Thursday, September 20, 2007

MySpace Real World - Disclaimer 2

Today is a two post day - don't miss the separate post on market timing, aka fraud.

Surfing the World Wide Couch - First the disclaimer - I am an old guy with a MySpace page. Visit anytime, there's a link just to your right and up slightly. The theory is that networking through MySpace will expand my budding comedy empire. The reality is sadly different, but more on that below. Since most of you will certainly be unwilling to move the cursor over one inch and click (even though this would allow you to play some really funny videos) I state for the record that my MySpace page includes my real name, age, picture and marital status. After all, what's the point of getting a comedy gig then losing it when you show up and the booker finds out you are not really a beautiful twenty-four year old woman from Montana via Brooklyn named Ironica? (Damn, with that approach and the right picture, I could really have built some blog traffic.)

Now to the NY Times story. Actually we need to detour for a minidisclaimer. The picture above is fabulous. It was the picture the Times actually used, but I admit it, like the Times itself, I am catching your eye with something that's staged and almost disconnected from the story. The story features the Couch Surfing Project, a MySpace type website that takes the next step - "friends" agree to host "friends" as house guests in the real world. One couch surfer in the story has guests more than three nights a week. The site reports over 400,000 positive experiences, over 276,000 friendships formed. I've considered the Couch Surfing Project with great care and I'm running in the opposite direction. The guests in the Couch Surfing Project story all seem really nice, but I attract a different crowd. 90% of the people who want to be my MySpace friend are spammers, generally peddling pornography - including three new offers this morning. Note - this refers to requests and does not, I repeat does not, include any of the friends that I actually added. With this kind of degenerate magnetism, inviting unknown friends as house guests would seem to require considerable post-guest disinfecting. Lead the guests on a tour of the local town like a good Couch Surfer host? Could be a lot of fun, assuming the guests post bail and handle defense costs. And then there's the whole couch thing. With the kids away at school we have three guest bedrooms with two baths (thanks to my wife, who has generously completed the month-long clean-up project required each Fall). Would we be offering an en suite bed and breakfast in exchange for a moldy couch and a breakfast of old potato chips garnered from beneath the cushions? Kudos, brave couch surfers, carry on without me. My couch surfing days ended not long after I finished school, that's why they invented the hotel.

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