Currently, there are more than 200 million profiles on MySpace -- not bad for a company that launched just four years ago. In certain circles, and among certain age groups, having a MySpace page is as commonplace as having a social security number. But not everyone is smitten with MySpace.
Local filmmaker Jim Muraco created a MySpace page about two years ago, and uses it for personal and professional networking. Last year, Muraco received a message from a guy who said he owned a camera, was a fan of Muraco's work and wanted to help him with his documentary for free. Muraco agreed, and the man came to Milwaukee from out of state, stayed at Muraco's home and worked with him for many hours.
"Then, when he returned home, he held my footage ransom ," says Muraco. "He suddenly wanted $500 for his efforts. He then invited all of my friends and family to his page and took me off. Needless to say, I took him out of my film and my friends and family uninvited him from their sites. It was a lesson learned."
For some people, MySpace goes beyond being a fun way to connect with people, and into the realm of serious time wasting -- even addiction.
Glendale's Christal Korfhage, 32, says she was addicted to MySpace, spending as many as three hours a day on the site -- investigating new music, looking for old friends and posting messages on other peoples' pages.
"It's so crazy how addictive it can be," says Korfhage. "I simply have to check often to see peoples' bulletins or comments or messages to me. I love to change my music often and blog, not to mention getting really cool backgrounds to change the mood."
These days, Korfhage says she spends less time on MySpace because of work and family demands. She says she checks the site every other day, and spends about two hours per visit instead of three.
"MySpace was addictive for me, too," says Julia Nowak, 21. "When I first got my MySpace page I would check it a number of times everyday to check who's leaving me comments, writing me a message and commenting on my pictures."
Stacy LaPoint, 36, agrees that the Rupert Murdoch-owned site has its pitfalls. Specifically she gets annoyed with the many MySpace "glitches" such as not being able to log in or having portions of her page "disappear" for a while. However, she finds MySpace to be a great way to connect with old friends and meet new ones. Recently, she reconnected with someone whom she hadn't seen in more than a decade, and cultivated an ongoing "pen pal"-like relationship with a woman in South Australia.
LaPoint also sees MySpace as a creative outlet, and refers to creating and maintaining a MySpace page as a form of "digital scrap booking."
"I love the creative aspects of being able to use color, music, photos, videos, etc. to show your life or whatever you want to show the world -- or privately to your friends," says LaPoint.
The high number of spam and bogus "friend" requests frustrate some MySpace users. Thirty-four-year-old Nicole Devin-Angel has maintained a page for two years, and has experienced a fair share of this.
"Getting friend requests from every stripper online gets old," says Devin-Angel.
Some people have become so fed up with MySpace that they migrated to Facebook, another online networking community that they believe has less spam and a more mature group of users.
"Many more of my old friends and colleagues have Facebook accounts," says Milwaukee's Suzanna Hruska, 31. " I also prefer the Facebook layout, it's less busy and easier to get the information I want."
MySpace remains the sixth most popular English language Web site, but for many, it's a fine line between being a fantastic resource and the ultimate timewaster.
"Overall, it's great fun," says LaPoint.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.