MySpace for Dummies

MySpaceFirst let me preface this by saying: Everything is all right NOW! 

But—I read an article in RWR magazine a while back about how you cannot miss out on MySpace if you want to promote your work. Well, I’m on MySpace and all 759 of my close personal friends are no doubt reading Petticoat Ranch right this second.The page is up and running now, but it wasn’t always so easy.

RWR didn’t tell me the dark side of MySpace—and no, I’m not talking about the vampires who have their own pages. That is the subject of another column. Far darker than the blood-sucking living dead is me trying to create my own page. I’ve spent, oh, I’m sure it just seems like a decade trying to figure out MySpace.Finally, my 17-year-old daughter Katy took pity on me and showed me how to invite people to be my friends and how to—forgive me—pimp my page. Where do kids come up with these things?

And why do they have the nerve to say them to their mothers?! 

Anyway, I invited a bunch of people to be my friends. It felt kind of, well, nervy, you might say; like a bad high school party you go to and everyone gives you the “Who invited you?” look. But Katy pep-talked me into it, so I did it.Then after all the invites went out, I tried to, umm, you know to my page and—forgive me again—somehow ended up with a stripper as my background picture.

She was not there when I selected from among the 1,000,000 background choices. And sure, they can’t show you everything on the background, but c’mon! You’d think they’d include it if there was a stripper!! And she was moving—there were shots of her wearing less and less. It was very high-tech in a triple-X kind of way. Did I mention I did this after I invited all these friends? Excellent. Nice surprise if they come and check things out, huh? I invite you to MySpace and a stripper opens the door. Just the impression I want to make!So, of course, on the very day someone might actually agree to be my friend—“hello 38 Double D.”Calico Canyon Cover
And the only way I could get rid of g-string girl was to get rid of everything, including a bunch of scary-looking lines of code.  Think “Nightmare on Elm Street” with a computer monitor. 

 I don’t even really know what code means, except it’s numbers and symbols and letters that mean nothing to me. I hated to erase it because once it’s gone, there’s no getting it back—not with my computer skills. But either the code went or the stripper stayed and honestly, there was just no chance the clothing challenged girl could stay, what with my friends coming over soon, so I had to delete it all.

So, I lost the stripper and everything else too, except my book cover and a blurb about the book, and of course this nice, growing list of friends. Did you know I’m now friends with Tim McGraw? Yeah, right! Me and Tim! BFFs.  

I now have many friends, most of whom I have stolen from other author acquaintances’ sites and, well, I’m worried. I mean, honestly, do my friends love me for myself? I think not. I’m guessing I’m not going on Tim McGraw’s Christmas card list. And how badly can we abuse the word friend, huh? And why, oh why, did Faith Hill dye her hair brunette—what was she thinking?

So that’s my adventure into cyberspace. If you want to invite me to be your friend (and you’re not afraid), I’m completely open to it ( Just remember the more I drag you inside my head the more you’re going to need a GPS tracking system so when you call for help—and believe me, you will—the police can find you and save you. And just one more point: I wouldn’t be able to help you run the GPS tracker so you’d be on your own there, too. 

Next up? Facebook. If I survive, I’ll report back.


So how are you with technology? Ever accidentally logged onto some site you were afraid would make Homeland Security kick down your door? And what about research? Authors are always looking for a way to kill someone in a fresh and entertaining way…good luck running for President and not having the, “Seventy-five Fastest Acting Poison’s” website show up in the opposition research. Or the fact that you’ve checked out, “Severing A Human Head” from the library…six times.

Tell me about you and technology. The wonder…and the terror!

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Author of Romantic Comedy...with Cowboys including the bestselling Kincaid Brides Series

47 thoughts on “MySpace for Dummies”

  1. loved your post and glad its fixed. ok i must be one of the few people on this earth to not be at my space (or have a cell phone) But i am at facebook but i have to admit i dont use it much.
    Im sure all 200+ people are loving your book cos i sure did. I know its a good book when im still telling people about certains scenes in the book i loved. like the women in the cabin saying what the men are doing then saying if we were me we would nod, grunt etc. i love that scene.
    i have accidently landed in sites that i shouldn’t Oh and when i was doing the webpage and looking after updating stuff i did lose our the minitries home page so no one could see it.
    Accidently put a wedding page there by accident then when i moved it to its right place i had lost the home page and all the info that went with it. (thankfully after a few days we found one of the original owners still had a copy)

  2. I’m so-so with technology. Some of it I can figure out pretty easily, but other things throw me- like the idea of setting up my own website. I’m contemplating it, but not sure I’m computer savvy enough to do it right. Yet! LOL

    I’ve been on myspace for quite some time and I know what you mean about those codes and finding backgrounds for it. It took me a while to figure out how to pick the right one and hope that the font was readable, that the background didn’t have something on it I definitely didn’t want. I hopped over this morning and added you and the other fillies I could find on myspace.

    I have happened across some odd sites and wondered how in the world I came across them! LOL

    Speaking of Petticoat Ranch- I had forgotten to add it to my wish list on amazon, so I hopped over and did that too this morning. (I just had a birthday so I’m planning to do some book ordering with my b-day money soon. hehe! PR will definitely be one of them.)

    Glad you got your myspace fixed!(I can only imagine your surprise to see a stripper…Eek!)

  3. I added a vampire to MySpace one time. A friendly vampire…I was in a weird mood and hunting around for friends (in the early days-I no longer do that) and it just struck me as funny, to ‘friend’ the vampire-ish site then leave a comment. And my MySpace picture is the Petticoat Ranch cover. My pretty little boots and lace cover was sitting there in the middle of these ghastly photos and that struck me as funny.
    Then–again, weird mood–the vampire had some bit about being a writer and I left this encouraging message to ‘keep trying and persist’ and whatever other ‘advice’ I though was a good idea. Then later, I went and looked more closely at the site and realized that this was the guy who had written — Oh, I think it was Nightmare on Elm Street.
    So not–my weird mood gone–I felt very dumb to have my pretty cover amidst the un-dead AND to have given writing advice to a guy who is doing VERY WELL WITHOUT ME.

  4. I would never be on myspace so authors who are there I do not visit. I do visit their webpages and this blog here I love. I will visit you here or on a webpage. I made the mistake of having my neice check out my daughter’s mypace and the things that she told me broke my heart. I walked through such hurt it was unreal and I never wanted to see for myself what was on it. I had found things she had put in here email one day when she asked me to check her email that left me reeling and spending hours on my knees in prayer. But we are behind that now as she’s moved out and living with an older man. She’s still in College and we talk often.
    I am a little technology savy but only because my two daughter’s helped me with all I’ve learned.
    Enjoyed your blog.

  5. Sorry that happened to you, Jane.

    Ah, children.

    My mother-in-law is fond of saying: When they’re young the tug on your apron strings, when they’re old they tug on your heart strings.

  6. I often wonder if there were things my parents didn’t know and I did, causing them to sit back in amazement over it, when I was a teen. Because, computer stuff-my kids astound me with what they know and what I don’t.

    When I first started a MySpace, it was to talk to my aunts that live in other states. I had the white background and little boxes. That’s it. And then my son, who was 12 at the time, saw it and was so embarassed over my plain jane MySpace, he decked it out for me. (He didn’t even HAVE a Myspace at the time! He learned all of this at school!)

    Since then, I’ve learned how to link up backgrounds and things I have made myself. On Blogger, I learned how to use the codes they give me and insert my own backgrounds. Don’t get me wrong, I could never in a million years write a code, but it’s easy enough to find where they link in backgrounds and insert a link to a photo-hosting site. That’s it for me and technology. I am proud of just being able to turn on my Word and getting emails sent.

  7. I remember when we were little you used to tell us, “never say anything you wouldn’t want broadcast on the radio.” While I must admit to failing at that more than I like; I have always applied that to the internet times about a million.

  8. Easy, Terry?

    I beg to differ.

    I just loaded a new Slide show on my myspace page because I wanted to put my cover for Calico Canyon on the page in some fancy schmancy way.

    I put it up, took it down, put it up, took it down, only oops, I didn’t take it down, so for a while it was up three times, which is pretty embarrassing, especially since the LAST time I made a slide show IT was still up three times.
    If you go to my Myspace page it is very stripped down these days because I’ve been fighting with it over those slide shows. I mean, white background, black boxes.
    I should have spruced the place up for today in case any of you check…or Tim McGraw…stop by.

    But I’m so AFRAID.

  9. These days you hear about oh…like Miss New Jersey or someone…being embarrassed because someone took pictures off her MySpace or Facebook page and blackmailed her with them

  10. I am addicted to both facebook and myspace. And (hanging head) there was a time I had blogs on yahoo, myspace and xanga. And what did I have to say that was so important I needed to shout it across so many areas? Umm…

  11. Oh, and did you know that when you post new slide pictures a bulletin is posted as well? I wondered why there were so many from you the other day.

  12. My BOSS keeps trying to add me on Facebook. I can only assume it’s to spy on me. Fortunately you can choose exactly what content to share so he won’t see how often I am on there when I should be working.
    Like right now.

  13. Wendy, you’re kidding!!!!!!!! You got an email from me every time I loaded that thing??? eek. I probably did it four or five times. Or rather I did one twice, then erased it when I realized I’d somehow added like…eight pictures to it without meaning to (no idea how that happened) and did another twice, then……..
    I can get you to forgive me (Wendy has to, she’s my daughter, plus she’s used to me and the horrors of technology) but did ever friend I have on Facebook and MySpace get an announcement?

  14. Mary, what a funny post. Oops! A stipper on your myspace page! I found out the hard way not to accidentally type in it is – do not make that mistake!!! Also a certain sporting goods store should be searched for using the whole name.
    P.S. I love Faith Hill’s brown hair!

  15. Well then Faith is okay with me if she’d okay with you. That observation was kind of an ADD moment anyway, you know, Attention Deficit Disorder).

    My sister said she typed that whitehouse thing into her computer…or someone else did…just because she’d heard of it and wanted to see what was up and it loaded all this GARBAGE onto the inner workings of her computer, all this … oh what was it, like weird cookies and temp files. And started getting super weird spam.
    She went into the cookies section (I know, no oreo to be found anywhere) and deleted junk forever.
    So don’t DO IT!!!!!!!
    I heard about the sporting goods store too.
    My daughter said her husband typed the shortened name into the address line, just to try and be fast and he started screaming.

  16. Mary – You are too funny! You echoed my sentiments about MYSPACE. And you have 759 friends already? That’s fast. I’m so NOT techy, so I too, rely on my kids when I can get hold of them. My page STILL isn’t what I want, but I don’t have enough time in the day to learn how to fix it. So it’s there, it’s okay but not the vision of what I wanted. You’re attempting Facebook? You are brave!!

  17. Face book is weirder still, I think. I keep getting invitations to ‘send a drink’ to someone. or send a ‘vampire bite’ to someone.
    Or ‘Do We like the same Movies’ or ‘send your friend flowers’
    Just like ten of those a day.
    I think people who are really into it do all these things. My youngest daughter is on Facebook a lot. It’s how they communicate, more so than email.

  18. Mary, I laughed so hard my side ached at your Myspace experience!! Thank you for that because I really needed a laugh. I wish I had’ve been your friend when you had the g-string girl up on your page. Oh my gosh! That would’ve been something to see. It definitely would’ve given me a different perspective of you. 🙂

    I’m in the same boat you are in regards to being tech savvy. I know zilch about these things. If Cheryl hadn’t taken pity on me, I probably wouldn’t have a page. And now, I’m scared to death to mess with it much for fear I’ll mess everything up and can’t straighten it out. I definitely need one of those books for Dummies. Wonder if someone wrote one for MySpace? And if Facebook is harder than this, I’m going to cross it off my list. I think I’ll pass. The knots in my stomach are just beginning to unkink over my experience with MySpace. Lord knows what I’d get over there. 🙂

  19. 760 friends, someone else ‘Friended’ me this morning. Yes, that’s write ‘friend’ is now a verb.

    I should be brave and try to Valentine’s Day my page up. Wait, it’s too late.

    Maybe I’ll Easter it up.

    And yes, Valentine’s Day and Easter are now adjectives, or wait, maybe they’re verbs too.

    Right now it’s what you get if you do NOTHING. And did you know there’s a public face adn a private face to it. That’s how G-String girl got past me. I was looking at the private, logged in side. Yikes, she was up there for three days.

    No wonder the Nightmare on Elm Street guy (or his minions) ‘friended’ me. He no doubt over estimated my friendliness!!!!!!!!!

  20. I think everyone sees the public side. I was somehow logged in permanently at one time so I only saw the side that let’s you change your profile. But again…everything is all right now.

    Sort of.

  21. I don’t do MySpace or Facebook. I think these websites are too weird and hard to navigate for someone as technologically challenged as i am.

  22. I wouldn’t have done it either, Estella if not for the article in RWR, that’s Romance Writer’s Report, the magazine put out by Romance Writer’s of American.
    I can’t tell if it make a difference or not. So all that work and TERROR and who knows.


  23. I’m with you, Mary! I have a MY SPACE page, but it’s just the generic background that wonderful Cheryl set up for me. I added my recent book covers and my cats to the photos, and when somebody wants to be my friend I accept them. That about says it.
    Loved you stripper story! Still laughing.
    Do you rent out your daughter??

  24. Mary, Your MySpace mishap is hilarious!! I’m impressed with your techo skills, even if you do have an occasional strip, er, glitch. LOL. As for me, a blog is all I can handle.

  25. Cheryl seems to be the techno wizard of the group. I’m tempted to ask her for help but I just hate when I leave people sobbing after I’m done asking them questions.

    So, I’ll soldier on alone.

    Consumer warning: Do NOT pay for a rental-daughter. Any any daughter will do…as long as she’s in her teens.

  26. Mary, I’ve helped some of my friends figure out the backgrounds and I did a search today and found some nice western style ones. If you or anyone else ever need help with myspace, feel free to ask me.

  27. Mary, I’m glad you mastered MySpace since that’s where we met. I played it smart and had my daughter set mine up from the start. No stripper on my page! The only problem is I took a vacation from MySpace and now I can’t get back in. Could be I forgot my password or maybe even my name. Could be I just don’t know what I’m doing. I’m hoping there is a time limit on inactivity and the whole thing will go away. ShoutLife is enough for me to keep up.

  28. i am on face book and i admit i have sent things.
    but am trying not to as much what happens is someone invites you do to something and next min you accept. well im not now and im not sending the invites to all my friends (unless theya re the one who fill up my email!) but i dont rally post there. just play.

  29. OMG, I was laughing so hard reading your blog! LOL I have had those moments as well. I have a myspace page, but I don’t get on there much. I figured a few things out just by fidding around with stuff, but sometimes when I’m trying to do something on there I get so fusterated I want to pull my hair out. LOL

    Once I did a search for something on the internet, I must have misspelled the word, and all the sudden about 60 pop up ads for porn sites came up on my screen. I was freaking out! LOL Every time I would get one off another one would pop up. I kept looking over my sholder like someone was going to see me. LOL Thankfully I was alone but I was still embarrassed. When I told my hubby about it he laughed so hard. He said he could just imagine how red my face was. LOL

    Myspace can be great, but a little scary sometimes too. LOL There are some strange people out there! 😉

  30. See there, I did meet Mildred on MySpace. So that alone is worth it.
    Hi, Mildred.
    I noticed we haven’t talked on MySpace in a while. I completely respect your desire to have it fade away.

  31. That facebook thing is just odd.
    Take the Movie Compatibility Quiz
    Take the blah, blah, blah quiz.
    I get new ones of those everyday, plus more of the old ones. What’s up with that?
    Who is making up those weird quizzes?
    Cheryl? Care to confess?????

  32. Missy, your story of looking behind you reminds me of a trip to the city. i use the internet cafe near my hotel (til the hotel got for internet) and my friend send a story.
    well lets see shes telling a skunk story (here they have lots in texas) and they tend to visit her place. well shes in the care and the pastor (hubby) has a shotgun to shoot the skunk which is near the car. friend things pastor has gun im in car skunk near car, pastor cant shoot to save himself, so she jumps out the car to quick startling the skunk gets sprayed but the good thing is the pastor missed them all!
    there is more to the story but this was part and i am in a cafe with about 30 computers. i burst out laughing to which my fellow neighbours look at me which sets me off more. so here i am explaining to strangers (and they were both from overseas somewhere) what i was reading and then they were laughing and suddenly we are being looked at like lunatics! so i understand embarassment.

    on facebook i think somewhere there is a do not notify me thing to click only i haven’t found it yet.
    but i just delete there mail (although its nice to get mail some days)

  33. Facebook is so not my thing. I have one, but it’s just not fun. And you’re right about the quizzes. It’s like junior high, and I don’t go there. My Space is more fun, and this type of stuff all about fun for me. Even blogging. Must be enjoyable.

    I need Terry for a day to teach me how to make my own backgrounds by figuring out the code. Come to my place for tea, Terry? *G*

  34. I’ve been on myspace for quite some time, and also I am a member of I found they are very useful. You can enlarge your friends circle there. However, I’m a horse and animal lover, I still try to search the related sites. I’m introduced to visit by a friend, I find it’s the very useful for me and I become the user soon. And fortunately, I found my mate there after two months. I’m so lucky and happy!

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