Cafe Witness

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

What Do We Do About MySpace?

Admit it: you have a MySpace account.

You also haven't used it for anything productive in several weeks. Possibly months.

With the vast amount of spam crippling the communication channels, MySpace is no longer a fun tool to use. Instead, it's become a chore.

Checking in to the STBD account results in me cleaning out a bunch of useless crap in our inbox, from falsified friend requests to hacked email forwards.

Sure, there's the occasional bit of legitimate discourse, but by and large, it's a waste of time. An unnecessary evil.

In the Beginning

It wasn't always like this.

Once upon a time, I checked MySpace like an addict, dozens of times a day. So did you, most likely. The site was new, fresh, fun and filled with great ways to keep in touch with people you actually wanted to communicate with.

Then I, like many others, created a secondary account. This one wasn't personal; it was "business," -- more specifically, it was meant as a promotional tool for our web series. And it worked well in that regard; we're currently somewhere around 7,000 "friends."

Except we don't talk much with those friends these days, because we're too busy sifting through the volumes of spam mail we receive every day.

Who Clicks on This Shit?

If you've ever received a piece of spam mail on MySpace, I'm sure you weren't surprised by the profile it originated from.

Nearly every "dude, check out these ringtones!" or "man, it's true what they say, size DOES matter!" message we get is sent to us by someone who absolutely, categorically does NOT look like someone who would realize these messages are spam in the first place.

And so they click.

And so they perpetuate the cycle.

Considering the alarming number of people who, when faced with the daunting task of adding STBD as a "friend" or not, respond back with "what r u?" or "who dis?", I really shouldn't be at all surprised when reams of spam come to me from these types of mouth breathers. These are the people who walk into Yahoo Chat rooms and strike up conversations with bots.

Where Do We Migrate?

Meanwhile, I never even check my personal MySpace profile anymore. With two legitimate blogs and a Twitter account to keep up with, who has time for MySpace?

Am I jumping the ship prematurely? Does MySpace have what it takes to become valid again? Or has the vast majority of intelligent internet users moved on to something better? (Virb? Nothing?)

I feel like the evolution of "internet hot spots" is growing at an alarming rate. Case in point, everyone on Twitter seems to have decided to move over to Jaiku today, due to Twitter's unpredictable lag. And yet, Jaiku's servers are already creaking under strain.

Is patience dead in a world where everything is at our fingertips? Is there any room left for gradual improvement, or do things merely fall apart with time?

And what does any of this mean for social networking?

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  • Funny timing on this one, rockstar. I just joined Facebook and immediately love it more than MySpace. Sure you can mess with MySpace a bit more, but I love the cleanliness and the ease of use.

    By Blogger Chris Brogan, at 11:01 AM  

  • I joined Facebook shortly after I entered college and spent a lot of time there for my first two years. But since last summer, I've neglected to check into my Facebook profile more often than once a month or so. I've watched the number of people on campus who ritualistically attend to their Facebook profiles dwindle, as well: I used to see entire computer labs filled with people toying on Facebook, but now I only occasionally see anyone doing so. Thus I've come to the general conclusion that everyone's ready to move on.

    OtherEgo looks like an interesting destination. It opens your account profiles from MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and other sites simultaneously and displays them in a tabulated format, Firefox-style, so your friends can see it all on one page. As far as I know, it doesn't change the fact that you actually need to log into each of those accounts and update them from their respective sites, though. Such a feature might help push it to the top, but I doubt those various sites would allow it, since it would likely kill their own web traffic.

    By Anonymous Chris Ulicne, at 1:24 PM  

  • Watch Ze Frank's August 29, 2006 episode. He gives THE answer to your question: brand. Brand is the only thing that can cross disparate channels and communities.

    By Blogger Christopher, at 2:29 PM  

  • I've never liked myspace. Still don't. But there are a lot of people, especially people in AZ (people I went to school with) that no nothing of the online world. So myspace is there only way to communicate or interact with others. I use it as a tool to let them know that I have a blog, that I post video, and that I am doing so much more. It's also a community, with lots of "real" people still there surfung and interacting with others. So it does have it's good points but you have to siff through all the shit to get to it.

    By Anonymous Clintus, at 12:01 AM  

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