Why MySpace Isn’t MY Space!

By | January 14, 2007

Edition #107 – 1/14/2007


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In case you hadn’t noticed, the MySpace craze is getting a little ridiculous. Even all the internet marketing gurus have MySpace pages these days.

I don’t want to be overly critical, because I also have plenty of friends and family on MySpace, but give me a break!

I see these big time marketers on there acting like it’s a high school popularity contest. Who can get the most friends? Oh, oh… can I puhleeze be on your top 8 list?


First I’ll tell you what I keep telling my sisters-in-law… It’s not really YOUR space! It belongs to MySpace, Inc., and they can do anything they want with it.

They can even start charging you for it if they want. Their TOS states,

“Fees. You acknowledge that MySpace.com reserves the right to charge for the MySpace Services and to change its fees from time to time in its discretion.”

And of course, they can and will display sleazy dating ads to your friends and family who visit your profile. Don’t believe me? Here’s an ad they displayed to me just today. I went to login (I keep an account just so I can look around the site, but I don’t have a profile), and here’s what they showed me on the login page:

MySpace Ad

The next time I went to login, they showed me this:

MySpace Ad 2

The next time I went to login, they showed me an animated banner of a girl lifting up her dress, which I’m not gonna show here!!

I don’t mean to offend anyone by posting those ads, but I think it’s important for people to know how MySpace operates. And I also scaled it down so as not to overstate the obvious; bear in mind that the original ads were TWICE as big (4X as much screen area) as the screenshot above, and they display similarly themed banner ads at the top of each member’s profile pages.

Maybe they’re targeting me with those ads demographically, but even that’s sleazy because the ONLY information in my profile is that I’m a MARRIED male!

I’m not really trying to start a discussion about morality (those of us with morals can easily draw our own conclusions by now), but it’s more to point out that MySpace is really THEIR Space, and they can do anything THEY want with it.

As I’ve pointed out to friends and family, it’s better to set up your own website on your own domain, because then you have a piece of virtual real estate that you really do own.

Unfortunately, few have taken my advice, because the peer-pressure of MySpace is just too strong. After all, EVERYONE has a MySpace page!

I’ll admit, it has proven to be an ideal platform for true “social networking”. It’s a place where members can express themselves, connect with friends, and meet new people…all on the web. In fact, it’s become so popular that by some counts it’s getting twice as much web traffic as Google!

Okay, so with that ridiculously huge amount of traffic, there must be some way to monetize it and capture a piece of the MySpace pie…right?

Well, not exactly. At least not for those of us who try to play by the rules.

MySpace has set up their rules specifically so that you can’t get a piece of the pie. From their TOS…

Non-commercial Use by Members. The MySpace Services are for the personal use of Members only and may not be used in connection with any commercial endeavors except those that are specifically endorsed or approved by MySpace.com. …//… Commercial advertisements, affiliate links, and other forms of solicitation may be removed from Member profiles without notice and may result in termination of Membership privileges. Appropriate legal action will be taken for any illegal or unauthorized use of the MySpace Services.

In case you missed it, ANY advertisements or solicitation may result in termination of your account.

The terms of service also outlines a list of specific items that are specifically prohibited from MySpace. The TOS states that violators of these items will be terminated from MySpace. This list includes…

“Content that…provides any telephone numbers, street addresses, last names, URLs or email addresses”


No last names. Hmmm… I can think of a few marketing gurus violating that one. No URL’s! Hmmm… Well that kind of makes it hard to send any web traffic anywhere don’t you think?

Additionally, there is a list of activities deemed “illegal” and prohibited by MySpace. The TOS states they may take legal action and/or report to the authorities violators of these items which include…

“advertising to, or solicitation of, any Member to buy or sell any products or services through the MySpace Services.”

Okay, so now maybe you’re thinking… No problem; since I can’t sell anything directly on MySpace, I’ll just contact them and sell them something outside of MySpace.

Sorry, as MySpace TOS states…

“It is also a violation of these rules to use any information obtained from the MySpace Services in order to contact, advertise to, solicit, or sell to any Member without their prior explicit consent.”

Close examination of the TOS could possibly lead you to believe that they are leaving the door open for building an opt-in list, but that’s a very fine line and I think you would cross it the moment you intend to profit from any list you build.

For one thing, the TOS expressly prohibits collecting any personal information for commercial purposes, and secondly it prohibits collecting ANY personal information from anyone under the age of 18.

Oooooh. That’s a slippery slope my friends. Do you suppose there are any MySpace users under the age of 18? I think you need to realize that if you’re building a list on MySpace that you ARE going to be collecting information of underage people, and your use of such a youth-oriented website to conduct your campaign would make it pretty hard to claim to be ignorant of the matter.

People tend to freak out about the privacy of kids, and that’s just another reason I’d steer clear of MySpace for business purposes.

How about taking a more passive approach, like simply displaying some ads on your profile instead of trying to sell something or build a list? Once again, MySpace is clear on the issue:

displaying an advertisement on your profile, or accepting payment or anything of value from a third person in exchange for your performing any commercial activity on or through the MySpace Services on behalf of that person, such as placing commercial content on your profile, posting blogs or bulletins with a commercial purpose, selecting a profile with a commercial purpose as one of your “Top 8” friends, or sending private messages with a commercial purpose

As you can see, MySpace is so serious about it, that YOUR account could be deleted if one of your top 8 friends is using their account for commercial purposes.

Alright, so what about the MySpace free classified ads? Those are made for advertising, right?

Well yes and no. If you’ve got something to sell, then it could be a good place to place a free ad. But when it comes to advertising internet opportunities, MySpace has made it clear that it’s simply out of the question. The ad submission page states in bold red font:

If you post about internet money making opportunities (i.e. get paid to read email, win a Free iPod, etc.) your account WILL BE DELETED.

It’s unfortunate that people like me (who teach legitimate ways of making money online) would be lumped in with the scam/spams, but that’s the line that MySpace has drawn. It’s especially ironic since they display plenty of that cr@p (like banners disguised as Windows, and spamvertisements like “you’ve won a free laptop!”). But again, it’s all about THEIR space, not yours 😉

Lastly, many of the new breed of MySpace marketers will say, “who cares about all those rules?” After all, we can just keep creating new accounts, and doing it all over again.

Once again, MySpace doesn’t allow it. One of the biggest disqualifiers of the mass-account creators is this restriction from the TOS:

“By using the MySpace Services, you represent and warrant that (a) all registration information you submit is truthful and accurate”

And then there are those who will still say…”Ah, who cares. With this new software I can create accounts faster than they can delete them…”

Again the TOS clearly prohibits:

“any automated use of the system, such as using scripts to add friends or send comments or messages”

And that’s under the list of “illegal” activities, punishable by legal action. So just realize that if you’re playing that game, it could catch up to you eventually.

Okay, well that’s enough ranting for now. I just wanted to take a few moments to let you know how I feel about it, because I’ve seen an influx of MySpace-related products lately. It seems some people have big plans for making big money on MySpace.

In fact, hearing about all these people supposedly making money on MySpace is what caused me to research the issue more in-depth. My wife actually told me that she was interested in making some extra money on MySpace, and asked if I would show her how others are doing it.

Unfortunately, as I actually dug into HOW others are doing it, I discovered that it wasn’t something I would recommend to my wife. And if I wouldn’t recommend it to my wife, I wouldn’t recommend it to you either.

Now you know where I stand, and you understand why you probably won’t see any MySpace-related product reviews from me.

As always, you can leave your comments here in the blog.

Have a great day!

118 thoughts on “Why MySpace Isn’t MY Space!

  1. Jack Hadley

    Hi Eric,
    I would like to see more pictures of these women and I’am sure most men would. What’s wrong with those pictures ?

  2. Sarah

    Thanks for taking a stand. I do find those ads offensive, mostly because I read most of my emails at work (I bet my boss finds that offensive 🙂 ). But really, aren’t there enough places to find that sort of content? And…since MySpace certainly caters to the underage crowd…I find it offensive because they are being very irresponsible to their clients. Enough skin already.

    I kind of felt like I was missing the whole MySpace boat, but after reading your comments, I’m glad I did.

  3. Robin

    Hi Eric,

    Many thanks for your in-depth review. There are a lot of myspace members that display banners in their profile advertising their affiliate programs.

    I was thinking of doing the same, But I don’t think so, Not Now. Thank you. There are loads of better advertising resourses like – usfreeads – to name just one.

    While you’re on the topic of myspace, could you also do a review of Squidoo.

    I’ve been hearing so much (all good) so far about this fairly new site and it is fairly similar except that as far as I am aware, they Do allow you to advertise.

  4. Gene

    How refreshing. An internet marketer with integrity. Wouldn’t it be great if we could believe all the “great” sales letters out there.
    God Bless

  5. Brother Paul

    Once more, Eric, you hit the nail on the head.

    I put up a MySpace spot, only to find out they didn’t even want to list me as “married.” (I’ve been married to Miz Kathy for about 23 1/2 years, but I couldn’t find a way to get their notification corrected, so I just said, “‘Nuff of this.”)

    It seems that most marketers, with you, Eric–and a very few others–being the exception, have stooped to the “love of money,” which is the root of all kinds of evil. As for the scantily clad women, I was taught a simple message a long time ago that should be told these women at an early age: “If it’s not for sale, don’t advertise.” But, again, the lure of easy money has made that mantra go by the wayside.

    Internet marketing, as well as all forms of business building, has always been about providing more in use value than you get in cash value. But, the “suckers” out there keep falling for this or that fad, with MySpace being the latest “bandwagon.” Eventually, all of these fads will go the way of the “dot-bomb” that happened a few years back, and once again, those that have provided more in use value than they get in cash value will be the ones to succeed.

    Eric, thanks for providing some excellent “use” value by warning all of us.

    Make it a great day!

    Brother Paul

  6. AkiliKumasi

    Thank you for your comments. Those business people who standup for high moral standards need to be congratulated. Since I know that you are a Christian, as am I, then I can especially appreciate your sensitivity to what some would consider “soft-porn” on the MySpace website. But we know that pictures like that sell merchandise. That’s why automobile ads have an attractive woman standing next to the car, a marketing practice that started decades ago and has continued with great ferocity ever since.

    I don’t want to get to “preachy” here but let the truth be told. The bottom line, I believe, is that the pursuit of the dollar is the determining factor. “Some marketers” (in any industry) will do whatever it takes to sell their products. If it is a seductive woman, then so be it. So where does that leave us? Just check out the some of the content in movies, in television programming and in music that is evidence of the same type of decaying morality in society in general. This of course has a great impact on the morals of each new generation. Where will we be in 20, 30 40 years?

    More Christian marketers and other marketers with decent moral standards need to step-to-the-plate for we have not all gone mad.

    Thanks Eric. You’ve finally gotten me to post on your blog – about something I care deeply about. Keep up the good work!

    Akili Kumasi
    Author, Publisher
    GIL Publications.com

  7. Mark B

    Thanks Eric! I value your reviews and appreciate your willingness to express your honest opinion on the ‘latest fads’. It seems some gurus just send us every new thing that comes along so that they can make their affiliate bucks from us! Thanks again – Mark B, Texas

  8. KC Kudra

    Hi Eric,

    Once again you remind me of why I would never consider un subscribing from your Eric’s Tips Newsletter. You consistently deliver well thought out and penned response to the mass hysteria of the Internet Marketing community.

    While others are quick to jump on any trend that might make a buck you are much more diligent in your marketing and do the necessary homework before you just go arbitrarily rubber stamping the latest craze and shooting out endorsements to your list of loyal readers.

    I never been one to just want to jump on the bandwagon and put my credibility and reputation on the line for the quick buck I prefer to take the eastern philosophy of the long term business plan. Although this may make me loose out on some quick profits it pays dividends in the long run that far exceed the short term gains.

    I’m not going to try and moralize to anyone but the examples you showed above I would even have a hard time justifying on my dating information site as a little to over the top. Don’t kid yourself a site the size and magnitude of MySpace is always going to look out for number one first and make the commercialization of their web traffic to their advantage.

    Please keep up the great work you are a true asset to the marketing community at large and this marketer in particular.


    KC Kudra

  9. John McCabe

    Nice rant, Eric. I enjoy reading well-thought-out opinions from people who actually know how to write. Many blogs and even print publications have let their editing standards slip to embarrassing levels.

    I do find it ironic that the very first comment after your post is promoting the very thing you’re taking a stand against.

  10. Heidi

    Very good article. I am glad you pointed this out. I did see all those offers for ‘myspace riches’ but did the research and ignored them.

    Besides, I don’t keep my MySpace for networking or marketing on a large scale. If I did I would not keep it private.

    It has been great though for finding old friends I thought I lost and old classmates. It has worked out much better for me than Classmates.com ever did and it is free. =)

    So Myspace does have its uses definitely. Also my friends on my list, which are true friends, often ask me what I am working on and I tell them. This often includes a url to one of my websites so I am marketing… without spamming too. 🙂

    Keep up the good work and Happy New Year

  11. Ryan

    I find it interesting how you and your good friend Joel Comm differ on this subject… I had a myspace account about a year ago but deleted it after seeing all of the trash on there. I don’t know what it is about that site but it seems like every girl on there has a picture of themselves in their underwear.

  12. Mark

    Sorry about that. The commonly rude and mercenary exploitation of people on the internet was a given, I thought. So, what’s new? Nothing. It’s all the same old ‘it, so to speak kinda like a Southern Colorado hillbilly, huh?
    Thirty years ago I ran a plant store two blocks east of East High School on East Colfax Ave., one of the two main streets in Denver. We did it until we found out about insurance liability issues (AND premiums!) after our first hired part-time employee was robbed in the store one evening. Ten years ago, for a year only (until it became clear that there’s simply not enough money in this, the second poorest county in Colorado, to support a healthy electronics retail sales and repair shop), and I was glad to quit because that market was flush with sharks and barracudas dealing quite “sharply”. ( as they say in OH BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?) This past year on the internet has me about fit to be tied, before I figuratively start ripping people apart, electronic limb from limb, so to speak, kind of like a hyper hacker. This ‘it just doesn’t fly, and those perched on steep internet precipices flapping their arms might as well be on LSD.
    Ever heard of the kee-kee bird, Eric?

  13. Mark

    My dad discovered the kee-kee bird while an Army Air Corps cadet, and he once* explained to me that the kee-kee bird is a rare and exotic tropical avian that flies around in ever-diminishing concentric circles ** until it flies right up it own anus, clear into its rectum whereupon it exclaims in a loud albeit muffled shriek, “kee-kee-kee-RIST it’s DARK in here!”

    *it only took one time and I COULDN’T forget it, ever, for love or money, or even if my life depended on it.

    ** spiralling inward

  14. John L

    Hi Eric,

    A sincere ‘thank you’ for this informative post. I will be taking a much closer look at marketers that have sent emails promoting myspace marketing.

    Hopefully the day will soon arrive when we can glean a short list of marketing leaders with simple integrity – their products realistically deliver what the ad copy states.

    This is a good step in that direction. Keep this up Eric and you will be happy with the end result.


  15. Mark

    Did you ever think about how ingeniously we ignore practically everything we “know” or perceive so as to focus on a single event or phenomenon? In fact, it seems that forgetting is just as ingenious as remembering can be. In sum, Eric, old buddy, old pal, never forget amnesia! It really does come in handy.

  16. Brian

    Thanks Eric :

    As usual you are on top of this one too. Unless I am mistaken , Myspace is a
    website specifically relating to the interests of our youngest internet users. For
    some of us it only takes what amounts to a splash page to realize and respect
    that . Unfortunately , due to the lax nature or complete lack of repercussions
    which follow any total or partial abuse of websites and their rules ( TOS ) , we
    have to allow for testers who would roam beyond the obvious.

    Due to the existing ( TOS ) as you described , most of us have become more
    accustomed to reading the rules before submitting or including anything on our
    own profile or websites. We don’t submit material to a website that may be
    rejected or lead to deletion of our membership or account. This type of material
    submission , without scanning the rules before submission can amount to a waste of
    time , since any rejection will make reference to the applicable rules themselves for
    reason of the rejections. Most of us know , respect and may even have experienced
    the processes of rejection , therefore we refrain from submitting what we expect will
    be rejected or worse.

    As far as the rules go ( TOS ) and alike , it doesn’t take much time to realize as well
    that they are merely disclaimers for any legal activity resulting from the inclusion of
    any inappropriate or “illegal” use. These “Rules” protect the website owners from
    prosecution , whereby , what is written in the rules is strictly adhered to in any court
    of law. The rules can also permit the website owners to have what they deem “just
    cause” to carry out any legal actions against abusers. With these things in mind ,
    basically all of the rules are there only for protection of the operators of the website.

    You have provided good examples of abuse but you haven’t come close to what
    would be available on Myspace , or anywhere else for that matter , if the ( TOS )
    could not permit users to complain or make reference to the rules themselves ,
    usually demanding the removal of such material. The dating website are a prime
    example of backdoor / reverse thinking , in that they submit a tolerable website
    to domains , but their primary intent is hidden behind these dating websites. One
    example of this are the dating websites who explicitly provide pictures of women
    mostly , completely nude. That is not to mention the dating websites who include
    explicit text on the homepage , which doesn’t require any user to even log in.

    So , in effect , if you were to submit any inclusion of explicit dating websites at
    Myspace , or anywhere else , you could have text or suggestive material which
    may include the acceptance of group sex , couples , or both. As a matter of
    fact these materials will include names , location , personal informations , such
    as age and graphic displays of adult genitilia. These materials are far more
    than “Scant” or suggestive pictures.

    In my opinion , nothing could be more embarrassing than having my wife or
    girlfriend expose herself with the inclusion that she would willingly participate
    in any form of sex of any type. Moreover , if you simply type a multitude of
    course or foul language into your browser , you will end up at actual websites ,
    mostly of which are loaded with sexual content.

    Since this is the case and upon simply having viewed these sites out of mere
    curiousity I found out that once you enter your email address , you will also
    get a multitude of email relating to hundreds of other websites. I also had
    the misfortune of realizing that sex websites ( dating websites ) have caused
    me to get computer viruses and alike. Without fail , if you enter any information
    on these websites you will be risking being abused right from the start. It isn’t
    even impossible for your email address to end up being used by one of these
    websites even if you didn’t personally provide it yourself.

    That is the reason why there are restrictions to adult content on most websites.
    It’s the abuse of some that has caused enough trouble to warrant restrictions.
    The abuse is far worse than anyone can imagine and effects new users of
    the internet who have not set up a foolproof firewall and antivirus combination.
    ” Let it be known that once you submit your email address , you have given
    out the path by which anyone can connect with you , if your security programs
    are not in place , anything is possible” .

    Disclaimer , disclaimer , disclaimer , is just what it says , not protection for the
    surfer who is curious. Is it any wonder there are websites specifically designed
    to cater to those people who do not want to be abused?

    It’s a no-brainer . Myspace is not “Anyone’space”. Whodathunkit !

  17. Lisa

    Thanks Eric. As usual you have given me straight forward and honest advice. I am always anxious to read your posts. Thanks again.


  18. Fermin

    Hi Eric,

    Thanks for that great comment on MySpace. I have been thinking about trying to market on MySpace but have some of the same reservations as you.

    I just love the way some of these new “social networking” companies use their users to get them to build out their network so that they can cash in when Google or some other big company buys them out, but give the users nothing back for their help in building their networks.

    There is a new company that’s doing just the opposite. They are building a network that they hope grows to a MySpace type size, but is giving all the value back to their users. The name of this company is Agloco. Check them out

    Have you reviewed this company yet?


  19. Karen Cook

    Happy New Year, Eric!

    Morals, honesty…where did it all go? The first time I checked
    what MySpace was all about was when a guru’s (MS) newsletter
    suggested we should.

    Had a look around and the “cringe factor” was sending up my little
    red flags. I knew it wasn’t for me. Sure, there are times I try to
    convince myself I should be doing things in a certain way if I want
    to make any money. However, I have to live with myself. There is
    enough in the internet marketing field, as it is, to cause cringing.

    Thank you for this report. It certainly made me feel a whole lot
    better about my choice to stay away.


  20. JerSooz

    Great Blog about MySpace and having a Teenager in house using MySpace has been a chore to stop her from going to MySpace Profiles and merely getting information so as to call the Person whose profile she likes … (All within less then a 15 minute time frame before shutting off the computer) Addictive to Weird or voicing her voice as in Like Cooooooool site is worse then any TOS out there …

    Your comment of can not market to under 18 is truly MySpace who is in violation to their own concept where all Legal Claims and Disclaimers are to protect themselves not the consumer … as are Companies through out USA Employee’s Code of Conduct Compliance Rules …in other words it is You not them that will be held Responsible … Eric this truly is MySpace Right to be Capitalistic

    We agree that the Scandily Clad Ladies may be a bit too much ( Face the Facts these Ladies are Models and disclaimer at bottom of ads again protect the Advertiser)… but True.com is one of the Largest Dating Services and pays Big Dollars so is entitled to have the Ads … As the saying goes “If You don’t like the TV Program change the Channel” …

    Plus we disagree that Males jump all over the Ads thinking can Land a Lady as the ones viewed … Men face the facts as well as Ladies that these ads are Great Marketing Ploy (Plus maybe a Lot of Eye Candy will at least get them to open Webpage)… again as the saying goes … “If could land a Lady/Guy like that in Real Life you would not be using a Dating Service”.

    The Reason stating this is Yes, We Ourselves are Business Owners and looking for ways to be seen … Duh reason writing here also … Yes We like You and other Marketers are sometimes shocked content viewed as we Ourselves as You suggested started Our Own Webpages Ezine Blogs to control the content and return Good back to others this is a very time consuming and hour intensive or as we say… “Have to Work Hard to get what You want Ethic it’s not a Get Rich Quick Method”

    We think though there are People and Programs that work within MySpace boundries TOS and MySpace is trying to insure the Individuals voice is heard also why 90% is 18 and under it is a place for Teens to voice opinions and also by todays standard amongst Teens to Shock

    The Automated Systems also will find Eric some are perfectly Legal to use … MySpace monitors the volume traffic if were not aware and will as I was informed Contact You 1st so you can come back into the Realm of their TOS before shutting You down … A Musician we know site became so popular and people joining his MySpace was amazed Traffic Level … So contacted him as to check if in Violation Guy is such a Non Techno person he had no clue to how Traffic came about

    MySpace was actually created so Fellow Musicians Artists and the Creative Communities could as the Internet 1st was … created to Share Idea’s … so Automated Systems were and will be created so as to get Information about Others say Genre of Music Life styles Hobbies etc

    Programs such as Badder Adder fall within these Boundaries … as is their TOS it states also Software is not intended to be used to Violate MySpace Requirements and even their TOS are written will disqualify you from using it …Only those with Unethical Principles will Violate the Terms

    Also Eric We would like to state MySpace and ways People are promoting ways to Advertise on it if in the Legal Guidelines as are Forums … You Introduce Yourself and put Your Foot in the Door as Hey Check Me Out I am … If Others come to see Who You are so long as Not Promoting in Their Space … You are not in Violation …

    We Ourselves write to Our Local News Paper Blogs and do a Local Gee Love this Town as We Truly do … we have Links to Our Websites/Ezine/Blog as in Favorite Places when or if People come to View Our Pages as did the Editors and Readers to Only Commend Us on Our Great Local info …

    (They also love Our Overwhelm You with Information … So overwhelming People distracted forget to Buy because moving onto more information MySpace is like this as is the internet … *Our Sites are Sticky so can come back that is if bookmark us*… Eric it is True if want to Sell Promote only One thing or Package then People buy because not distracted also way we advertise or tell our list to check into)

    We then say maybe MySpace would also see You as such too … Yes a Hard Method to Learn … but if You have integrity as was Your Article … The same Flip the Coin where Your Own Article maybe as some would see is also a Marketing Ploy … a Gee a I Feel Good am Protecting You …If We can all come somewhere to the middle will get a better understanding …

    Online Marketing like True Life is Getting People to Trust You and Your Ethics … No More No Less and if have No Ethics You will soon enough be exposed

    So Yeah Eric Keep up the Great Work and BTW neither of the 2 Ladies Touched Our Gotta get Button … True.com better do another Test on it’s impulse rating and Our MySpace throws different things at Us might want to check Your Profile settings Keep Up the Great Work

    Have Fun Jer&Sooz

  21. Pierre Schexneider

    Hi Eric,

    Thanks for the informative post, for those of us who are trying to make an honest, ethical living online
    it is refreshing to see a successful respected marketer expose the quick buck schemes of some of
    the not so ethical marketer.

    I also have to comment on Frank Sousa’s post, I know Frank to be very honest and helpful, so if he
    avoids using MySpace, then that verifys you research.


  22. Rev. Hal Humphries

    Hi, Eric !

    To quote a Friend of mine (and yours, too, I think), “Well done, good and faithful servant;….”

    Next to me, you’re one of the most honest IM marketers I know 🙂
    – – there are a “few” of us out there who don’t always succumb to promoting the latest “rage” just to make a buck, be it software, “dimesales”, or whatever. Like you, Eric, I try to promote only those things I really believe are in the best interest of my readers.

    Success is not always easy to come by, but (like anything else of value)… if it’s worth having, it’s worth waiting (and working) for 🙂

    Thanks for your honesty and due diligence, Eric.

    Concerning some of the comments: although I am not into “name dropping” of other gurus, I do agree with the comment re: “Tellman” and “IM ADD” – – too much “jumping around” playing “follow the guru of the minute” is the surest direction “away” from success.

    I disagree with the use of the phrase “semi-ethical” – – “ethics” and “ethical” are funny words… kind of like the word “pregnant” – – just as a woman can’t be a “little” pregnant,… a person can’t be “semi” ethical – – it’s one of those things where you either “are” or you “aren’t”.

    If you go to my site – – the “subscribe” link is on the right 🙂 – – and scroll to the bottom, you’ll see a link that says, “My Friends”. If you click on it, it will take you to a page that lists “some” of the people who have helped me along the way to get on the net and start my business.

    As the page states, rather than have a page of testimonials from other people about “me”, this is “my” testimonial to “them” for the friend that they proved to be to me when I needed one. Those people mean far more to me “as friends” than the stuff people put on their sites, hoping for would-be customers to purchase from them.

    (Aside: I would rather have an “honest” testimonial from someone I genuinely “helped” than a marketer – who may be an affiliate – whose comments are intended to “further establish my ‘credibility'” so as to make a sale. Call me crazy for thinking that way if you like,… but I’ve been called worse.) 🙂

    THAT is what a site like MySpace should ideally be about anyway.

    Thanks, Eric !

    Your friend in Christ on the net,
    Hal Humphries

  23. Erkki Muhonen aka Erik Still

    there are many ways of looking at myspace, and you surely make a great point(s) with many of your arguments against why it’s extremely difficult to make money with myspace or actually even “illegal”.
    the most annoying attempts of making money i see is when i see some totally normal looking girl in the pictures claiming to be new to myspace, and i think, what the h*, let’s add her…
    and then reading from the bulletins “come watch my live show, im hot”
    and similar.
    it’s quite annoying.
    now, other things i have seen that may work is actually personally endorsed products and the music part of myspace.
    they can actually make some money from it.
    as far as i have noticed, people use myspace in many ways like they use their blogs and some use their myspace blogs as well, to get visitors to one of their hundred websites, which is kinda ok. this is a down and dirty way to internet marketing in my opinion, but if it works, it works.
    anyway, i love myspace and as long as it’s free i will continue using it, it’s one of the most effective places for networking i have ever stumbled upon.
    anyway, good points well taken and commented upon:D



    I’ve been disgusted with the whole My space thing from the beginning. So, your wisdom just reinforced it and I appreciate it. Thanks for the great info!!!! Love ya, bud.

  25. Floyd

    Keith Wellman:

    As much as I respect you, you are dead wrong on this issue. Please allow me to explain why.

    First off, MySpace is own by News Corp, which is a division of Fox Broadcasting. So in that regard Fox Broadcasting actually is the people who own myspace. Here’s when the deal went down:


    “Prison Break” is a television series broadcast by the very self same company:


    Guess what, if you read the BBC article above, this is exactly what they planned to do with the site in the first place!

    Oh and guess what else they do? They also sell myspace accounts to big corporations who want to expose their wares to myspace visitors. This is why those ‘very big companies’ are allowed to do this. Is it legal? Yep. Is it ethical? Yep? Can you do it? Not without an agreement with Fox you can’t, otherwise you’ll eventually get sued out of your socks.

    Either contact Fox and get such an agreement on paper (and pay the tolls to do so), or don’t think about using it for marketing.

    Eric is dead on the money on this one, read and heed or ignore at your peril.

    -Floyd Fisher

  26. Mike L.

    Good stuff! I refrained from using Myspace for commercial ventures mainly because of the inability to verify age issue. I wondered if many of the “gurus” sending me emails on how to profit on Myspace even bothered to read the TOS. Still, thanks again.

  27. Steve

    Hello Eric,

    Firstly there are a few points I wish to make – I do in a lot of ways agree with you but there are a few things I think are all so important to bare in mind. (not trying to be criticizing in any way shape or form)

    1. Myspace was created by Tom – he had an idea with good intention and it paid off (very well) so in some ways Myspace hasn’t been a corporate monster from the start – at the end of the day I would hardly be ashamed to be the founder of something that offers what it does and to the extent it has grown – the problem is where it is now – not where ti was when it started.

    2. Myspace was bought out by the owner of SKY for $580, 000 000 so in some retrospect’s it’s what you can expect – the whole crap within the TOS – I’m sure Microsoft and every other corporate company have done similar things at some point.

    3. I 100% agree with you about the adverts from a Christian moral view, however it is a business (not the way I go about it) and well look at LOreal – they sell sex pretty darn well – and all they care about in some respects is profit unlike the small businessman/ woman that may wish to give their customers tlc – so again what do you expect. I personally will never use an approach that I believe is immoral or anything other than straight up with marketing – you don’t need to promote sex to sell – e.g. Dove – campaign for beauty.

    What I am in some ways stating is that it’s not anything new in the world of business – I think Myspace offers more than any other social network does, it is a good service – yes kids crave over it but then they crave over the latest mobiles, Britney Spears… The media will always target venerable kids it’s an easy target audience to win over…

    Um and lastly I don’t think using Myspace as a vender to promote or advertise a business is a good idea – it’s not what Myspace was/is intended for and I don’t blame them from stopping people doing so anyway – their income is from selling advertising space – why would they give it away for free?

    I hope my opinion on the matter doesn’t offend you or anyone else – I thought I’d post it considering it’s a different point of view – replies with regards to my post would be widely welcomed.

    Warm Regards,

  28. Mike Russell

    Thanks for the article Eric and to 95% of the posters here – Time & money saved.

    MySpace is plastic, superficial, aimed at teenagers and quite obviously a carefully sculpted tool for big business to make money out of gullibility at any cost. Take heed of the old adage “Never try to kid a kidder” and you won’t get burned. People like that don’t take kindly to others trying to muscle in on their turf – especially when one has the cheek to try and use their tools to do it.

  29. Thalia

    Hi Eric,

    I totally agree. It’s really sad to see that people are so desensitized to the crock this world is cooking, we could gobble anything up, especially those who are most immpressionable (like our kids).

    Keep up the good work,

  30. Eric Post author

    In reply to Keith Wellman’s post pointing out that large companies like Fox are using MySpace, for example:


    One thing you will notice is that they are not displaying the banner ads at the top of the page. It’s possible that Fox would be so blatant as to break that rule, but I think it can be reasonably assumed that they have an arrangement with MySpace allowing them to use it for promotional purposes.

    Also that’s NOT a regular member “profile” page… notice the creative.myspace.com subdomain?

  31. Steve McKay

    No, I’m not offended by “soft” stuff like this, but you make some very good points and I have been thinking the same way for some time now!

    Keep up the great work!

  32. Aussie

    Hi Eric!
    Totally agree with your sentiments and enjoyed your newsletter on the My Space FAD.
    I had a look at it a few months ago and figured I didn’t wish to be involved with such rubbish, nor did I feel there would be much genuine benefit in it.
    I feel it is just another way of spamming people and sucking in kids and non thinkers.
    Keep up the good work.

  33. Al

    Hi Eric,

    Thanks for exposing the harsh realities of using so-called “free” web space for commercial endeavours. It just goes to show that in life, there is no free lunch.
    As a web hosting representative for Siteleader.com, we have been letting people know about the free hosting companies for years, going back to the AOL, Compuserve, and Tripod web sites. Myspace is just the latest in a long (and never ending) procession of free hosts that are looking to siphon the life-blood out of your well-earned traffic.

    The challenge for a hosting company rep (like myself) is that , when we say it, it sounds like we are just trying to sell more hosting plans.

    Eric, with this article, you have just earned yourself an honorary plaque of greatness in the main entrance to our hosting company offices!

    Best Regards,
    Al Herd
    Making Names for the Net Since 1996…..

  34. Walter Gavurnik

    Great article once again Eric!
    1) Congrats to your sister. May GOD bless her and her new family; extended and future!
    2) I created a myspace account in order to market to all those millions FREE! Well….I too
    read the TOS and realized it was not something to attempt. The ramifications are not something
    worth dealing with. Enforced or not!
    3) My thanks to Anthony above. He has proven to me that he does not beleive in ethical marketing.
    I am going to my email right now to unsubscribe from his list(s).
    4) I understand that myspace is free because of the ads from sponsors. I am not a naive person by
    any means, it just seems that everywhere you go now there are ads with these “scantliy clad women”.
    As the typical male, I see the “body beautiful”! As a married father with two daughters, enough is enough!
    Lastly my friend, I am requesting permission to add an exerpt from this article to my blog with a link back.

    Thank you again for an honest review.
    Walter Gavurnik

  35. Father Dave

    I love your work, Eric, though I suspect that there is room on MySpace still for those of us who wish to market a non-commercial product (eg. a social justice agenda).

  36. Floyd


    In response to your reply to Keith.

    Please reread my reply to the same subject and you’ll understand why Fox can get away with it.

  37. J. R. Reece

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Once again, Eric, you have said what I have been thinking. I didn’t dig into the TOS or anything like you have done, but I just didn’t like the idea of using MySpace. I do not have an account because of the implied ads and content I heard about on the news. I get enough of that cr@p without signing up for it.

    Once again, you have proven to me why you stay on my “A” list. I can’t thank you enough for the insight you have provided over and over again.

    JR (LadyJR)

  38. D. Williams

    Great info, Eric. For a guy who’s just getting going with this stuff, it’s nice to know what not to try.

  39. Glen Rolands


    Thanks so much for truly exposing the practices of myspace and the harsh realities that go along with “free” services. Tip to all; when considering webhosting, go with an experienced webhosting company (like the one mentioned in the recent post – Siteleader) Looks like this particular outfit has been around for about 11 years…..in any case forget the “free” internet services and go with experienced affordable Internet services and avoid all the garbage.

  40. Cecil Anderson

    Hey there Eric,

    I truly understand your point of view concerning Myspace Marketing. I can see why you feel that it is a bad idea to market on myspace, given all of the junk products being pushed by the Internet marketing Guru crowd. Yes, there is a lot of hype out there concerning this subject. It seems to be the latest gimmick or fad in the Internet Marketing product arena.

    The real problem is that most IM Guru’s don’t really understand what marketing on Myspace is all about. So all they do is push the latest and greatest buzzword product of the day to opportunity seekers. Now what you have is thousands of people who spam Myspace with comments, bulletins, email, and etc in hopes of making a quick buck. I believe that we can all agree that this is the wrong way to promote yourself or a business on Myspace.

    So is there a right way to promote a business, product, group, or individual on Myspace? Absolutely…. Within Myspace’s TOS ? I can’t answer that for sure. I do believe that Myspace should redo it’s TOS. But allow me to give you some real life examples of how people are using Myspace to build real businesses and not spam people.

    Here are some good examples of Myspace Marketing that I have been studying:

    1. Bands and Musicians. Ok, this is an obvious one and what myspace is known for. Just go and visit any musicians myspace page and you will see what I am talking about. You can add the artists song to your myspace page. Hmm.. Can you say Viral Marketing…? Bands can also send out bulletins and event invitations to their friends list. hmm… promotion…? Bands sell CDs and concert tickets, right?

    2. Average Joe or Jill business owner who has a myspace page… If you haven’t been on Myspace very long then you may not have noticed this little trend. People promote themselves and in turn promote what they do for a living. Example: Susie makes designer purses and writes about her life and purse designs in her blog. She does mention her website on her profile. She posts pics of her creations as well as personal pics and some videos. Over time Susie’s Purses become popular because of the topics she has written about in her myspace blog. Customers love her purses so much that they have sent Susie’s profile to their friends creating a viral effect.

    3. Actors and Comedians. AskaNinja.com is just one example of a successful Web 2.0/ myspace marketing campaign. I won’t go into detail but think viral video stuff. Funny videos spread to thousands of people virally. Consider the ability to direct all of that traffic to a video blog with a T-shirt shop, and some ads.

    4. Real Internet marketers are connecting on Myspace to form potential partnerships and joint ventures. I use my profile to blog about Internet Marketing topics. I want to build an audience and connect with other small business people. Hello! Networking is one of the options for having a profile.

    5. Non Profit Organizations, Churches and Bible study groups…. Do I have to say anymore?

    6. Models. And I am not talking about the bad stuff.. Models promote themselves to gain a public following and in turn get free publicity. Free publicity for a model leads to more photo shoots or public appearance opportunities.

    7. Authors. Again, free publicity. Publicity is Marketing.

    8. Content Producers, aka real bloggers (not junk blogging) promoting a main blog/ website.

    9. and too many more examples to list here.

    I believe the root problem here is that most people believe that marketing is only about sending out ads and sales letter copy. Marketing is more than just ads and salesletters. Most Interent Marketers don’t get that.

    Well. I have said enough. I hope that my post opens a new line of thought concerning Myspace marketing or social marketing in general.

    Thank You,

    Cecil Anderson

  41. Jon

    Hey Eric,
    Once again you’ve gone where few dare to tread and I applaud you sincerely. While social networking is certainly a viable means of promoting a business, we as marketers have a responsibility to do it with integrity and honesty, and the “gurus” whose emails I’ve been bombarded with lately are obviously doing neither. As you said, it’s doubtful any of them even read the TOS. With regard to the advertising on MySpace, sex does sell to be sure, but it does so only because people are not conscious of the fact that they are being manipulated, or don’t care. Most of the advertising today is based on a pleasure/pain principle, and we are being manipulated either through our desire for pleasure or our need to avoid pain. Either way it comes down to manipulation. The wonderful thing about capitalism however is that we hold the power within our every decision to make this world a better place for ourselves and our children. The choices we make every day, from what we purchase in the grocery store to whether we participate in sites like MySpace have tremendous power, and can ultimately change the world if we choose wisely. Boycotts that have been staged in the past have shown us that much. So it falls upon each of us to educate ourselves and stop being led around by those who want more dollars and care little for anything else.
    All the best,
    Jon Michael

  42. Rabeeha

    I recently found your tips website and its really refreshing to see someone so straight up. I’ve only been delving in IM for a couple months now, and that too only a couple hours a day if lucky, and the guru talk really gives me a headache. I never really liked mySpace anyway. As some of the other commenters said, it seems geared at gullible teenagers, and while I think it is probably fine for them to network (even though it does seem very chaotic, cluttered, and amateur), marketing to them wouldn’t seem right. I’m surprised that a lot of big name marketers are there. It all seems like a big spam machine.

  43. Eric Post author

    Great comment Cecil, and some good ideas of how to use MySpace as an indirect form of marketing by leveraging the social networking aspect for publicity, while attempting to play within the rules.

  44. Georjina

    Great post Eric! I’ve been online long enough to see just about every ‘hot, fantastic, great, next big thing’ there is – Myspace is no different. Besides, unless you’re selling to teeny-boppers, why would you want to base your business on the tire-kicker, freebie seekers who surf just to get something for nothing?

    Yours is one of the few newsletters and blogs I read every week. Keep being honest, online that’s a rarity.

  45. Nick


    Nothing personal, but your rant seems hypocritical.

    You preach about violating MySpace’s TOS while at the same time actively participate in the production and promotion of products that violate Google’s TOS.

    Google specifically states that creating sites solely for the purpose of displaying Adsense ads violates their TOS, but you and your partner Joel have no problem selling Adsense Templates and other tools to create Adsense Sites.

    How do you decide which rules are ok to break?

  46. Kevin Lam

    Eric, I must have been behind the curve because I still don’t have a MySpace account, lol. 80% of everyone in my squadron has a MySpace account. It has certainly spread like wildfire, but never in a monetary way. I never saw MySpace as a potential to make money so I never even made an account. Besides, everyone I’d like to talk to are already in my forum (including you, lol).

    Alright, keep up the good work and I’ll see you around.


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