MySpace Invaders

Building a Web site used to be a complicated affair. Getting to grips with constructing a site was best left to the professionals. Thankfully, things have got a lot simpler and, these days, almost anyone can carve out their own slice of cyberspace.

It must be said that MySpace is popular due to its simplicity. Once you've joined up you can easily create your profile, add music and make friends in a matter of minutes. Free templates can be downloaded to individualise your MySpace, and any number of different modifications and scripts can be found on the Internet to personalise it even more.

But it's not just dedicated to making friends. If you belong in a band, you should have a MySpace presence. Many acts, including the British group Arctic Monkeys (www.myspace.com/arcticmonkeys - actually set up by their fans without the bands' knowledge), have been discovered and made famous via MySpace. Others, such as Tila Tequila (www.myspace.com/tilatequila - some mature content is contained within this site), have become cyber celebrities - even crossing over into TV and film - all because of their MySpace self-promotion.

Over the following pages, we show you how to sign up to MySpace, and also give you some tips for when you have your site up and running.


SET UP YOUR OWN SITE WITH MYSPACE


1. MySpace is a great place to start sharing your thoughts and interests online, along with making new friends. Go to www.myspace.com and click the Sign Up! button, located within the Member Login box.


2. Fill out the form with your personal details and press the Sign Up button. The following couple of pages allow you to upload a photo and invite friends to view your site. If you prefer to do these later, you can press the Skip for now link.


3. Click the Edit Profile link to update information about yourself. After completion, click the Save Changes button at the bottom of each page. Use the top menu to edit various sections of your MySpace site.


4. Go to the Pick your MySpace Name/URL! section of your home page and click the Click Here link. Enter your desired name and press the Submit button. This makes it easier for others to find your MySpace.


5. To add friends, visit your desired MySpace sites and click the Add to Friends link in the Contacting box. You must be logged in to MySpace to do this. If they accept, you will see them in your Friend space on your home page.


6. To add a song to your MySpace, go to Edit Profile-Song and Video on Profile-Find a band in MySpace Music. Search for an artist, and next to the song you want (in their music player) click Add. Next, press the Add Song to Profile button. A music player will now be added to your home page.


HELPFUL DOWNLOADS

MYSPACE LOOKING GOOD To get you started customising your very own MySpace site, go to www.codemylayout.com and choose from one of the many different themes, templates, codes and more that are on offer. All are free.

LIGHTEN THE LOAD Free Download Manager isn't just a simple download utility, it accelerates downloads by splitting data into chunks and downloading them simultaneously. And it supports multiple session downloads, which allow them to be resumed without having to start again from the beginning (www.freedownloadmanager.org).

POLISH YOUR BROWSER Mozilla's Firefox 2.0 is perceived to be a much safer option for surfing the Web than Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Version 2.0 doesn't add much in the way of extra features to version 1.5, which was released a little over a year ago, but it has had a good dust-down and a bit of polish (www.firefox.com).

OFFLINE YOUTUBE If you've found a good video on YouTube (www.youtubex.com), why not download it? www.youtubex.com - making sure you don't download anything that's protected by copyright, of course.

VISTA DROPS HOTMAIL SUPPORT If you're looking to purchase a copy of Windows Vista, you may be disheartened to know that Windows Mail (A more powerful version of Outlook Express) will not connect to Hotmail (now called Windows Live Mail). It does seem strange that Microsoft has dropped support for accessing their free Web mail service within Windows, but all is not lost - Windows Live Mail Desktop is currently in testing. This application runs from your desktop and connects to Windows Live Mail, along with other e-mail services such as Gmail. ideas.live.com


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