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Oct 18, 2007

How To Get Started At My Space, on a Blog, Or Other Social Network Part 1

I understand that it can be difficult at best to navigate around the Internet if you have not yet mastered your keyboard and mouse. Here is a fun way to get acquainted with your computer, mouse, keyboard, the Internet, and make some friends all at the same time.

I am going to show you how to add a profile layout, (those cool looking graphics and pictures you see on web pages) at a social network site called MySpace. You can then take what you have learned and start to play around at blog sites or other social network sites. If you use your search engine you can find some good ones and most of the time they are free to join, giving you a free web page to say hello to the world. Let's get started, type MySpace.com in your browser window, and click sign up on the front page. Fill in the short sign up form, click sign up. Be sure to write down your email address and password because that is your login information. You will come to a page where you must enter some text into a capcha box, fill in the charachters and enter. You will be prompted to upload a picture of yourself now. Be sure to have one saved on your computer in your "my pictures" file before you start this process so everyone will know who you are. Click browse, a window will open, look for the picture that you chose and double click it. The window will disappear and your picture code will then be in the box on the page. Click upload or if you want to, you can click the "skip this step" and do it later. Now, you will see an invite your friends page. The first box is where you can add email addresses of your friends, separate each email by a comma like this: w@es.com, sw@se.com. MySpace already typed out a nice welcome and invite for you, click invite or again, you have an option to skip this step if you like.

You should now see your home page and your picture, if you uploaded one. There will be a red box above your name that says "verify your email address. Click here. You will go to another page where there will be a button that has "request verification email", click that. You should have a screen that says verification email sent.

Go to your email account. The email will be from MySpace Admin called MySpace email verification. Open it and click on the link to complete the process. A new browser window will open up and you will be back at MySpace, email address verified, click return to home.

Just under your picture, you will find a red box that says "pick your MySpace name URL. Whatever name you pick here, will be your nickname in the MySpace community. Choose wisely, because this is what people will associate you with forever on MySpace. My name is Wavecritter, if you want to, see my page and make me your friend. I really enjoy helping people with fun and learning!

Read this next little bit on the site carefully. And choose accordingly. This name is going to stick and you cannot change it once you choose. This page also says a bit about your display name. We can change that if you want in a bit, so don't worry for now. Two little windows even come up to make sure you are happy with your name before it takes it as permanent.

The next screen is for you to enter your real name. I add mine here, so if someone who is looking for me, but does not know my nickname, can find me. Your real name never shows up anywhere on your profile, home page or anyplace easily accessible. Or, you can choose to skip this step as well. You are now at a page where your information like your username, real name, URL, and display name are. Be sure to take note of your URL. This is what you tell your friends to type into their address bar to view your profile when you have completed it. There is also a "grab this code to add your MySpace URL to your AIM profile. Whether or not you have an AIM profile, let's try to copy and paste this into your notepad or save it as a draft in your email. With your mouse, use the right click button while your cursor is over the code in the box, click your right click and choose select all. Then, while the highlight is still on the code in the box, right click it and choose copy. Now, go to your email, click compose message, or new mail to open like you are going to write a letter, right click on the page, choose paste and there you go! Save this email in your drafts so later you can go back and post this on one of your blog sites or other sites for an easy clickable link to your MySpace profile. Or, you can use your notepad to save this link.

You are now a master of cutting and pasting! And, you got a glimpse of an HTML code, saved it for later, and are on your way to an award winning page.

Returning to the page with your username, URL, display, and real name. Look at the upper part of the page. There is first an ad, then a horizontal line starting with a clickable MySpace, People, Web, Music, etc. Just below that is a Google search bar, and just below that is another horizontal line of clickables starting with "home". Let's keep that one in mind for now. This is the one to click on, if you ever get lost when you are exploring the site. You will be brought back to familiar territory, your picture. Click on that now. Take a few minutes to study the page and get real comfortable here. This is your home, no one but you sees it. This is where all the controls to create your wonder page will be found. Play around, get click friendly, just remember, you can always go back home. And too, don't forget to sign out before you leave. The sign out button is in the upper right hand corner.

My part two will be coming soon, so you can make your page special. But before I end this, I wanted to tell you how to change your display name and account settings. Next to your picture, there is a list of things on the right, starting with "edit profile", just below that is "account settings" click here. It will display your email address, preferred site location and time zone. You can change these by clicking the drop down menu and choosing the correct time zone and location. Then click save changes.

http://www.myspace.com/wavecritter

Go back to your home page, and click edit profile. Later, get familiar with this page. Just look it over, read the headers, and study the layout, so that when you read my next article, you will be more certain of yourself as we move on. OK, at the top of the page, it will say Profile Edit, Interests and Personality. Then, a smaller type interests and personality and name. Click on name. You will see your user name, real name, and display name. This is where you can click to erase and rename yourself. I chose my Wavecritter here as well. I figured, it took so much thought to choose this username in the beginning, with all of the consideration, that would be a good one to use. After you choose, type it in the display name box and click save changes. To see what your visitors and friends will see when they come to your page, click the "view my profile" text in the upper right hand corner.

I think you did a great job! Now, you can click home, sign out, explore a bit, and even make a friend if you like. Stay tuned for my follow up to make your site sparkle! In the meantime, Google search me, Wavecritter! For more How To's, tidbits, and thoughts.

Stephanie Haile AKA Wavecritter

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