with the popularity of the site, they’d want it to be as good as it possibly could be. Anyway…

Thanks for the kind words on my site. I just spent the past half-hour clicking around and have realized that it’s quite the mess. Kind of embarassed, to be honest. Hah!

Checked out your site. Looking good! Did you do the illustrations in the header? I like how ‘soft’ they are. Really nice work!

Well I like it for the friends and shit, but that’s mostly it, I try not to costimize it that much, ’cause my computer freezes alot, n-e-way, my site’s shitty too, but I think you should write them something, maybe you can get a job there and improve it!

And here I thought it was just me who was doing it wrong on MySpace!! It is so good to hear that no, it is the site thst sucks, not my ancient (circa 1990 and on) computer skills…..

Heh, you guys must be old…..you have to hack into the codes, they are not all there in front of you….view the source on some random myspace page then DIG

alrite…i don’t understand you people…(not you Christina)..myspace is amazing. i have absolutely no problem doing anything on the site and never have. maybe you just don’t know HOW to use it. my page is fully customized and all you have to do is go to other sites where yu can MAKE you own codes. there are also a TON of sites where you can get premade layouts so i don’t see why there is any problem. Is the problem that you can’t just click a button to have something underlined? its not THAT bad just a little more typing. ex: whatever you word is thats it. overall i LOVE myspace

Hey there, I just read your article about myspace and just thought I’d give kudos because I totally agree with what you’re saying. You only wasted 3 hours messing with it, but I spent nearly 6 frustrating hours trying to figure it all out. I’m no rocket scientist with coding, but even if you’re somewhat knowledgeable with basic HTML then general customization should be no problem, but with this setup it’s just too complicated. Anyway, that’s the end of my rant. Peace!

Wow, it amazes me that people are actually defending MySpace. Obviously they’re not designers. I think the fact that it is such horrible code and that it does take several hours for people to figure out how to change colors, fonts, etc, has led to at the least, some, of it’s success. Remember when you first learned HTML, looking back it was probably the most horrible web page ever, but you wanted to show it off to everyone you could because it took so long for you to figure out. It’s the same thought process I think.

None the less, I’m working on a project that combines MySpace with something closer to Last.Fm. StereoBuddy.com you should get a hold of me, maybe you’d be interested in contributing to showing people how crappy MySpace is.

It is possible to hack myspace but is it really worth the time? I hate myspace but all my friends are on it, therefore I log in every once in awhile.

Nikki and Christina are obviously non-designers that don’t know sh*t. I guess if you talk about something like Myspace on your blog the myspace idiots will find it through google.

I found this today through a portfolio on stylegala.com

http://www.myspace.com/timbenzinger

So it is possible to hack that load of bloated code into something nice.

Robert: You may be onto something. Would make sense why people get defensive when you slam MySpace.

Definitely interesting in finding out more about StereoBuddy.com.

Chris: That profile page is absolutely insane! That’s a nice design regardless of it being a hacked MySpace profile. That must have taken him days on end.

I have to agree that sometimes it is rather hard to customize myspace but once you get the hang of it its actually pretty easy. I have been working on my page a lot lately and it doesnt actaully look bad.

I can’t help but despise MySpace, but unfortunately, practically everyone I know is crazy about it. I’ve got a Greasemonkey script installed that disables the custom formatting that users put on their profiles because I can’t stand it when someone "pimps" their page with animated backgrounds. I also hate having to highlight text to read it. You’d think that the profile owner’s would realize how difficult it is to read, but nah, of course not. I’ll add this link to my MySpace, for irony’s sake.

Oh. I’ve got some extensive CSS knowledge and I couldn’t crack MySpace without writing down tons of stuff in my notebook, trying to figure out which CSS classes go where, and it’s disgusting. ".blacktext12", ".blacktext8"… Ugh. Terrible. If they had some sense, it’d actually be customizable.

So, that Nikki girl is right. Customizing MySpace should only be done with someone’s code generator. Even then it doesn’t look good. Ah well. MySpace looks best as default.

Man, you got a client wanting customization of their MySpace?! HA! Nice =)

Anyways, MySpace was easy to hack back when it was a few months old (way-way back long ago). I got lucky with getting these hacks in mine… http://www.myspace.com/piku

Now, I just let it be and don’t touch the code. BTW, how did it turn out?

gah!!!!

myspace is getting on my last fkn nerve.

Actually, i did customize mine… sorta….

BUT, now im totally fucked, cuz i was trying to insert an internal link….. only, to do that, i need the pound sign…

fkn fuckers.

so, u wouldnt happen to know how to make pund signs vivsible…. would you???

Hey, im a BIG myspace user, i dont know how i evan go to this site, but im here, and i was readling some of the coments, here, my space is so easy to use! just find a website that has codes made out for you and copy and psaste them, my profile is pimped out to the fullest, i dont know what else i could do to it to improve it, its tight as hell, so check it out search for me my name is heather kahl, my direct link i think is http://www.myspace.com/heatherkahl, if you have a myspace add me!! k peace out people and if your having troubles with myspace, just let me know, and ill help ya k, i know everyitnhg about myspace! so just mesage me on my myspace, and ask ask ask!! k dont just turn myspace away, its a great place to be…lol

I found a site created by frustrated ex myspacers! It’s called http://www.communityx.net

The site is very cool. They added some great features that myspace should have added along time ago. They give you a unlimited pic gallery. Also they give you a free website, and you can sell stuff in your own personal auctions or classifieds.

They owners are real people too! They’ll answer your questions and they even helped me create my profile!

They also don’t let just anyone on their site. They have an approval process to keep spammers and fakes off the site. It’s also 18 and older! Who wants a 15 year old "friend" if they are over 21? Myspace is creepy in that aspect and that’s why I left actually. Some girl I was talking to ended up being 14 and telling me she’s 18.

That kind of scared me because I saw on nightline all these guys getting arrested for meeting up with some girl that was under age. I can see them setting up Myspace stings soon! I don’t need that shit. That’s why I’m over at Comx.

Hi

I think myspace is pants, but I use it cos friends do, none of the pages validate or anything. Its got bugger all to do with design, and even less to do with nice coding. I am a web developer and I wont touch it with a barge pole, blogger is nice with proper css etc.

If you cant do it right dont bother, the only way to customise is to hack, hacks are bad, its doesnt work cross browser. All the customised ones kill my computer (a mac).

Scott … whats the greasemonkey script, animated gifs are sooooo wrong, i am not even going to start on the video and music clips grrrrrr!!

I am not even going to lie. Myspace is crap. I would also think because the site is so popular and whenever someone uses any reverence to music it is followed by "I have a myspace account". But at around 4 o clock pacific

standard time it is nearly impossible to login. You will either

recieve a message saying cannot be displayed or a window saying it timed out. I hope there is a different site

with nort the same problems

Your so right about myspce sucking ass. I found a site made by ex myspacers. If your over 18 this site is great. They offer more stuff and they don’t have all those pop up ads all over the place. I guess they are pretty strick on who they let in, but once your approved you can pretty much say or post anything you want. Alot of the models have tons of pic galleries of them selves up there too. The video chat rooms rule but don’t get it wrong there isn’t any nude people it’s just a bunch of cool people hanging out. oh it’s called http://www.communutyx.net I liked the site so much I deleted my myspace account. The owners told me they are installing an IM system that works with every im system like yahoo. msn, icq and all that all with video too! This will be way fun once it’s all in there. see ya at comx.

Yeah. MySpace is a huge hit, there are so many users on it. Im sure they have to do so much maintenance work to keep it running. Im sure eventually they will have better layout and design. I think maybe they cant offer that service just yet since it will impact the profile of thousands of users, and with so many ads making money for investers, if the site goes down, there would be so much money lost I dont think they want to expirement just yet.

Anyway, I spent hours doing a myspace design check it out, add me as your friend, drop comments whatever you want, http://www.myspace.com/bloodycarp

Hi, I totally agree. Myspace is coded terribly. But you can hack it to bits given a bit of time. I’ve done one for a musician freind of mine which kept the original formatting. Check it out at http://www.myspace.com/westlondondeep

I’m also working on one for myself at the moment. I just deleted almost everything using visibility:hidden and started again using css, although I was forced to add a couple of tables too for teh frinds and comments stuff!!!

It’s not finished – needs more personal stuff – but it’s getting there. Check it out at http://www.myspace.com/craig_murray

Why are people posting their myspace profiles on an I hate myspace site? That makes no sense at all.

I see someone already posted something about Communityx.net.

It is definately one kick ass site. All my friends are moving to comx. It’s really come along way. I’m not here to bash anyone but I do think myspace is getting old.

This is so true. I only just found this article, while catching up on your posts.

The funny thing is, a band asked me to update their MySpace page too, and I was just trying to work this out today.

When I started looking into the code and how to change it, I seriously got lost. How anyone puts up with that I don’t know. Hell some bands I’ve been in contact with have turned down a proper page because "they want to use MySpace"

Argh, why oh why!

I’ve always hated Myspace since the beginning. I tried to get one, & upon customizing it got so annoyed that I quit. However, all of my friends thought it was the shit & were always on. So I thought I might as well break down & get one. I am SO IMPRESSED with that Tim guy’s site. I can’t imagine how much patience that must’ve took. It took me hours on end just to get mine looking the way it does.

1. ive edited my profile…took 20 minutes and it doesnt look that bad. Its for people to talk to each other not how good the style is.

I think myspace is really good. i ve been on for 2 years (i know…sad) but i like that i dont need to know a laod of html crap to make it look good (or how i want it anyway)

there are some myspace profiles ive seen better than this page.

what in the world are those 70 million people doing with that website! I must say, props to the few who can make something decent out of it, because I share your frustration: myspace makes no sense. And they’ve got no feeds, which I hate, no API no anything helpful. Good luck modding. They need a little zen garden help eh

myspace is the worst blogging ‘thing’ you can ever use. even blogger is better, their templates are better as matt you said. though i still prefer wordpress even if you can’t customise it if you don’t have a host, but at least it wordpress has got some good looking templates unlike myspace.

myspace isn’t about looking good or blogging, it’s similar to a dating site.. create a profile, make friends…

It was never intended for bands originally.. it just ended up exploding in that area.

Hindsight is 20/20

I’m closing comments on this post as I think we’ve all heard enough in the way of "MySpace is garbage!" vs "no it isnt, it rulz LOLZZZ!11 you guyz are jus jelus cuz you cant code and stuff, err whatever the word is."

Thanks for comin’ out!