Jeremy Wright is scared of Myspace.
I agree with most of the points he makes about Myspace’s growth and the power it’s community has or may have in the future. There’s no denying it’s been a huge success and has a huge mindshare of the teen/young adult generation.
However, I’m not scared. Let’s address what he’s scared of:
MySpacers connect better than bloggers, get their friends into it better than bloggers, stay in touch more than bloggers, and form true sociological pods better than bloggers.
Are bloggers in a competition with Myspace users? Over what? Getting their friends involved? This seems like it’s a fear based on “saving the blogosphere” from Myspace. I know that currently very few Myspacers are posting about the issues i post about on this blog, so I’m not particularly frightened. Nor do would I be that frightened if they were posting about them, what’s wrong with some competition? Plus, isn’t Myspace free? There’s nothing that says bloggers can’t use Myspace as well. I think currently they just don’t want to or don’t “get it”. It’s like crying about something that they have equal access to use.
When we eventually have 100M people (primarily 10-25) on MySpace, how
does their culture affect other â€˜culturesâ€™ outside of MySpace?
There’s already a hell of a lot of people on Myspace. It’s already affecting the way young people network, meet others, express themselves, and communicate. As that grows larger, there may be more influence on outside cultures, but I’m not sure it’s been that negative so far. In some ways you could compare Myspace to the internet itself. The older generation of business leaders probably saw the internet much like people seem to be seeing Myspace right now. It’s like this “new thing” that they don’t get that is allowing people to connect, communicate, and do business in ways they couldn’t understand and feared. Wouldn’t most agree the internet was a good thing? Maybe those of us who are older than the Myspace main demographic should just work harder to understand it instead of fearing it?
When there are that many people, will MySpaceâ€™ers begin being elite?
Probably. This happens in almost every large group. I guess this is scary?
When will businesses begin seriously targetting MySpace (some are already)?
They are, and will continue to do so. Seems like more of a good opportunity than a scary thing though.
How will businesses effectively engage in conversations with Spacers
when so, so, so little of MySpace is broadcast oriented, and when
Spacers do so little searching for new connections?
Tapping into the nodes, earning their trust, giving them incentives to promote the business. Viral promotions? Or maybe simply buying advertising? It’s really much easier since they’re grouped now then if that demographic was fragmented all over the place. Again, this feels like opportunity to me, not fear.
What happens if MySpace goes down?
Maybe they’ll go back to watching TV?
At what point do services like
MySpace become so a part of the overall culture (due to people having
spent years on there AS WELL as because a significant portion of the
culture â€˜livesâ€™ there) that MySpace becomes a reflection of culture. If
that happens, do we need to backup MySpace? Similarly, should we be
backing up Google, as a point in time reflection of the web?
I’d recommend they back stuff up, and I’m pretty sure Google is probably backing itself up in various ways.
When will law-makers begin legislating MySpace?
It could happen at some point. I guess that’s scary, as you’d hate to see government mess stuff up. At the same time, the sexual predator fears on Myspace probably will require actions by someone. I’m strongly for actions that protect teens, I just don’t want government messing things up either. A delicate balance probably needs to be found there.
How would MySpaceâ€™s networks reform if MySpace went down? What would be
the impact on young people who are fragile and completely alone in the
world apart from MySpace?
It’d probably be difficult to reform those networks. That’s okay though, groups are broken up all the time. Life would go on. As for the impact on young people who are alone, they were most likely alone before Myspace as well. I’m not sure the answer to their problems is Myspace, so that’s just a problem that exists no matter what.
What kind of ecosystem can be built around MySpace (technology wise)?
That depends on what Myspace allows probably. I’m sure some good entrepreneurs will build businesses with technology around Myspace. YouTube and others have already benefitted quite a bit.
I am dead serious when I say that MySpace scares the hell out of me. It is, as we watch, making blogging obsolete. The technical elite that rule blogging now will soon be completely
dwarfed by the 20 somethings as they graduate, get jobs and begin to
gain influence. Bloggingâ€™s end is coming, and its name is MySpace.
What’s the value of a blog? It’s the opinions and knowledge behind the person who writes it. It’s the news they provide, the topical links they point you to, or the comments that results from their posts. Why does Myspace make that obsolete? I don’t think Myspace will make Scoble any less knowledgeable about Microsoft, or BoingBoing less interesting, or make Engadget have less tech product news. Maybe it will make various blogging platforms obsolete, or it’s creating a whole new generation of bloggers. So what? Times change, eventually the current A-list blogging guard will get replaced by a younger one. There’s no way to stop time. If this scares people, they should make sure that they also continue to gain influence, and appeal to younger generations.
MySpace, Iâ€™m sure, rocks to the people who are in it. And similar,
competing, services will grow up. Maybe the ecosystem will self-select
to the point of making all of my fears a moot point.
I’ve made this point before. I think that many people will get more value out of vertical social networks which are focused around specific hobbies, locations, and interests. Because Myspace is so broad, it can’t really build in features that a site could build to support a particular interest group. I don’t think this will kill Myspace, but I think it could slow it’s mass adoption, and eventually lead to people spending more time elsewhere.
But, what if it doesnâ€™t. What if, eventually, every person between the
ages of 13-25 has a MySpace account and is at least partially active on
it to some degree. What happens to society, culture and them? How will
business and the culture outside be affected by that? What is the
impact on humanity if MySpace becomes intrinsically tied to the
identity of an entire generation?
What if everyone had access to the web?! What if we all had email accounts?! This seems like a similar line of thinking. Myspace is a tool to social network. Email is a tool to communicate. The web is a place to do many things. They are all tools we can use. I think the danger could be that Myspace is controlled by one company while the web and email aren’t, but this is still assuming Myspace goes on to dominate.
Instead of being scared, I’d say look at it as an opportunity.