NeXt now has a MySpace page, and we're hoping it will be a fun way to connect NeXt writers with each other and to reach high-school students who might not otherwise read the paper or look at the Buffalo News Web site. Check it out at www.myspace.com/buffalonewsnext. (Thanks are due to Buffalonian Molly Hlubin for setting up the page.)
NeXt is just the latest of many newspaper youth sections to have a presence on MySpace. The Virginia Pilot's 757 teen section won a World Reader Prize this spring for its innovative ways of attracting young readers including podcasts on the paper's Web site and its MySpace page.
The NeXt MySpace has a playlist featuring songs by bands correspondents have reviewed. NeXt MySpace also features the "Freshman 15" video of Ricza Lopez, the Buffalo State College freshman who was one of 15 young women chosen by Seventeen magazine and MySpace to share their first year of college. The site has a "friends" list, and we're hoping other high school students with MySpace pages will join our friends list which includes "Tom," the creator of MySpace, and the MySpace pages of other youth sections including 757, the Santa Fe New Mexican's NeXt Generation, the Tulsa World Satellite, the Voice from Springfield, Ill., Review Journal and Flipside of the Charleston, W.Va., Gazette.
MySpace membership is open to users 14 and up, and the site offers safety tips for parents of teens who may be interested in creating their own pages:
* Remember what you post publicly can be read by anyone viewing your profile.
* Don't post anything you wouldn't want the world to know (e.g., your phone number, address, IM screen name, or specific whereabouts).
* Don't post anything that would embarrass you later. Think twice before posting a photo or information you wouldn't want others to see, including colleges or potential employers.
* People aren't always who they say they are. Be careful about adding people you don't know in the physical world to your friends list. Avoid meeting people in person whom you do not already know in the physical world.
* Don't lie about your age.