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The elephant in the room

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The question of Myspace keeps coming up. The few times I've looked at it, I've found it irritating and uninviting. The fact that Murdoch owns it (and the rumours of branding tie-ins with The Sun, undoubtedly bringing more Burberry-clad idiots into it, probably won't help). OTOH, it seems to be the standard place for putting up pages on musical projects and MP3 files; thanks to a savvy bit of marketing, when someone wants to check out a band these days, the first thing they do is look it up on Myspace, meaning that whilst you can avoid it, there is the risk that someone else will register a page in the name of your project and get 99% of the public exposure for that name.

Recently I've spoken to people from various positions: one (on a music-related message board) abhors Myspace and refuses to have aught to do with it, and appears to see having a Myspace page as a sign of a character flaw in another person. Meanwhile, at the Gossip gig last night (which was excellent, though the first support band were a bit ordinary), I struck up a conversation with two kids who were starting an electro night, and who insisted that I should get a Myspace page; presumably it's a badge of citizenship amongst the kids these days. Hence, a poll.

Feel free to inveigh in the comments if you have anything to add.

Poll #772423 Myspace, shmyspace!

Do you use Myspace?

Yes, it's great
3(10.7%)
Yes, reluctantly
15(53.6%)
I refuse to touch it on principle
10(35.7%)

If you dislike Myspace, why? (Select all that apply)

It's spammy with ads
0(0.0%)
It's full of idiots OMFGLOLBBQWTF!!1
0(0.0%)
It's owned by Rupert Moloch, spawn of Satan
0(0.0%)
It's generally irritating
0(0.0%)
Other (please specify)
3(11.1%)

If "Other", please elaborate

Do you make music?

Yes
6(22.2%)
No / not to the point where I'd have anything to put online
21(77.8%)

If you put your music online somewhere other than Myspace, where?

Tags: ,
Current Music:
Small Sips - Sliding Door
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[User Picture]
On July 18th, 2006 11:42 am (UTC), gths commented:
The thing is, one of the most annoying aspects of Myspace, where the music loads and starts playing as soon as you open the page, is actually just right for all those industry people who are into 15-second auditions and don't particularly want to hunt around for the "download" link.

Whatever you think of that, that's basically the whole point of putting your mp3s up there. That is what myspace does well, a centralised space for people to promote their music. (Of course it may become a victim of it's own success in that regard, a la mp3.com a few years back.) Everything else it does is generally painful and unnecessary.

But as for the supposed social networking aspect, ugh, fuck that shit, I'm just glad that it's attracted all the attention whores away from LiveJournal.
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On July 18th, 2006 04:48 pm (UTC), earthenware replied:
I agreee, it's great all the attention whores can piss off to myspace...it's inadvertantly raising the standard and appeal of live journal...
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On July 18th, 2006 09:56 pm (UTC), substitute commented:
Although I'm way out of MySpace's demographic (I'm 41) I use it frequently. A lot of my friends are in the music business and are more likely than other people my age to be present there, so I have caught up with people going back to the 1980s. I also like the variety of music there. Not just known artists who have a spot on MySpace but new ones; I have actually found new music I liked there.

I also use it to stay in touch. I meet people in transient contexts and it's more neutral to connect on MySpace afterwards than to exchange phone numbers.

The Murdochness doesn't bother me, but then again I've worked for Murdoch myself so that would be hypocritical. I find also that anti-Murdoch Myspace haters don't have much problem being Simpsons or X-Files fans, so that seems pretty pointless to me.

The worst problem is how much their interface sucks and how much they crash.
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On July 18th, 2006 11:33 pm (UTC), kineticfactory replied:
Good point about the Murdoch thing. I did enjoy the X Files, up until it jumped the shark (a few seasons before the move to LA, when they started tacking superfluous bits onto the conspiracy, presumably because Duchovny and Anderson's demands required it or something).

The thing that kills MySpace for me as a social-network site is the obnoxious animated Flash ads plastered everywhere. (Interestingly, the band sites don't suffer from them as much as the personal ones.) OTOH, as far as finding bands goes, it does become useful.
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On July 20th, 2006 03:24 am (UTC), datakid23 replied:
on Murdoch
ok, I have to hark up here. I was one of the people that chose the "murdoch" option (as well as others)...

I don't _hate_ MySpace for being owned by Murdoch - I will agree that that is a stupid attitude. And I do actually hate myspace's UI.

The Murdoch factor is like anything else that comes out of a Major Label (for instance) or a Major Content Provider. I know for a fact that I am going to not like their product more often than like their product - I will put a more rigorous burden of proof (burden of proof of quality, if you will) before using it. Hence, I ticked the Murdoch box - it's not a broad sweeping hatred of all things large and corporate, it's just that I'm more likely to dislike it.

Another piece of information that I use when making this judgement call is that historically, when something goes from being "independent" to "bought out by big corp", it tends to degrade in quality. This is a quantitative measure that I've experienced in my 30 years, and again, it's not perfect, but it's pretty accurate.

So, just so you know. It's not a personal thing, it's not an irrational thing, nor am I claiming to not be hypocritical. But, my opinion is, if it's owned by MegaCorp, it's _probably_ going to be filtered, censored and shithouse. Or become filtered, censored and shithouse over time.

Wouldn't you agree?

unabashed ultra leftist
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On July 20th, 2006 04:33 am (UTC), substitute replied:
Re: on Murdoch
Yes and no. If you liked new and interesting popular music or film 20 years ago, "major label" was a warning label, all right. The majors either coopted something genuine and ruined it, or just oozed out their own shit.

It's really hard to say the same thing about websites in 2006. There are a few sites that could be totally ruined by ham-handed corporate takeover (craigslist comes to mind), but something like myspace has been a cynical money grab since birth. The people who run your typical dotcom are just as venal and boneheaded as any huge media company's executives, and they frequently try to whore things up too soon and don't get paid out for selling out.

I have to explain, though, that I am an old school punk/new wave/indie guy from the 1980s, and having seen what happened to "independent" as an idea in the arts then, I can't see that "major" is much worse.
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On July 20th, 2006 11:08 am (UTC), kineticfactory replied:
Re: on Murdoch
With relation to MySpace, you're probably right. Had News Corp. bought, say, LiveJournal (owned by SixApart, who seem fairly reasonable), or Flickr (owned by Yahoo!, who are a bit too compliant in China but haven't yet corrupted Flickr), it would have been different, though MySpace seemed fairly meretricious from the start.
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On July 18th, 2006 10:04 pm (UTC), datakid23 commented:
UI
ah yes the UI is also brain dead _and_ ugly.

stay away - seriously, you should look at last.fm - you are there anyway, adn they host...plus it's got a prettier UI ;) poke poke
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On July 19th, 2006 03:10 am (UTC), dubhustler replied:
Re: UI
Oh yes, I agree about last.fm - sadly my old cranker of a computer won't let me use it-- needs os 10.3 which I don't have the capacity to upgrade too... damn! cos it is much prettier and seems to be about the music, not about 'how many friends can I get today?"... hate that aspect of myspace. It's like a popularity contest! yeeek! xJase
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On July 19th, 2006 03:08 am (UTC), dubhustler commented:
myspace, race
Yep... reluctantly, pretty boy crossover did the myspace thing and it is a bit of a vortex. thankfully, the spam aspect seems minimal for us - and we just get to find out about music comrades we never knew about. the murdochness of it all does bother me, but it is one of those loop-like scenarios.. I think if we were all above board on our anti-corporate activisms, we'd hardly use any media, not much internet and ... well, probably be better off for it. Mmn. See the cyclic nature of it all?
x
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On July 19th, 2006 01:02 pm (UTC), lokicarbis commented:
Nothing much to add, other than that for similar reasons, I've been considering going MySpacey myself - it's a good marketing tool...
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On July 19th, 2006 01:28 pm (UTC), kineticfactory replied:
For your writing?
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On July 19th, 2006 01:39 pm (UTC), lokicarbis replied:
Yes indeedy
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