enero 31, 2013


Earlier today, I’ve tried to become a NewMyspace user. I wanted to join using my oldmyspace account. It was a pain in my tired behind.  I tried to join from my flaming new IpadMini…  the only thing I got was the omnipresent face of Justin TImberlake and a message mentioning an upcoming App, inviting me to use Old Myspace, until such app becomes available...

From my laptop, MSExplorer9.0 could not handle NewMyspace settings. I had to download the, trial still, version 10 of Microsoft’s browser and cope with unpleasant bugs... Not a success either... I guess I won’t write about newMyspace’s user experience as I intended to...

Explorer 10 BUGS
Instead, I’ve got a confession to make: I was one of myspace’s early adopters. Joining such an infant social experiment was an exciting and very practical idea for me back those days. Since I was living far away from my Spanish family, it introduced a clean, and surprisingly easy to use, choice for keeping in touch with my homeland relatives, to my life. Nicely managed privacy settings... ample pics and video storage… gush! it was roomy enough to keep a personal blog! 

Recipe for Successful Failure
Myspace, “A space for friends”, was set to be hugely successful. It had one year’s first movers advantage over Facebook, enthusiastic users empowered to easily customize website’s appearance, and, after only two years of life, the deep pockets of Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp to back all up. Ironically, those “advantages” turned to be the very causes of its colossal failure.

First Mover’s Curse
Many misinformed social media specialists, attribute Myspace’s epic fail to Facebook’s irruption into the online arena. That theory is simply not true.

Facebook’s competition was not the cause of Myspace’s failure, in fact it was the other way around. The bubbles rising up from Myspace’s dive helped Facebook gain momentum with two unexpected benefits for Zuckerberg’s site:  it allowed Facebook to reach critical mass and it scared potential competitors away from the promising, but yet not proven profitable, social media business model. Like many other virtual world’s startups (Altavista’s search engine comes to mind) being first in line was not an advantage online.

The Unexpected Damn of Users Decoration
Letting the user to utterly alter the site’s appearance seemed to be a wonderful advantage, an opportunity for self-expression that would undoubtedly turn into a magnet for creativity and users. Nothing could have been further away from reality. Without a sense-full structure, Myspace’s pages turned into baroque clusters of infinite bad taste. Some of them really hurt at sight, and the ugliness was viral…in the contagious disease meaning of the word. Backgrounds infected with tiles of graceless graphics, weird font medleys... it all resembled the purse of a messy multipolar teenager.  Without even trying, Facebook’s minimalism approach of rigid settings, turned to be a surprisingly fengshuistic advantage after the fact.

Deep Pockets... from Hell
NewsCorp buying Myspace for under $600 million seemed to be a safe bet. Surely, Murdock’s deep pockets would allow the social network to move forward at warp speed. It was so for a while… but those pockets were also a magnet for litigation. 

Content owners, specially the music and enterteniment industries, went after Myspace for their users' infringement of intellectual property rights. Murdoch pleaded to their demands and started placing filters to eliminate use of unauthorized content.

I suffered the consequences myself! 
I posted a family video on witch I used no more than 10 seconds of a song (from a CD I owned) at the end of the 2 minutes the video lasted. I used it to spice things up a little, adding a joyous touch, so my parents could see their grandson swimming on a river. I was not profiting from its use. It was a song I legally acquired and my site's privacy settings only allowed for a handful of persons to watch the video. MySpace's content police erased the video and sent me a copyright infringement warning.The magic of the website’s freedom was gone… as was about to happen with us, its users.   

The lurching evolution of the site after that until its acquisition by Justin Timberlake’s company and friends maybe the subject of a boring post that, frankly, I do not find any urge to write.

I’ve got mild expectations about NewMySpace capabilities to aggregate other social media platform’s content in a visually pleasant fashion. I am very curious to see the way it presents its search engine results, as well.  Such is my lust for learning, that I am willing to give it another try as soon as they fix the inconveniences I mentioned earlier... but my patience is running out at the same pace my disappointment is filling up.

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