myspace civilized
phidias showing frieze of parthenon to his friends
myspace : back to basics
Now that I've finished version 1.0 of the moshi stylesheet and css moshi garden, I figure I should once again step back and address the basics. For someone completely unfamiliar with html and css, redesigning your myspace profile can be a little daunting. Let me rephrase that: for someone who does know a little about web design it can be daunting. For someone coming at it fresh, it can be utterly baffling.

So I thought I'd offer a very cursory introduction to the topic of editing your myspace profile -- mostly by way of links to other good tutorials and introductions to the subject.

So here is what you need to know in order to edit your myspace profile:

1. What is CSS?
Short answer: Cascading Style Sheets. Simple rules that can be used to style the content on a web page.

I've put together a pretty good set of links I think answer this question and introduce you to the basics at It's a wiki so if you know any others, you can add them there. Take a half-hour or so and surf some of these links. It may no click at once, but if you can set up a myspace profile, you can probably pick up enough CSS in an hour or so to do something civil with it.

2. Ok, I think I get this CSS stuff, now how do I edit it?
Any text editor will do. I use html-kit on Windows, but you could even use Notepad. (Avoid Word as it adds extra hidden characters that will foul things up.)

I'll get to a simple exercise you can try below. If you have some experience with editing your myspace profile but are perplexed by myspace esoteric class settings, I'd suggest copy my null stylesheet and playing with that.

3. Cool. I've whipped up a little CSS that I want to try on my profile. Now where do I put it?
Log into you myspace account, click "Edit Profile," and paste it in the "About Me" section below any other text you may have already have there. (I'd recommend copying and saving any pre-existing text to your editor just to be safe.) Make sure you put the CSS between <style></style> tags.

4. Bollocks! I did just what you said and it (a) didn't do what I wanted to, (b) did nothing at all, or (c) completely eff'd up my profile. Now what?
See why I recommended saving a copy of your "About Me" info before you started. Welcome to the wonderful world of web development. Don't give up yet. At worse, you can always start over.

More likely you'll need to do some troubleshooting. This generally involves: 1. checking for typos (even small ones can completely throw everything off) 2. reviewing the CSS guides noted above 3. seeking out professional help. You can do the latter by seeking out one of many forums on myspace design, people in your friends list who have cool profiles, or even asking here. In any event, be on your best netiquette, be specific, and be prepared not to get an immediate response. The best troubleshooting is to systematically tinker with your code until you fix or at least isolate the problem.

Anyway, I hope that gets you started if you need help getting started. There are also a number of sites out there already to give you a pre-fab layout or skin -- but where's the soul in that?

In my next post, I'll offer my version of a myspace "hello world" program. If this your first stab at editing your profile, you might check that out. Otherwise, jump in. Just try not to make something that ends up here.


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Hi. Hope you had a Merry Christmas. Your advice has all been helpful so far but I have some across something that is quite difficult. I would like to know if padding can be added to a background image. For example I have set this image as my background.

I have set it to repeat so as to create a border on my profile. However, in setting it to repeat it repeats on the entire page. So I'd like to know if I can set it to repeat starting from about 360 pixels down the page. Any help would be appreciated.
You can't add padding to a background image. This might work though:

background-position: 0px 360px;
I've learned a lot from this site. Could anyone tell me why my profile image shrinks on myspace? Is there a way to add dimensions so that one's default profile image remains at a specific width and height?


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