Does anyone bother with Myspace anymore?

[caption id="attachment_9317" align="alignright" width="150" caption="digital tumbleweed...Five years ago Myspace was the revolution now it's a dusty corner of the internet... "]digital tumbleweed...Five years ago Myspace was the revolution now it's a dusty corner of the internet... [/caption]

Remember when all the talk was of the Artic Monkeys and their myspace driven rise to fame? it was one of the worst cliches then, like 'rollercoaster ride' and 'end of' and not strictly true. It missed out the fact that the band was very, very good and had toured a lot but it gave an indication of the high water mark for myspace, the first of the social networking revolutions that altered how we used the internet.

Pretty soon every band in the country was on myspace and instead of rehearsing were sitting there adding as many friends to their myspace profiles as possible. Within weeks there were bands you had barely heard of with 24 000 friends. Sadly none of these 'friends' ever went to see the band play or buy their records as they were called in those days.

Myspace provided a useful tool for a one stop listen to my band and see a youtube clip service. it was easier and cheaper than paying some slippery geek to setup a website and every music conference in the world had panels on myspace. It was constantly hailed as the future until this thing called facebook came along. Older people wouldn't go near facebook, they didn't trust it's new fangled look and were left out of the next part of the social networking wave, what they made of twitter is anyone;'s guess and they are probably still stuck out there on myspace waiting for someone to message them or attempting to use myspace's clunky message service to keep in touch with the few surviving people that actually use it, avoiding the digital driftwood that blows around that corner of the internet.

Like the 8 track cassette or long forgotten strange sweets, Myspace came and went- a marker for a small period of time when it was all the rage and the question has to be asked- does anyone still use myspace? and what happened to those thousands of 'friends' those bands built up?

14 thoughts on “Does anyone bother with Myspace anymore?

  1. Carl Loben

    Murdoch tumbleweed

  2. Ian B

    It was fun while it lasted, but Murdoch’s reluctance to invest a little cash in updating Myspace’s support technology – i.e. it’s still the slowest loading website I’ve EVER logged on to – signaled it’s premature death knell. They had a terrific site & they blew it… too bad.

  3. Murray

    Myspace was perfect for bands. For a short time.
    You could logon, send messages to folk you were interested in, download music, watch videos, see when bands were playing next. The problem was facebook came along and did the social interaction thing better – so rather than recognising their strengths – the music – myspace concentrated on their weaknesses. Now you can change your background and get updates about what all your mates are doing, but I cant figure out how to make my upcoming gigdates display prominently on my band page and they dont allow the songs to be downloaded, so whats the point for a band who wants to be listened to ?

    There is a definte gap in the market for a good simple band orientated website – everything myspace used to be – reverbnation just looks crap, bandcamp is great for downloads and shit for interaction and facebook is crap for bands

  4. I still miss Myspace. Before they made it completely unuseable it was the best thing ever for the avid fan or reviewer of new music – a one-stop shop where you could access a brief band biography, all band members’ names, where they were from, their cited influences, as much or as little additional info as they wanted to share, and a list of upcoming dates. All there, all on one simple page, you could even read it on a crappy old non-Smart phone so long as it had rudimentary internet access. Then follow it up on a computer and you could listen to a couple of tunes, “ah, right, that was that good one they finished the set with”. As a non professional reviewer fitting in my writing around an unrelated full time job it saved me loads of time – the same research these days involves five or six sources.

    It also put the bands and the fans on a shared platform. My personal Myspace blog which ran from early 2006 to early 2010 detailing every single band I saw (not just those I reviewed more formally) was (and sorry if this sounds very arrogant, but so many people said so) a great resource for anyone wishing to hear about the new bands in Manchester and click directly through to their pages. Bands would contact me there and I’d go and see them and feed it back. I made lasting friendships with people involved in music I’d probably never otherwise have spoken to. I still intend to archive the blogs somewhere more user-friendly so they’re not lost, but the hassle I have to go through even to access the blog archive of my own page these days – not least the long waits while my ageing computer struggles with the acres of Flash adverts that cover every page – means I’d need a few days off work to do it. Christmas maybe…

    The improvement in band pages on Facebook over the past year has at least brought many of those old features back, and if it’s not quite a one-stop-shop there’s usually most of the information there along with links to where to find the rest; Facebook is often these days my first port of call for researching a new band, even if it isn’t quite as ubiquitous as Myspace was in its prime where not having a page was considered effectively a pseudo-political act of resistance. Yep, it’s taken Facebook until 2011 to get us back to 2006.

    That said, Facebook doesn’t seem to have learnt from Myspace’s mistakes. Every other week you log on and they have changed something for the worse, be it yet another overhaul of personal security settings, changing the Groups and Events so you get hundreds of alerts and the important ones risk getting swamped, changing how messages work, whatever. One simple well-worn phrase rings very true here and I often wish the people who run web platforms would take heed: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  5. Richard

    What Cath says.
    And this is the problem with a lot of developers (personal knowledge being flexed here)… they develop then implement without really checking what people want…

    Your blog was the best Cath, why not go 15th century on our asses an publish it…
    as a book?

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