It’s a social networking thing, after all

Got a myspace page? Then you want to be friends with Prof. Steve Steve.

OK, as several have noticed, there is actually a Pharyngula myspace. It’s there as a placeholder, little more, and I’m not planning to do anything with it…but if anyone wants to be my friend, I’m easy.

Will it worsen or improve my appearance of geekitude if I mention I also have a Facebook entry?


  1. says

    Uh, doesn’t everyone have a myspace page?

    I threw it up there to seize the name, nothing more. And obviously, from the fact that it said I was single and childless, to pick up happenin’ chicks (or, you might more reasonably assume, because I was so clueless/uninterested that I didn’t dig into the profile to update the info from the default.)

  2. j says

    I thought MySpace was reserved for bored teenagers who couldn’t spell to save their lives.

    Turns out there’s a MySpace community of middle-aged scientists?


  3. says

    This was a wise move on PZ’s part. Somebody set up a MySpace page for the physicist John Baez, who then said about it,

    Did you know I’m going to run for President in 2024? I’m not! But, you can still buy a campaign T-shirt. And while you’re at it, visit the website that some joker set up in my name. I asked them to take it down, but they didn’t… so, I might as well enjoy it. Some of my “friends” look pretty shady, but I won’t let that stand in my way. After having been Geek of the Week, nothing short of the leading the world’s only hyperpower will sate my ever-growing ambition.

  4. stephen says

    That’s funny, there was (and still is, even after I left) a Facebook club at the University of Colorado to elect me president in 2024 (the first year i’ll be eligable), and Baez would be tough primary competition.
    Coincidentally, I just added PZ as a facebook friend.

  5. redstripe says

    Sweet. I’m not affiliated with a school (or a participating business) so I can’t have a Facebook page, but my fiancée has one, so I made her invite you as a friend. (She’ll be the one in the University of North Texas atheist group, biology honors society, etc.) We’re both daily Pharyngula readers, so that obligates you to reciprocate, right?


  6. Beth says

    I totally just friended you on face book. I think its awesome when Professors are on facebook, it makes them seem friendlier.

  7. says

    About scientific social networks,

    there is a recent paper in “PLOS Biology” about social networks for scientists: “Leveraging the Knowledge of Our Peers: Online Communities Hold the Promise to Enhance Scientific Research”

    Connotea ( can also be used as a networking tool for the scientific community: anyone can create a group (e.g. , write a resume (e.g. The power of such service is that you can easily find people sharing the same scientific interests, papers you didn’t know. See also

    Recently Nature has launched a beta version of a new social networking site named “Nature Network Boston” ( But at this time it is limited to one town (?!) and it seems that there is not much activty.

    I’m also a regular user of Social networks could be a usefull tool to keep contact with the former members of a lab, to find a postdoc, to find scientific skills (“Hey, I found there is a new postdoc working on microarray in your previous laboratory, could you introduce me ?”), etc…

  8. Jokermage says

    Dr. Myers, my new mission in life is to convince you that mySpace is a piece of crap. I will begin by pointing out that your daughter is 100% correct in her assessment of mySpace.

    mySpace’s only positive aspect is it’s large user base. The downside of this is that there are many gullible “auto-forwarders” on there who have nothing better than to send you every little junk message they get.

    Everything else on it is either “spam-style” push advertising, obtuse user interfaces, technical difficulties or malware. Even the Flying Spaghetti Monster has suffered because of mySpace malware.

    mySpace is such a joke that videocaster Ze Frank had a contest to see who among his fanbase could make the ugliest mySpace page.

    My own experiences with mySpace have been frustrating and have led me down a path of misanthropy.

    Oh, and it’s owned by Rupert Murdock.

  9. says

    The only thing horribly wrong with myspace is that it’s time consuming if you get into the whole …editing your profile look thing… and the messages you get from ladies who aren’t so private.

    *adds pz, and sits back to watch his friend count shoot up to the triple digits in 2 days.*

  10. quork says

    Even the Flying Spaghetti Monster has suffered because of mySpace malware.

    Heh. That’s pretty much analogous to saying “You make the baby Jesus cry.”

  11. says

    You don’t have to convince me, I know already. Like I said, I’m just squatting on the name.

  12. jas says

    Of course there are idiots on MySpace. There are idiots in life, and they have learned to operate computers. By using MySpace as a sane adult, I have reconnected with several high school and college friends with whom I had lost touch, found a couple of local bands I like, and get notified when my favorite comedians are doing a tour. I guess those kinds of experiences aren’t salacious enough to make the local news.

  13. says

    As I keep saying re: Facebook to a buddy of mine, who’s pressuring me to sign up:

    “That is such an undergraduate thing to do.”

    It’s a moot point because I don’t actually use a email address, but it’s fun to ridicule him anyway.

  14. FishyFred says

    Oh, dude, I am totally friending you on Facebook.

    Facebook > MySpace. MySpace is a hole.

  15. kansas_lib says

    I don’t think I’ve ever before waited so breathlessly for a friend request to be accepted. :)

  16. Carlie says

    Dude, can I be your Facebook friend?
    I dipped into the Facebook only because I have a colleague who goaded me into it. Haven’t taken the myspace plunge yet. I can’t decide if I want my students to think I’m cool and accessible that way, or if they will think I’m a lame poser.

  17. Carlie says

    It’s really intriguing how this kind of networking can affect the transfer of information. My cousin is pregnant. She didn’t want to tell anybody in the family. Everyone found out because another cousin visited her myspace and saw a reference to it on her “wall”, then the cousin’s dad called everyone and told them to check out the entry. Weird. I have since looked for all my cousins there, and found out more about most of them than I ever wanted to know.

  18. says

    actually, i am enjoying myspace, and my teenage years are long gone. how much time you spend there is up to you and, if nothing else, it’s given me some hope for the future — it’s gratifying to know that not every teenager online these days is a homeschooled creationist (i have run into hoards of them elsewhere). i actually resisted myspace for a long time because i found myself arguing with bible wielding 14 year olds on other sites (that was a low point) and i assumed that myspace would be more of the same… but it’s actually been nice — you simply put up a profile and people with similar views will find you. and, since i’m trying to sell t-shirts, it’s nice visibility. so yeah, i think there is a subculture of non-teenage science types on myspace… and i’m happy to know and be a part of that.

  19. says

    My students got me into Facebook and MySpace a couple of years ago. Both profiles are minimalistic and I do not spend much time there, but it does help keep up with some people. It’s nice to know when an old student defends a Masters or gets married and such.

    Recently I was discovered (at both places) by a ton of ex-Yugoslavs and they are all my friends now.

    It is also very interesting, for a blogger, to observe the social interactions going on there and the way these sites are changing the way young people think and live. I occasionaly post about it, e.g., here.

  20. Kristjan Wager says

    This kind of social networks are interesting – I used to belong to the old network “Six Degrees”, but it never really worked for me.

    I use LinkedIn to keep track of friends and people I have worked with, and that seems to be a fairly common phenomenom among IT-people, at least in Denmark.