Posted October 15, 2007 11:55 am by with 6 comments

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One way to measure your popularity is to see those social network invitations roll in. You get friend invites on MySpace. Everyone wants to connect with you on Facebook. You can’t keep up with your LinkedIn requests. Suddenly, through these communities, people you admire can be just an email away from being your friend.

You don’t even need to have your own MySpace page to be popular on the site. Today the Noble Prizes were announced and The New York Times reported on Doris Lessing who won a prize in Literature. The 87-year-old (at almost 88, some say she’s one of the oldest on the site) has a MySpace page but she didn’t create it and has in fact never visited. The page is being maintained by a fan and now friend Jan Hanford. Soon after winning the prize last week, Lessing got 100 new friend requests. Hanford calls her to read comments and to give her updates on the page which is full of congratulations from her friends all over the world.

The criteria for accepting new friends? Hanford says she looks over the list of books they have on their MySpace profile, if they’re not readers, they’re out. I’d add another criteria, that their pictures are in good taste. Lessing has 258 friends.

Any plans for a Facebook page? No, says Hanford. “Facebook is much more personal, more of a one-on-one thing,” she said. “MySpace is really a bunch of strangers who are connected.”

Like bands use MySpace to announce tour dates and promote their music, authors are using it to announce booksignings and recent book news. There are several MySpace groups, including a MySpace Book Club with over 18,022 members.

Al Gore also won a Nobel Prize for his movie An Inconvenient Truth. I just checked and he has 19443 MySpace friends. However, like Lessings, he isn’t running the page – it’s being maintained by fans. I guess that’s how you know you’ve really arrived.

FYI – Marketing Pilgrim does have a MySpace page – so please add yourself – I just did.