Hello there I noticed on a friends myspace profile that she managed to get a picture in place of her name for example if you write Briggzy™ it’ll come up with a TM right after my name. But my friend’s profile has her name replaced by an actual picture. How to do that?
This is a pretty tricky question, actually, and I spent a lot of time exploring different profiles and trying to reverse engineer / figure out exactly what was going on with these MySpace profiles. Then I figured out the secret…
When you’re editing your MySpace profile, on the Name section, there’s a little box called “Display Name”, like this:
Try to add any sort of HTML like <b>Dave</b> and it’s stripped away and won’t work at all. But… and here’s the secret… if you realize that the MySpace system is going to convert what you type into what would be displayed to a user as part of saving your changes, you can indeed get just that effect by using < instead of < and > instead of > in your display name.
This means that if I wanted to have my name in bold, I’d need to type in exactly:
It’s ugly, yeah, but it works. This also means that you can change the color of your name by using the font tag, like this:
Instead of “red” you could use “blue”, “yellow”, “green”, about twenty different color names. Cool, eh?
Unfortunately, the MySpace folk don’t give you very much space in that box, only 50 characters. This is where it’s tricky to use a graphic, because the basic code for the graphic inclusion is going to look like this:
Do the counting and you’ll see that there are only 34 characters left, and seven of them are going to have to be “http://”, so there are really only 27 characters left for the full URL of your image. Subtract four more for the “.gif” or “.jpg” and, well, it’s not much space for a URL. I couldn’t use, for example, “www.askdavetaylor.com/imagearchive/my-myspace-name.jpg” as it’s far, far too long.
Fortunately, there are free image hosting services like Tinypic.com which will let you create and host a small graphic on their site without charge.
So I’ll test it out. Here’s a rudimentary graphic I’ve created:
Reasonably fun and visually interesting, yet pretty darn tiny. I’ll go ahead and upload it to TinyPic.com, where it’s quickly included in their database and I find out that I have three different ways I can reference it:
It’s the third one, the “Link” that I care about, not the other two. Now I can simply replace url in the above example with the TinyPic URL in my “Display Name” field:
Now with any luck, I can paste that into the “Display Name” field, save it, and have a graphic replace my name on my MySpace profile…
Looks good. Notice how if I had entered the < and > directly it would have removed them, but by using the awkward < and > sequences instead, MySpace has converted it for me. Nice!
Now, the final test, to view my profile itself!
Nice! So there ya go, you should be able to duplicate what I’ve done here with your own profile on MySpace. Me? I’m going to switch back to just having a plain old name instead. It’s less painful on the eyes.
Oh! One important tip: Because MySpace converts the < into <, this means that each time you tweak your display name you’ll have to manually convert the < back to < and > back to >. Tedious, but you probably won’t modify that too often anyway…
Update: This no longer works on MySpace, sorry to say, and I haven’t seen a good workaround yet. If you know of one, please let me know so I can update this. Meanwhile, you might be interested in reading about How to add fun symbols to your MySpace Profile Name.
Finally, if you’d like to connect with me via MySpace, that’d be great! My MySpace Page. Also, since you are just learning about MySpace, you might well be interested in my MySpace Help area too.