They are in the library, in the classroom and in your room.
They suck up your free time and distract you from homework and students just can’t get enough.
They are social networking Web sites such as MySpace and facebook.
These Web sites have become a worldwide phenomenon over the last couple of years as Internet-savvy adolescents have discovered the arena of personal profiles, blogs and “poking.”
Today it seems that you are out of the loop if you don’t have a facebook account or neglect to post a MySpace bulletin on a weekly basis.
These networking Web sites have become a part of daily life for college students, especially at Cal Poly.
Facebook has expanded to reach every school in the nation and has more than 12.4 million users, according to ComScore, an Internet tracking service, and there are 10,732 members that have listed Cal Poly as their school homepage on MySpace.
Facebook estimates that the average user spends 18 minutes per day on the site and that there are over 300 million page views in a 24-hour period.
When it comes to comparing the two Web sites, there are similarities and differences.
Both serve as areas for social networking, personalized profiles, photo databases and messaging. Facebook is more specified to college communities while MySpace can be used by anyone of any age.
“Facebook is not a place where a user meets a ‘random’ person, but instead where individuals foster acquaintance-ships or friendships that already exist,” said Chris Hughes, spokesman for facebook.
According to the facebook “pulse” statistics 1,974 people “poke” each other and 3,042 photos are uploaded at Cal Poly in one day.
“Facebook, unlike MySpace, serves as an online directory of college students’ information like phone numbers, screen names, birthdays and summer plans,” Hughes said. “It also provides unique capabilities such as photo tagging and unlimited photo uploads and group organization.”
Both Web sites allow for the creation of events and groups that are specified by the user, but MySpace also includes a classifieds section, music features and forums where users can meet others and discuss different topics.
MySpace recently added a comedy section, similar to the music and filmmaker sections, according to the May member newsletter.
“This new section will highlight young, up-and-coming comedians and give MySpace members tips about tours and shows,” said Tom, the MySpace persona created to answer user questions.
Facebook has recently added phone messaging capabilities, status updates and a profile space for work information.
With the growing number of capabilities and options for networking as well as the daily increase in membership, these Web sites will continue to expand at the rapid rates seen over the last few years.