Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Defriending MySpace's "Tom" for Security

Being a hacker at mind, is blessing and a burden at the same time.  So with my hacker's hat on today, I was contemplating the benefits and risks of being a MySpace Friend with the Co-Founder "Tom".

When I first joined MySpace, I found myself with one and only friend, Tom, and I thought cool at least I have one friend to start out.  I later figured out and after reading "MySpace for Dummies"
that all newbies are friended by Tom.  At first, I thought this was a nice touch since other social netoworks such as Facebook and Bebo do not offer a "default" friend.

But after thinking about this "friend" with my hacker hat back on, my thought is of a potential spamming and security risk.  If all MySpacers are friends with Tom, then a minimal effort is needed for a spammer or hacker to refer to Tom's friends list to send out spam messages or spam friend requests.  What this means is that everyone is two degrees from everyone else with Tom being the proxy or the friend in the middle.

So I contemplated this type of network within a network and decided to defriend Tom.  If a spammer or hacker wants to find me, they'll need to at least search for me or traverse a group list, which are many to say the least, and then spam or friend request me.  This I believe is a preventative security layer or measure for my MySpace profile.

So do I recommend this action to others?  Sorry Tom, but my answer is yes. If you can do without the MySpace updates then defriend.  Nothing personal Tom.

E-mail is an absolute wasteland because of spam and you never know who's lurking or wants to sell you something on the MySpace network.  Let's hope MySpace does not become a wasteland, too.

As always,  the problem is choice and the choice is yours.  To friend "Tom or not to friend "Tom".  That is the question.  You decide.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

"MySpace for Dummies" Book Review

Yesterday, I paid a visit to my local library. I checked out 4 dvds and 10 books. One of the books was "MySpace for Dummies" by Ryan Hupfer, Mitch Maxson, and Ryan Williams.

Now, I just recently joined MySpace and have always had the curiosity to learn the history and intricacies of this social networking phenomenon. I was fascinated to learn that the original idea wasn't to connect everyone online, but a platform for musicians and bands to expose their music and concerts. In addiation, MySpace offers a special profile for filmmakers and comedians to market their talents to the online community.

The overall coverage was very good. Unfortunately, most of the screenshots are out of date now but that was expected. I could still easily find the targeted concept or area which the book was referring to though. I especially enjoyed chapter 13 " Marketing the MySpace Way" and learning about how corporate america was embracing this new platform. Some of the examples were Honda, Dell, and Wendy's.

In summary, even though you may have been using MySpace for awhile, MySpace for Dummies can still offer unknown nuggets and easter eggs for the professional or newbie MySpacer.