Header Graphic
By Katherine Kiang
KaTsZoNe Newsletters > KaTsZoNe - Issue 25 - YOURspace

1 Jan 2007

As we face another year, we may be contemplating, once again, our dreams, goals, and plans.  Have you looked into the closet of your mind, dusted a few things off in there and asked, "What shall I do?", "Where do I start?" 

This episode of KaTsZoNe is about YOURspace.  It's kind of a take on MySpace which I am frankly addicted to.  Having a webspace has given me inspiration and insights which has made me ask myself, and now to you, "What do I want to do with my real space?"

1.  Plan a layout of YOURspace

When I first registered on MySpace.com, I was given a basic layout.  Sure, it was okay, but, I started looking at other people's pages and they were unbelievable!  Creative users came all out and decorated their pages with pics of their favourite movie stars or musicians, pics of themselves and their friends, things they loved, banners, and other shiny, glitzy, cool stuff.  I must say, I was impressed with many layouts and started to have "layout envy".  Since I was not familiar with html code, I was wondering how I could find the codes to input and get a nice, half-decent layout.  Eventually, I found sites which catered to MySpace users and had templates that generated the html codes (for websites) to assist people like me who had no clue how to work in html.

Where do you start?  With my MySpace layout, I chose colours first, then added banners, my photos, and eventually the cool, glitzy stuff (especially for the holidays). 

Present yourself to the world in a positive and attractive way.  What are your wonderful true colours?  What amazing things or events would you proclaim to the world in your banners?  What great photos would you share with others?  [Can you imagine me putting a pic of myself in my Dora PJs on MySpace site - well, you're not going to!  Only one friend has seen a pic of me in my Dora PJs and she happens to be the generous (indulging) friend who got it for me in the first place. Have you any idea how tough it was to get them in a size that's not for a 3 year old?]  And then, add some spice and glitz because I think you all shine in different ways.  Honestly, if you were terribly bland and boring, you and I would not be friends right now - so, there you go - you must be interesting (I think).

About "layout envy", here's something to think about.  You could look at your in-laws' beautiful living room or see a magazine with the latest home decoration tips and then sigh with envy.  You wish you could have won the New Year lottery and then you would decorate to your heart's desire.  Well, being a little envious could spur you to make changes, and that could be a good thing.  I was watching tv and decided to try Turbo Jam which turned out to be a fun way to get fit and look great.

Think about YOUR layout, and just show yourself off in a positive light.  You are all beautiful.  You've got great talents/gifts.  You've got great friends (like moi) and family that you can show off in YOUR layout!  Ultimately, I'd love to see you happy with YOUR layout.  And remember, it's all about YOU!

2.  Add some friends

MySpace is about making friends.  So far, I have 203 friends!  I could never even dream of making that many friends for real in three months, as I have done on MySpace.  It's a great place to advertise and promote yourself - for example, if you're a new artist/musician, or you're a popular band with lots of fans, you can tell the world about yourself and what you're up to.  And, some of my MySpace friends sent me birthday wishes and holiday greetings - well, like Daphne, Pascal, Rob, Jamie, Shayan, On The Surface, Barry (no, not Teddy...sigh....).  I've also become friends with a few girls because we like the same musicians (ah yes, Teddy and Standard of Living).  Most of the "Friends" I've chosen are songwriters/singers, bands, producers, record companies, and street teams (which promote a band).  If someone requests to be my "friend" on MySpace, I can either accept or deny their request, and it works the other way around too.  So, for example, if I don't like a particular band's music, I will deny their request - this is just my personal choice.

Do you want friends in YOURSpace?  What kind of friends do you want?  It's great to have old friends!  I love the friends I've known for years.  One friend has come back into my life and I knew him in grade school!  One friend I've known since junior high.  Several of you are my friends whom I met at work and church - and that's more than 10 years!!!  If you're reading my monthly KaTsZoNe (I know you don't always have time to read it, but, you're on my mailing list...ok...), then, I consider you the kind of friend I want in MY space.  You all mean a lot to me.  Even though I may not chat with you on the phone often, yet, from time to time, we may whip an email to each other about life or exchange some jokes, inspiring words and other fun stuff.  Each year, I also enjoy sending and receiving Christmas/Hanukkah greeting cards just to say, yes, we are still friends, I'm thinking of you, and hope all is well with you. 

As wonderful as it is to have old friends, I think it's also great to meet new friends.  This year, I've made some new friends - a couple are musicians.  I've met a few MySpace friends and communicate with them on a regular basis and we have, from time to time, exchanged our life's story, just like I would do with my other friends. 

I try to make new friends each year because I'm all for friendships!  (Thanks Mar for the new Friendship Journal, and thanks Irene for giving me my first Friendship Journal.)  Yes, I have written lots of stuff over the years about what I have learned and how I have been inspired by friends who have come into my life.  Friends may come into our lives for different reasons, for a brief time or for a lifetime.  And, just like on MySpace, I would "add friends" I like - makes sense, doesn't it?  If I don't like you (like you really stuck a knife in my back more than a few times and twisted hard), well, I'll just have to delete you ...just kidding...NOT. 

3.  Promote your friends

When you come visit me on MySpace, you'll see a bunch of banners and pics of musicians who are my "Friends".  Everyone does it.  I'm hoping that people who visit my page will be curious enough to click on the banners which take them directly to the artist/band's MySpace site. The banners I post include ads which promote a musician's new CD.  So, it's part of my "decoration".  I just promote them for fun, not because I get paid for it.  Well, who knows, maybe some day I would get paid for promoting ... hey, I can dream.

I believe it's important to decorate YOURspace with positive, encouraging thoughts and abundant praises about your true, genuine friends.  I like to promote my friends' virtues, talents/gifts, and caring qualities as friends.  I will not hesitate to sing your praises, extol your virtues and promote your talents and good qualities.  It's as though I'm walking around with each of your business cards in my wallet!  Sometimes, I wonder if I'm part of a huge club called the Mutual Admiration Society.  Hey, KK is great, right?  Sure, you can be a promoter too!

4.  Send the right message

There's a lot of false information and confusing messages circulating everywhere.  On MySpace, I wrote that I wanted to get to know songwriters and musicians.  At one point, one of my layouts attracted more love-seeking males than usual.  My plain layouts did not solicit that much response.  So, I decided to change that layout asap, so, things have cooled off now.  It's funny, when you want it to rain, it doesn't; and when you don't want it to rain, it pours!  It just made me more aware of the importance of communicating the right message through pics and layouts.

There is usually more than one side to every story.  I once had a conversation with another legal assistant who said, "There's his story, her story and then there's the truth."  It seems we have to be judge/jury, prosecutor, defence counsel, the media and the public.  Who hasn't been misunderstood at various times in our lives? True, genuine friends will not just see and listen to one side of the story.  They won't simply throw in the towel and say, "Adios" just like that.  Good friends will decide who to believe based on their past experiences with you and different sides to a story.  And, if something seems to be out of whack, they will come right out and ask, "So, what's your story?  Did you really say or do that?"  Or, they might say, "Well, that was dumb.  You weren't nice at all.  So, stop it!"  And then, you might listen and change your ways, or you might change your message and the way you communicate it to your friends and to the world.  Just don't allow false information and confusing messages to drown out your friendships because good friends are hard to find.  I'd rather have good, genuine friends than lots of diamonds.  To me, good friends are the best diamonds in the world!

Well, congratulations, you've now survived my New Year 2007 schpiel.  It took me a while to write that.  And now, you'll have to bear with me a little longer as I go on to my exciting world of music.

First of all, thank you to those of you who have indulged my music and songwriting passions this past birthday and Christmas - you guys are too much!  Yeah!  Applause...applause!  You're awesome!

My CD and iTunes library have expanded a lot in the past couple months.  In December, 2006, I've been very blessed to receive or have downloaded the following:

1. Jon Bauer - Life of Worship album (Christian/Inspirational);

2. Teddy Geiger - Snow Blankets the Night EP; Look Where We Are Now CD/DVD; These Walls (songs and video) (Pop/Rock);

3. Josh Groban - Awake album (Vocal);

4. Daniel Kirkley - Seasons of Grace album (Christian/Inspirational);

5. Loreena McKennitt - An Ancient Muse album (Celtic, but not trad. Celtic; a Middle Eastern flavour);

6. Gavin Makhail - Days Gone By song from the album Like Normal People Do (Pop);

7. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium album (Alternative/Punk);

8. Barry Russo - These Are The Days album (Pop); and,

9. Pride & Prejudice DVD.

I'm definitely not bored with all the new music and DVDs! And, I'm still jamming with James Blunt on my piano to his songs, "You're Beautiful" and "Tears and Rain".  I'm still loving Shayan Italia's "Reflection" CD/DVD and although I got his CD/DVD online, it will finally be released across the UK in January, 2007, and later, worldwide!  I still can't get enough of Cory Lamb (who happens to be a friend of one of the girls I met on MySpace and met personally at the Teddy Geiger concert this past November).  I've been listening to Cory's demos and I think his album will be amazing!  Hope Cory is going to release his album soon.

I'll hopefully be updating you with news about my songwriting and music-related "Christmas gifts for myself" in the next episode of KaTsZoNe!  Oh yeah....stay tuned!


(KK is throwing in some balloons...gazoos...castanets...maracas....confetti....)

Take care.

xo Katherine (KK)

P.S.  I am now a member of Facebook which allows you to connect with your real friends and perhaps meet new ones.  If any of you are a member of Facebook, let me know.  My link is http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=512587085 or you can go to www.facebook.com and find me under my full name.  So, drop by or send me a friend request!