Myspace.com and Web 2.0 Hoopla
Lately, RSS reader's "business" folder has been spewing forth a lot of hoopla about myspace.com's success. This particularhoopla takes on the form of a few questions:
- "Yes myspace is successful, but will they always be successful? What's keeping the competition from crushing them?"
- "Why did myspace succeed, while tribes, friendster, and other competition fail?"
- "Is myspace.com REALLY web 2.0. And if not, does that mean there will be another tech bubble?
- "How could such a terribly designed application succeed? I mean -- like -- the page doesn't even validate, and they use TABLES. Hello! Like, this isn't 1999. Has Tom heard of standards?"
So I'm going to go ahead and throw my hat into the blogtacular circle of vapid speculation and discussion of myspace.com.
Overall, myspace.com's success should be considered permenent
My apologies to every VC and entrepaneur that is investing in, or developing a site "like myspace, only better..." You're wasting your money and time.
The fundemental mistake that keeps reappearing in discussions of myspace is that the site derives its value from its technology. That is very naive. At this point, no one uses Myspace because of the website's features. Perhaps the website's features mattered 2 years ago. But today, only one thing matters: everyone is using myspace, and all of their friends are using myspace too. The value of myspace is entirely based on the network of friends that has emerged on it. Feature wise, these networks need and want relatively simple things:
- the ability to to announce parties, events, or even "Hey, I'm bored tonight, someone message me if you want to hang out."
- A space for themselves on the web. The chief function of this space is to: 1) express themselves [more or less..], 2) show of thier TOTALLY KEWL friends 3) hopefully impress some beautiful stranger who passes by their space.
- The ability to send casual messages to people who are "friends", but not necessesarily at the level of friendship in which it would be comfortable to call each other directly.
Myspace is an entire generation's online hangout. If you go to bar, would you go to the bar where all of your friends always hang out? Or would you go to the empty bar that served better drinks, and had a fancier atmosphere? Yeah... its obvious, you go where your friends are. That is myspace.
Myspace's Success: Its the analog buzzword free language, stupid
Compare the following names, and their slogans:
a) Myspace.com: A place for friends.
b) Friendster: Welcome to Friendster (this is their slogan, as far as I can tell)
C) tribe.net: connect with your community
I'm going to venture as far as to say that in both the case of friendster and tribe, they went wrong in not making it abundently clear who the site was for, and what the site was supposed to do. Not to mention, I'm not really convinced people actually want to connect with their "community".
Myspace used ghetto language everywhere. You have a "profile", a 'blog", a "picture gallery", "account settings", "bulletins", 'message box", and "friends". No new concepts to learn. No swickis, no tribes, no social networks. Just friends, profiles, bulletins, and messages. Hell, besides for "blog', these are things you could find at a senior citizen's community activity center.
Yes, myspace.com is web 2.0
Just because myspace.com isn't named Eurekster, and doesn't have a swiki, or a bubble to share doesn't mean it's web 2.0. Actually, the very fact that it doesn't rely on buzzwords, and 'distributive networks of collective intelligence" makes me think that its FOR REAL web 2.0.
Myspace.com proves the obvious: 99.9% of people don't give a shit about valid markup, and table free layouts
Oh my god, their frontpage has 63 errors, and doesn't even declare a doctype. Tom's rich. Newscorp is rich. They did something very right, and believe it or not, their invalid table based layouts didn't stop them! However, I wonder if your insistance on focusing on such details has perhaps stopped you?
Focusing on the results returned by that validator, and whether or not the layout is table free is the mark of the amature, and the fool. And I'll go ahead submit Tom's 9 digit account balance as proof of this point. Yes standards do matter. Tell me they are the alpha and omega, and I'll thank you for the opprotunity to show my compassion for my fellow man.