Museums on Myspace:
What we've learned so far
- Slow, clunky software -- get volunteers to help;
- Always set comments to Approve before posting -- avoids spam, sex sites, etc.;
- Outbound links from MySpace are now sent through software that de-values them as links, so don't count on much link help from your page -- however, links are still very good for hits, etc.;
- However, sites (and their names) on your MySpace index page do get indexed in google, etc. -- not the rest of your 'friend' pages, just the first one -- thus the words on your first page top 40 'friends' will help you get indexed -- pick them accordingly; frankly, the number of friends doesn't make much difference directly in search engines.
- If you're a museum, use the word in the title tag and use it a few times in your interest section, etc.; if you're an art museum, use both words, etc.;
- MySpace blog titles are good for key words for indexing in search engines. Use long blog titles, with lots of key words. Use the blog page to add other off-site links, too. We're not yet sure how the blog gets indexed, but use them as another way to get key words you want on your index page -- the blogs do get indexed as additional sites in google
- Only MySpace members can go to photographs, so use some photos on your MySpace index page -- slide show, etc. -- if you want none-MySpace members to see them;
- MySpace is getting blocked by lots of schools and libraries;
- Always add a comment to your new 'friends' -- put link and graphic in comment if allowed (some sites don't allow code or photos in 'friends' comments, but most do -- You're on the first page that way, no matter if you're in the 'top 40' friends or not on a site;
- The google search bar on MySpace (a different google index, by the way -- much smaller) has recently started sending a lot of traffic to our WWW-Virtual Library sites;
- Off-site links are the power to your MySpace -- make sure, if possible, that your museum, etc., adds a link from your regular website to your MySpace site.
What if your MySpace site crashes?
Save the source code of your MySpace index page as a text file. At least then you'll have a copy.
But if your page goes away, how do you rebuild the hundreds of friends you have ? One suggestion: in the "change top friends" mode -- the source code for each of your "friends" pages shows the true address of each friend (it is a long number).
Save those source code pages -- at least then it is a cut and paste operation if the MySpace friends pages on your site goes away to find your friends (and MySpace pages do sometimes, for no reason, just vapor).
More examples of museum MySpace pages
Google search -- museums myspace -- and -- museum myspace -- for examples of sites, names, type of blogs, use of photographs.
Also see: Museum MySpace Tips; MPMA Social Network Tips; and History Web Template
For ethical issues concerning use of MySpace, see: When Do I Friend? Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clare University
From the Mountain-Plains Museums Technology Committee
Site hosted at WWW Virtual Library @ www.vlib.us. Updated: 22 September 2009.
Museums on Myspace -- what we've learned so far