The Source of Popularity

There are plenty of social-based websites around nowadays. A lot of them have a niche market, MySpace seems to be building a pretty large user base. With all these sites, you make a profile, write about yourself, add photos and other little snippets of information. What makes them them, is the ability to add friends and network.

Now, most people have a couple of good friends, a larger network of people "you know" and friends of friends who get an occasional "hi". That's just the way it is.

Well, it seems users of MySpace strive to add as many friends as possible to their profile. OK, you don't want to look like "Billy No-Mates", and have a reasonable network, but there is taking it too far.

One clever MySpace user looking to expand his buddy list recently figured out how to force others to become his friend, and ended up creating the first self-propagating cross-site scripting (XSS) worm. In less than 24 hours, "Samy" had amassed over 1 million friends on the popular online community.

By modifying the source of the website, he was able to increase his friends to one million. Now that is popularity!

On the subject of MySpace; does anyone get confused like I do. I initially thought that was a Microsoft venture. Then I realised that Microsoft has it's own social networking website, as part of the MSN community, called MSN Spaces. Profiles contain "blogs", photo albums and "lists". These profiles are also integrated in to MSN Messenger, with little icons are displayed when that contacts profile has been updated.

Each person on the MSN contact list has a "contact card" and at the bottom of this card is a link which says "Go to My Space"... This doesn't go to your "MySpace" account (which you may not even have), oh no, it goes to your Spaces profile, obviously! Confused? So am I!