Whose space is MySpace? A content analysis of MySpace profiles

  • Steve Jones University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Sarah Millermaier University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Mariana Goya-Martinez University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Jessica Schuler University of Illinois at Chicago
Keywords: MySpace, content analysis, user profiles, identity, relationships, social networks

Abstract

This study examines the content of MySpace pages to reveal the types of personal information users disclose on their pages and the types of communication users engage in via through their MySpace account. The researchers performed a traditional content analysis on MySpace user profiles to learn about user characteristics and about the types of content posted on profiles pages. Findings showed a clear pattern of use of the site for creating and developing personal identities and relationships online. Findings show a high degree of control by users over private information, with very few users posting personal information such as telephone numbers and addresses. The results of this research contribute to an understanding of the use of MySpace as a social networking site, a communication tool, and a means of self-disclosure and identity formation.

Author Biographies

Steve Jones, University of Illinois at Chicago
Professor of Communication, Associate Dean of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Sarah Millermaier, University of Illinois at Chicago
master's candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago
Mariana Goya-Martinez, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
doctoral candidate in the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Jessica Schuler, University of Illinois at Chicago
holds a master's degree in Communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago
Published
2008-08-23
How to Cite
Jones, S., Millermaier, S., Goya-Martinez, M., & Schuler, J. (2008). Whose space is MySpace? A content analysis of MySpace profiles. First Monday, 13(9). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v13i9.2202