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Lisa Lawton



Okay, so having explored the world of MySpace in depth, VampireFreaks.com a little bit, and even getting our toes slightly wet thinking about how weird SecondLife is, surely there must be something else we have yet to do? Yeah, there is. It’s called Bebo (www.bebo.com).
A while ago we also mentioned something called Tagged, which is fucking stupid. We even posed the question – “We’ve got MySpace, why the hell do we need the rest of them?” – and you know what? We still can’t really answer that. However, at least Bebo is not as horribly lame as Tagged. In fact, Bebo is quite amazing. It’s really good for stalkers, too.
I mean, if you know enough people in common with the object of your twisted, stalkerly affections, Bebo will actually ask you if you want to stalk add them to your friends, without you even having to do much real leg work to find them.
So with all this in mind, after being told that ‘everyone’ is on Bebo, I thought I’d go see what the fuck all the fuss was about. First of all, it’s way quicker to sign up to than MySpace or whatever – I didn’t even have to bother with that whole ‘verify your email address’ crap. Except it did kind of freak me out was when it asked if I wanted to import my contact list. Sure, the concept of that is all well and good and actually makes a lot of sense, but…like…you enter your password for your email account into the site and it just downloads your contacts. Of course it tells you that it won’t keep your password, but…hmmm. Let’s just say I’ve now changed my password to something with so many different special characters and non-dictionary words that even I won’t be able to remember it.
After finally getting into the thing by following all this crazy rigmarole, I got to the goods. Importing that contact list actually brought a whole lot of suckers from the past right out of the woodwork. There were heaps of them. High school buddies, primary school buddies, weird creeps that somehow added me to their MSN lists and tried to initiate ‘cyber’ or, worse, ‘cam’ – and, wow, even one or two real ‘Friends’! I was simply astounded. But after I got over this, I promptly unchecked 89% of those ‘Add Friend’ boxes. Mainly because I didn’t know who the hell they were, or didn’t want to have anything to do with them. Sure, it sounds sad – but there’s nothing to stop them simply stalking me back. Well, except for the handy function that allows you to set your profile to ‘private’. I like that function. If it’s good enough for MySpace, it’s totally good enough for Bebo. It’s cool; not only does it stop your ex-boyfriend from spying on your Bebo, but it also allows you to feel some sort of wanky feeling of eliteness, because your page is just so special that your permission must be sought before anyone can even lay their unworthy eyes on it.
So Bebo is kinda user-friendly once you get your head around whatever a ‘Friend Story’ is, and start posting some whiteboard comments. This aside, it does feel like it’s missing that certain…something. So, MySpace still wins. Sorry Bebo, you got owned!