Friday, April 6, 2007

The MySpace Journey – “The Project” Announcement (Part 1)

A Little Background
Let me start out by telling you a little about myself. I am an information security professional (professional because I get paid) and a father of four wonderful children. Three of my children are intimately familiar with MySpace, and two have active profiles (Dad nixed one).

In the “big picture” that is the Internet, MySpace and other social networking sites offer a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, share ideas, and learn things that are happening in our world. I am a big fan!

In my “little corner of the world” I wonder how MySpace and social networking can affect me and my family. As I wonder and question, I become motivated to do something. My motivation:

1. Nothing is more important to me than the safety of my family. I try to do everything I can to protect my family. It’s my responsibility!

2. It pains me to see people get hurt. When I read articles like “MySpace mom's teen is pregnant”, “Man Arrested Again For MySpace Sex Crimes”, and “’Social surfing' could lose parents millions to ID fraud”, I feel terrible that people didn’t know any better!

3. I know I can offer advice that could help. If nothing else, people might just become aware.

Thus the creation of the MySpace, MyGeneration workshop and this project.

The Project
I have been researching MySpace and the whole Web 2.0 craze for a while now. I have much to share, but I want to know more. I want to share more. I am still amazed at how much life has changed since I was a kid!

The purpose of this project is to gain a better understanding of the risks and benefits of MySpace to myself and my family (my family is actually particpating which is a great learning experience for all of us).

The approach I am planning to take is to document three, 30-day journeys through the MySpace world. I understand that I will not be able to venture out into the entire MySpace world, but I think I will be able to give you a good picture of the landscape.

The Three MySpace profiles:

1. My normal everyday, 36 year-old, married, information security guy profile (for those of you that are interested my profile name is “TrustedToolkit”)

2. A fake, 15 year-old, male profile (I will share this profile name when the project is complete), and;

3. A fake, 14 year-old, female profile (I will share this profile name also upon project completion).

Profiles 2 and 3 are created in order to see what (potentially) my children (and yours) see. Profile 1 will give you a view of what I normally see as a parent.

Tomorrow - The MySpace Journey – Profile Creation

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