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August 23, 2006 10:09 AM   Subscribe

It’s not too hard to create an eye-explodingly ugly site on MySpace. It’s rather more difficult to elicit beauty (or at least good taste) from the MySpace beast. But coder Mike Davidson has succeeded. You can find out he did it--and how to do it yourself--here.
posted by Iridic (67 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
(Soybuddha’s page, by the way, is the distinguished winner of ZeFrank’s “I Knows Me Some Ugly Myspace Showdown.”)
posted by Iridic at 10:10 AM on August 23, 2006


dammit. until now the only clue was the "has x billion friends"
posted by bonaldi at 10:14 AM on August 23, 2006


Well I'm impressed. Brown background, everything in its own little box .. so unlike the usual myspace flavour. He is truly breaking with tradition here and designing outside of the box.

....


....
posted by shownomercy at 10:18 AM on August 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


Nice. Crashed my browser.
posted by itchylick at 10:18 AM on August 23, 2006


is this just an ad for the guys site? this is pretty lame.
posted by andywolf at 10:19 AM on August 23, 2006


That's the best that even a talented professional can do on MySpace? The layout is still abominable. I guess the whole thing really is fundamentally broken.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:20 AM on August 23, 2006


Seriously though, am I impressed with his papyrus style background image?
posted by shownomercy at 10:21 AM on August 23, 2006


Everytime I click on a Myspace page it crashes my browser, most are unreadable and ugly. Don't they even have templates for folks to use?
posted by Budge at 10:22 AM on August 23, 2006


What is a 31 year-old "CEO and co-creator ..." doing on MySpace anyway? Harumph.
posted by scblackman at 10:24 AM on August 23, 2006


What the hell is wrong with the first link? My browser crashed too.
posted by brain_drain at 10:24 AM on August 23, 2006


Yeah, how is that better than the standard layout? Is this really the best anyone can do on MySpace?
posted by sveskemus at 10:24 AM on August 23, 2006


I concede defeat.
posted by brownpau at 10:24 AM on August 23, 2006


i think it's neat...and the little tutorial page, too...not all of us are design geniuses around here, and it's cool when someone can help class up the place a bit...
posted by troybob at 10:27 AM on August 23, 2006


I love how I had to refuse to run three ActiveX controls before I could make the page go away. Now if the afterimages would just stop torturing my retinas....
posted by pax digita at 10:28 AM on August 23, 2006


oh hey, that's the layout I use, more or less.

PLEASE BE FRIENDS WITH ME
posted by jessamyn at 10:30 AM on August 23, 2006


Is this really the best anyone can do on MySpace?

No. This is actually pretty ordinary.
posted by zennie at 10:34 AM on August 23, 2006


Huh. He's kind of hot.
posted by padraigin at 10:36 AM on August 23, 2006


I hate myspace with the strength of a thousand burning suns. Unusable, fugly, etcetera.
posted by jokeefe at 10:38 AM on August 23, 2006


MySpace's HTML isn't given to much styling, and you can only alter the CSS, not the template.

As a general rule, a lot of what 'talented professional' web designers do tends to seem 'plain'. I'm not sure how to explain it, but there you go (eg. happy cog, mezzoblue, etc. etc.)
posted by Firas at 10:39 AM on August 23, 2006


jessamyn - you and Mike D were both at the Seattle Campus of the University of Washington between 1993 and 1996. Do all your fellow alumni use this layout?

p.s. I like your mirror photo - the one condition of any profile.


posted by muthecow at 10:43 AM on August 23, 2006


Thanks, I sent both Mike Davidson links to my son.




Not that it's likely to help.
posted by taosbat at 10:45 AM on August 23, 2006


not so fast, brownpau, all you need is MIDI Jetsons and you're a contender
posted by owhydididoit at 10:45 AM on August 23, 2006


Here's a better layout. And yet another.
posted by Ekim Neems at 10:46 AM on August 23, 2006


You have to work that hard to get something that uninspired? Oh dear.
posted by Artw at 10:47 AM on August 23, 2006


Ow. That first link gave me the most indescribable migraine.
posted by blucevalo at 10:58 AM on August 23, 2006


Hm. Looks damn near like just a modified iWeb template from here. In fact, it looks a lot like this 13 year old kid's iWeb site. (via Metafilter Projects)
posted by smallerdemon at 11:06 AM on August 23, 2006


What? There's no way that guy is 13. I smell a fake
posted by bonaldi at 11:10 AM on August 23, 2006


I liked soybomb's the best, myself. That was 10X as good as any three 'normal' MySpace pages put together.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:13 AM on August 23, 2006


Ekim Neems, that overlay idea sounds *really* interesting.
posted by Firas at 11:16 AM on August 23, 2006


It's also against the ToS, isn't it? Blocking the ads a big no-no round MySpace way.
posted by bonaldi at 11:17 AM on August 23, 2006


The social phenomenon that is MySpace is one I don’t fully understand, and yet, one I must fully respect.

Oh Mike, you lost me at "hello". "What the hell is this damned thing?!? I dunno! Let me fix it!"
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:39 AM on August 23, 2006


The overlay hack at 5thirtyone doesn't go over the ads, unless you change it to do so. Very clever work around.
posted by rsanheim at 11:40 AM on August 23, 2006


Bonaldi, please, let's not make it about a talented thirteen year old.
posted by Roger Dodger at 11:42 AM on August 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


So.. is the Ugly actually a part of the appeal of MySpace or something?
posted by Artw at 11:43 AM on August 23, 2006


ZeFranks "I Know Me Some Ugly" song is surprisingly catchy.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:46 AM on August 23, 2006


I thought bonaldi was making a joke, or maybe I just hoped it was a joke.
posted by cgc373 at 11:47 AM on August 23, 2006


So.. is the Ugly actually a part of the appeal of MySpace or something?

Have you seen [I mean, really looked at] average hipster style lately?
posted by sciurus at 11:48 AM on August 23, 2006


artw: actually, yes. the fact that people can change their profiles to have whatever god awful color scheme or mp3s and flash is part of the appeal. Imagine a myspace page like a teenager's bedroom - you probably don't like the decorating, posters, or music choices, and its probably messy and garish, but its _their's_. Tell a kid she can't decorate her room the way she wants or make it her's, and she probably won't wanna be there very much. This is part of the reason that sites like friendster fell away as myspace grew.

Combine that with the fact that most teenagers don't know the first thing about html/css, and that myspace forces you to use hacks for layout, results in the horrible mess that most myspace pages are.
posted by rsanheim at 11:53 AM on August 23, 2006


That's how I made mine, too!
posted by armoured-ant at 11:59 AM on August 23, 2006


Imagine a myspace page like a teenager's bedroom - you probably don't like the decorating, posters, or music choices, and its probably messy and garish, but its _their's_.

Uh yeah but we have a bunch of 20, 30, 40 year olds on MySpace. It's kind of sad. But so it goes.
posted by xmutex at 12:04 PM on August 23, 2006


Technically proficent is not the same as beautiful.
posted by delmoi at 12:09 PM on August 23, 2006


xmutex: yea but i would say the majority of really bad profiles is the under 25 set. give the adults a means to create better profiles (beyond grabbing JoesTemplate), and they would probably use something nicer.
posted by rsanheim at 12:09 PM on August 23, 2006


True mastery surpasses superficial beauty. A nove could never do this.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:13 PM on August 23, 2006


A novice, I means.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:14 PM on August 23, 2006


Came close to crashing Firefox, but fortunately Greasemonkey came to the rescue and got rid of most of the crap, so all those bad pages all look the same: plain and simple.
I liked the ZeFrank bit... I noticed that he's cut the vid so that he doesn't blink at all through the whole thing, which is a bit cleverer than a bunch of floating ducks.
posted by Zack_Replica at 12:17 PM on August 23, 2006


The ugly site is a fantastic find. My monitor shattered- like when Herman Munster looks into a mirror.
posted by wfc123 at 12:19 PM on August 23, 2006


MySpace is awful and I totally do not understand it. Has that been said before?
My friend who has a band swears by it though.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 12:22 PM on August 23, 2006


This one was the best I'd ever seen. Myspace eventually took it down because it hid the ads and violated their terms of service.
posted by banished at 1:09 PM on August 23, 2006


I tried a DIV overlay called WhiteSpace that looked awesome on my browser but like shit on everyone elses because of alignment issues. Trying to fix the code itself just made it worse.

As per swearing by MySpace... it's a pretty damn useful tool for staying in contact with friends. Especially when you're 7000 miles away. For all it's ugliness, I still have 150 [real] friends who use it and check it regularly. 4/5 of my relevant email from them comes from MySpace.

Throwing up a couple bulletins/event invitations to announce a party or mass event is so much easier than sitting on the phone for an hour calling everyone.
posted by trinarian at 1:21 PM on August 23, 2006


I'm pretty happy with mine, but then again, I stole much of Mike's code to do it.
posted by stenseng at 1:29 PM on August 23, 2006


This dude's Myspace is Way better.
posted by hatchetjack at 1:31 PM on August 23, 2006


I too hate MySpace with the strength of a thousand burning suns. And who is the idiot who is using my username for http://www.myspace.com/nlindstrom? He looks so ... vapid.

Just think ... with the truly vast number of people who are happily posting all manner of personal details and pictures on the web, pretty soon researching a job candidate will become so much easier: I'll just match their resume with their MySpace profile, and decide if I want to hire them or not based on the length of their dick in a mirror reflection photo. The future is now!
posted by nlindstrom at 1:42 PM on August 23, 2006


I am almost certain bonaldi is 100% correct. I say his mother did it.
posted by Carbolic at 1:56 PM on August 23, 2006


This one was the best I'd ever seen. Myspace eventually took it down because it hid the ads and violated their terms of service.

Pff. The whole thing is just an image.
posted by delmoi at 2:04 PM on August 23, 2006


i don't get the anti-myspace thing myself...i'm 39 and use it, and it's a great platform for being connected with distant family and friends...and i have friends in bands, so it's neat to see them get some increased exposure...there's not always time to email everybody, and you're not always in the mood for it, so it's cool to be able to go check out somebody's page and catch up, or update your own, at your convenience...and the structure of it makes for some consistency, and doesn't require coding--and why should it? you don't have to become a telephone operator/technician to give someone a call...why does someone not in the industry need to learn html or...ugh...design (considering that no matter how much time they put into that, there's gonna be those people with special eyes who will find something to insult about it)?

...probably just the next phase in the 'you suck because you can't design a webpage' thing, so yesteryear's cat ladies and midi lovers (those who care) can breathe a sigh of relief...but really, it's the computer guy on snl...it's joan and melissa rivers bitching about somebody's outfit...mostly, it's just really tired...
posted by troybob at 2:08 PM on August 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


I hated everything about MySpace at first but I no longer do. I see the appeal even if I still hate the horrific design of the site. I hope eventually something will be done to make some nice templates available and the code will be cleaned up so that it is not the nastiest looking mess on the friggin' web.

I reserved my username and eventually will make a decent looking page there. I started with the the template linked here but after seeing how different it could be made with some experimenting, I quit messing with it so I could go back later when I had more free time and see what could be done.

The sheer number of people using it means that it is one of the best ways to make yourself available for old friends looking to reconnect with you, espeically those who are novice web users. That alone makes it difficult for me to hate it.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 2:28 PM on August 23, 2006


My only complaint about myspace is that it's coded SO poorly, and doesn't really make much of an attempt to be more than marginally standards compliant.

To do anything worthwhile with it takes such a kludge, it's not even funny.
posted by stenseng at 2:43 PM on August 23, 2006


I don't get spending all that time hacking a MySpace page... seems like a lot of work for a small payoff. And if you're going to create a totally nonstandard layout, with all the usual MySpace content put in different places, you're just going to confuse people. Here's an idea: spend that time working on your own website.

Like zillions of others, I used Thomas' MySpace Editor and got decent results.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 2:53 PM on August 23, 2006


There doesn't even seem to be a way to pull an RSS feed in and display it in your profile (don't even mention Flickr badges etc.) The best thing I found was a hack that generates an image, but that's less than ideal. Showing feeds from other sites would be the only way I'd keep a MySpace page up to date.
posted by muckster at 3:31 PM on August 23, 2006


and it's cool when someone can help class up the place a bit...^

"Lipstick on a pig" isn't a powerful enough cliché....
posted by MikeKD at 3:41 PM on August 23, 2006


My feelings on MySpace = this.
posted by scblackman at 4:51 AM on August 24, 2006


My space is the anti-christ personified online.
posted by cdavidc at 5:20 AM on August 24, 2006


As long as we're bitching about MySpace... Can someone explain the "extended network" to me? I don't get it. If I'm not logged in, MySpace tells me that everyone is in my extended network — but when I am logged in, MySpace still says that everyone is in my extended network. It even says that if I view my own profile while logged in. How can I be in my own "extended" network?

What the hell is the "extended network" — and if it's meaningless, why doesn't MySpace use that box for another ad?
posted by cribcage at 8:11 AM on August 24, 2006


If "Tom" is still your friend, EVERYBODY is in your extended network since EVERYBODY is Tom's friend.
posted by hatchetjack at 9:35 AM on August 24, 2006


He isn't.

So that doesn't explain it.
posted by cribcage at 11:03 AM on August 24, 2006


But I bet he's the friend of one of your friends -- hence "extended" network, rather than immediate. It's poorly thought-through like everything else on MySpace
posted by bonaldi at 11:52 AM on August 24, 2006


No, that's not it, either. I just created a dummy profile with a randomized name. I logged in, deleted Tom so that I had zero Friends, and everyone is still in my "extended network" (including my own dummy profile).

Besides, it displays the same message when you're logged out — so it doesn't have anything to do with who's in your Friends.
posted by cribcage at 1:01 PM on August 24, 2006


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