An article in the Guardian about MySpace…

There was an article in the Guardian about a week ago about MySpace that quoted me and I completely forgot to point it out to everyone. If I don’t continue to point out what large national papers say about me then people will stop believing the hype! I find this unacceptable:

Social software expert Tom Coates says: “MySpace has demonstrated effectively that if you give people things to do with their friends online, then that is significantly [more] compelling than just having software that organises who your friends are. Teenagers and young people tend to use a lot more pop culture stuff to describe themselves, it’s a lot more important to their identity.”

It’s really nice to be called a Social Software expert again – particularly after slightly losing my identity inside the monstrous belly of the BBC. I have felt a bit disconnected from the social software community over the last year or so in that while I feel I still have as much to say, I never really get the chance to express it in public. And that makes you invisible and eventually redundant. I’m going to have to try and spend a little more time engaging in the debates of the day from now on, I think.

Anyway, enough about me. The article itself – about MySpace – mostly talks about how impressive the take-up of MySpace has been. It’s worth balancing that enormous take-up with how little the service has been talked about in geek circles. I don’t know whether it’s because it’s not particularly innovative, but this huge behemoth service has seemingly sprung from nowhere and yet it’s almost invisible to the social software crowd. I guess there’s a lesson here about how you don’t get rich by just following the geek next-big-thing. MySpace is now enormously larger than Friendster and more successful – it’s one of the most trafficked sites on the web in fact. It’s done well by subtly altering the parameters of a previous idea and aiming it at the right market. It’s kind of the same approach that Microsoft have taken with their Spaces project – and it’s all aimed at people completely distinct from the community in which we operate. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that there’s money in the recently-cool – that’s the space that most industries make their money in. (Danah’s also recently been thinking about MySpace a bit).

4 replies on “An article in the Guardian about MySpace…”

The whole MySpace concept very much confuses me. Their goal is more than clear (network friends), but the application of the concept is beyond lackluster. The pages are ugly as hell and the ‘admin’ sucks almost as badly. But that doesnít matter if people will use it.
The thing I think is being overlooked is the rate of change on the internet. Being a high schooler myself (schooler isn’t a word but you can’t stop me from using it. Yes, I should’ve said ‘high school student’ but that wouldn’t have been as hip.), it was strange to observe many of my friend’s switch from LiveJournal to MySpace in such an expedient fashion (it happened in a period of two weeks). In the same fashion, MySpace will disappear. Maybe it will be in a month or maybe it will be in a year, but believe you me, MySpace is not here to stay.
But of the course the MySpace concept will stay around for quite sometime. If the internet consolidation trend I’m observing is real, then either Google, Yahoo or AOL will fill the shoes of MySpace. Yahoo or Google would likely just buy MySpace like Google did with Blogger and like Yahoo did with Flickr. Or maybe they wouldn’t be the ones buying them. You could get a smaller company like Six Apart buying them.
AOL could become a more interesting player in this ‘industry.’ I’ve noticed that people advertise their MySpaces and LiveJournals via their AOL profiles. If AOL could build in a MySpace like service that would compliment AIM, it would dominate the industry. But what do I know. I still have year left in high school.

MySpace and LiveJournal may be non-geek social software, but their denizens certainly indulge in a lot of antisocial hotlinking to images on my website.
I now spend otherwise useful time splitting images into four, setting them as background images in a table and slapping transparent gifs on top. People who are really determined can then d/l the 4 sections and rebuild the pics, but at least they have to store them on another server and not rape my bandwidth! Kids today, huh?

I’ve tried MySpace in the past and for the life of me I can’t quite figure out what all the fuss is about. After keeping my profile up for approximately 3 months while I tried to figure out a real use for the site and not being able to find one, I deleted my profile and went back to my Pre-MySpace life. I guess I mostly just didn’t like the cluttered look of the site but having said that, I’m glad that others enjoy the service.

dude i freakin love myspace , idk why im obsessed with puttin a new song and changin my layout and everything all my friends have it and everyone switched all the sudden from xanga to myspace my myspace is
i love it , it freakin rocks and my first one got deleted and i freakin cryed

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