PC World just rated the 25 worst web sites with several classic oldies, like BonziBuddy, Rentmychest.com, and The Dancing Baby, making the list along with several modern sites including Hotmail and Microsoft Windows Update.
I was a bit surprised to see MySpace at the top of the list, but the MySpace site has its share of problems. I previously blogged about how MySpace could make better use of web 2.0 technologies and better leverage the MySpace community to improve their online help functions, but PC World has some different concerns.
PC World had several concerns about MySpace. First, the use of MySpace by online predators fuels politicians who can leverage parental fears about the Internet to win votes and promote other actions that impact our use of the Internet (net neutrality, VoIP wiretapping, etc.) Second, PC World suggests that many MySpace pages “look like a teenager’s bedroom after a tornado–a swirl of clashing backgrounds, boxes stacked inside other boxes, massive photos, and sonic disturbance” in addition to hogging your CPU and being a haven for spyware. Third, MySpace could take more actions to protect minors.
I’m not sure that these are really fair concerns. First, if the politicians didn’t have MySpace to fuel parental concerns to get more votes, there are plenty of other sites they could use as the poster child for why they should regulate more of the Internet. Second, of course it looks like a teenager’s bedroom. These are teenagers, and MySpace is the online equivalent of their bedroom. It is their online haven complete with the typical mess and hazards akin to finding a slice of leftover pizza forgotten under the bed. The best that parents can do to alleviate their fears with online (and offline) concerns is to educate their children and give them the guidance and support to help them make the right decisions.
PC World wraps up their analysis with this:
“Is MySpace totally bad? Not at all. Are we old farts? Yeah, probably. But the Web’s most popular site needs a serious security reboot. And probably a makeover. Until then, MySpace won’t ever be OurSpace.” (Quote from PC World)
As an ancient MySpace user (at the age of 35), my page looks clean and tidy (like my house), and yes, I get annoyed by the busy pages that you can barely read due to clashing backgrounds combined with poor text color choices playing music I would never choose to listen to while taking forever to load. However, I know that teenagers will be teenagers, and this is their space, too.