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February 24th, 2006

I Don’t Get MySpace

I have to admit it: I just don’t get the appeal behind MySpace. I’m not sure if that makes me old, cynical, or a combination of both.

MySpace is pretty hot with the kids nowadays, it seems. I see a lot of people with MySpace profiles and pages there, but I haven’t ventured to the site much because I haven’t signed up for it. It seems to be nothing more than crossed with a basic blogging tool, with a bit of Friendster thrown in. Sure, sure, there are bands and stuff on there – but I still prefer to visit an actual website by a band versus a profile page with a player on it.

Plus, News Corporation owns it. That’s not so hot.

I’m okay with not being on MySpace – I’m just unclear on what the appeal is.

Posted in Technology

DATE: Friday February 24, 2006 -- 9:38:57 am
I think the appeal is that everybody else is already there - basic herd instict at work. Also, it's a big popularity game to get a lot friends on the site. Because, having 234 strangers link to your profile is just like having 234 friends in real life.

FROM: aanen
DATE: Friday February 24, 2006 -- 10:58:07 am
I created one for a gaming clan that I am in but I never check it or do anything with it. It's just another way to get spam mail

FROM: Paul
DATE: Friday February 24, 2006 -- 11:29:31 am
It's just another way to get spam mail

Clearly, we need more ways to get spam!

FROM: John [E-Mail]
DATE: Saturday February 25, 2006 -- 8:16:11 am
Tiles backgrounds, auto-loading meg-heavy mutimedia files, stretched windows, multiple fonts and colors?

1996 Internet called and it wants its cliches back.

FROM: claire
DATE: Saturday February 25, 2006 -- 1:50:02 pm
sign up for myspace. give it about a week. you must sign in everyday. comment people, make some friends. you will be addicted before you know it!

FROM: jk
DATE: Saturday February 25, 2006 -- 6:57:55 pm
Nah, we have other stuff to do. Like talk to people physically near us.

DATE: Saturday February 25, 2006 -- 7:25:31 pm
//you must sign in everyday. comment people, make some friends. you will be addicted before you know it//

Been there, done that, here at the Ping.

FROM: Lisa E
DATE: Sunday February 26, 2006 -- 3:59:24 pm
I am sad to say I have a myspace account that I dont bother with. It is even more user-unfriendly than my LiveJournal and thats saying something... The whole thing with MS does seem to be the 'friends' aspect... But Id rather have a few good friends who are genuinely interested in the same things as I am than a few hundred adding me for the hell of it and then not really bothering. Apparently I am not worth bothering with since I cant be bothered - so no problem there...

Ive also noticed that MS is very popular with Z List Celebz like Ms Spears hubby trying to push that non-existent rap career of his and various nymphets out to make a name for themselves.

I dont see a point to the so-called 'networking' on MS... There has got to be a better way to get my art and writing noticed...

FROM: panicatmydisco
DATE: Sunday February 26, 2006 -- 4:52:11 pm
I had a myspace untill a little while ago. sure, it was fun...for awhile.
then i started getting friends from who knows where. it was no longer me and my close friends, but 300 peeps i really didn't know. (we're talking my math teachers friends brothers daughter here)
Plus, myspace has been getting a lot of negitive feedback...molesters, childnappers...who needs it? It's no longer the hottest thing out there.
sometimes it's easyier just to pick up the damn phone

FROM: Heather
DATE: Sunday March 19, 2006 -- 9:34:51 pm
I'm sorry... but Cold Fusion just doesn't rock my boat... 90's tech in 21st century is NOT where it is at. You wonder why it is always down and breaking and why it is horribly put together and all around a piece of crap that was lucky to get popular some how

seriously. If something better came out FOX would be pissed... because If there was a site like myspace, only non-sucky, people would hop ship so fast... Its a fashion thing that's annoying and is just waiting to be replaced by something better.


that is all

Marcus Mackey September 24, 2006, 6:12 am

I have a MySpace, and I think part of the allure is that it’s like a blog site where you can have your friends come visit, post bulletins, chat, post photos, and have forums for specific groups all in one place without spending a dime on hosting space, using a proper blog app., and without having to have the level of know-how (or time/dedication) in making a snazzy blog site. While some of us are technical enough to tinker and make a quality site ::raises hand:: with another product, some people want something prefab and a few script sites to monkey with and drop in a generated theme and be done. They also want it for cheap or free, and MySpace meets that criteria.

The reason I got it, wasn’t to get 30,000 friends… the reason I got it was a few friends and even a family member of mine got it so I figured with them having it, it made sense to get it to keep in touch and horse around with. I have used it quite a bit (and still only have around 80 friends, even after having the site for almost a year; many of which I know from online racing, from real life, or friends of friends, etc.) because while it’s not the most intuitive product out there, it’s a fairly intuitive free product that offers some customizing while being able to link up with friends and encounter other people with similar interests’ or tastes. I will admit that Blogger is much better at blogging, but it doesn’t offer the bulk of what MySpace does on top of it’s ability to blog, nor is it built around a community (better or worse) nearly as much as how MySpace is.

I can safely say that yes, it’s very poorly written and devised even as I see some good in the idea myself. Not just the Coldfusion aspect, but the lack of validating xHTML, the lack of using DIV’s for the layout of a product that has become this big and most certainly is causing a performance slowdown, the weird CSS names for various cells and divs.

I also find the band inclusions and the lack of breadth of choice of songs by the bands to be a problem, as marketing new/old songs by various artists is a positive and I think more bands should include more of their library. Having other songs accessible for personalization of ones’ profiles still do the artists a service, esp. as long as the songs posted aren’t linked for download. Then again, even some artists’ MySpace sites have inadvertently posted content for download and later corrected their mistake, likely giving 1,000’s of people a free copy of a song or songs. Error or not… with the RIAA cracking down on illegal downloads, it’d be hard to justify anything of this nature as illegal when it’s posted with the download link active, making it seem like a kindly posted freebie.

I can also understand if it started out as a pet project and became huge that some of this would be things that would take time, but as huge as MySpace has become as a sort of “phenomenon”, you would think rather than patching the massive crud codebase to advance it (which often seems like one fix breaks 20 other things)… that they’d go through the ground-level rewrite and give MySpace 2.0 or 3.0 or whatever it’d be called to the public and right all of the wrongs. The longer they wait with the various aspects that hamstring it, the longer the chance another rival will step up and offer all that they offer and more. Microsoft has stated they plan on offering their own product similar to it, and while I’m never one to hedge on Microsoft succeeding at anything… as much of a conundrum as MySpace can be, I am not sure that Microsoft could execute that much worse, sadly.

The problem, as with anything, is that there’s also not sufficient counter-measures to prevent the good attributes of the service from being abused. Considering the infrequent spam cycling of porn “friend requests” that the site is plagued with, it reminds me of the problems group chats on AIM have suffered almost since the start. With no moderators or little counter-measures, comes mass exodus. None of that helps the user level experience, which like AOL… will shrink in userbase as more and better options are made available, or more from the disgust people endure from things that shouldn’t happen.

I can think of other apps. that offer similar capabilities’ in some aspect (Community Builder for Simple Machines Forum comes to mind), but they require user-level investment, require a user buying a host and installing the applications, and they don’t offer nearly the customizations per user. I think that, that is a key part of the service… is this seamless unity and ability to hunt around and check out what other people do to set themselves apart, but also the ability to find people of like interests in one way or another, and to check out musicians, artists, etc. It’s not something that is for everybody, it might not really succeed at all that it’s designed for (i.e. it’s networking leaves a lot to be desired, it’s platform support isn’t great, it might be too big for it’s own good, etc.) but for some people it’s enough of what they need combined with more features than the competition, and presents the right balance. It just could use to be executed a bit better IMHO and provide greater flexibility, options for administration on your page, and well… more features but streamlining as well.

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