In Apr. 10-16 issue
By Derek Aaron
Times Journal Reporter
Two of the most popular social networking Web sites are actively being used by thousands of people in Russell County, according to online research of Facebook and MySpace profiles in the area.
A search of MySpace profiles between the ages of 18-68 within 10 miles of Russell Springs' zip code, 42642, bring back 2,334 active profiles.
A "Russell County" search on Facebook yields 364 profiles of people who live, or at some point have lived, in Russell County and acknowledge that information.
MySpace, the world's largest online social networking site with 110 million members, enables users who have signed up for a profile to have a network of friends, the ability to see other personal profiles, instant message using MySpaceIM, write their own blog, share photos and information as well as music and Web-based video content.
Facebook, the world's second largest social networking site, has rapidly been on the rise since its development in 2004 by former Harvard student Mark Zuckerburg and is challenging giant Facebook for the top overall spot. The website has more than 69 million active users worldwide, according to the site's statistics.
The site allows users to join several networks, such as a school, place of employment, or location to communicate with other people and has just this week implemented their own instant messaging feature, Facebook Chat.
Katrina Holt, 19, has both a Facebook and MySpace profile but prefers the latter.
"To me, Facebook isn't as cool as MySpace because it has lots of cool little things," she said. "You can change your background (on the screen) and have pictures up and friends can comment on them."
She said the main reason she began using MySpace was because all of her friends started to sign up for profiles. It proved to be the only way she could keep up with them and talk to them as they went away to college or elsewhere.
Holt said she began using Facebook later on because some of her friends began having them and using them more than MySpace.
"I love MySpace and I like Facebook because it's a place where I can just talk to my friends and just see what's going on.
She said that she sees many more people with MySpace, which has been open to all users for a much longer time than Facebook
Like Holt, Brittany Burton uses both Facebook and MySpace as well.
"I use them because I cannot be around my friends all the time," she said. "Some of them live all over the globe and the Web site is an easy way to talk to and reach them."
She said the sites being offered as a free service was why so many people in Russell County and around the world join in on both networks.
Russell County High School sophomore Cassandra Conner uses Facebook to keep in contact with friends she made last summer on a service trip.
"I made so many new friends," she said. "Facebook has been a great way to keep in touch with them. We started a Y-Corps (the service group) group on Facebook where all the members joined and we can talk and share pictures with each other even though we are miles away."
Conner said the ability to communicate long distance with ease while also sharing current photos of one another was a great tool to have at her age.
Brett Blankenship, a freshman at the University of the Cumberlands, is originally from Jamestown.
"The reason why I have Facebook and MySpace is to stay in touch with my friends now that we are all in college," he said. "What I like about both is the interaction with people you know without using a phone or (instant) messaging."
Blankenship also noted how either of the sites gives you a chance to meet new people who may have the same interests with you.
Russell County High School senior Felicia Coffey said she also uses the sites to keep in touch with people that she doesn't get to see very much, especially people in college that no longer reside in Russell County.
She sees benefits in both of the sites.
"On Facebook, I like the updates it gives you on your friends (when they update their status) and how easy it is to talk to someone," Coffey said.
She said she enjoys the unique ability to personalize your page on MySpace.
People who have either MySpace or Facebook profiles can send friends they have added messages and update their personal profile to show relationship status, religion and other personal information.
Facebook is also the most popular Web site for uploading photos, with 14 million photos uploaded daily, according to statistics.
So whatever social networking site you choose, you're more than likely to find several people you already know and maybe some that you don't.
To sign up for the sites, visit www.myspace.com
and click "sign up" and start exploring what these two sites have to offer.
MySpace.com is owned by Internet seach giant Google. Facebook is a privately held company based in Palo Alto, California.