Tag Archives: myspace

What Would Life be Like Without Social Networking?

Someone asked me this earlier on Twitter. You would think it would be simple one to answer. After all, social networking is still in its infancy, right? Wrong! Social networks have been around since before the Internet was actually – well – the Internet. Stop thinking that these words only encompass sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Once you do, many of you will realize that you’ve likely never lived a moment of your life without some form of social networking.

As defined: “A social network is a social structure made up of individuals (or organizations) called “nodes”, which are tied (connected) by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as friendship, kinship, common interest, financial exchange, dislike, sexual relationships, or relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige.” Of course, these networks exist offline, as well. For the sake of this post, we’re going to pretend we are only referring to things found on the Web.

Back in the late 70s through the early 90s, you could connect with others online via a BBS. This is nearly FORTY years ago these things started becoming popular, y’all. The service was used to upload and download software or data, read news and bulletins and exchanging messages with other users. Oh, and there were also games to play against yourself and other members. Hm… this sounds an awful lot like an early version of nearly every social site out there today, doesn’t it?

Social networks are evolving, sure. Sites are coming up with new features and better ways to connect. That supposed innovation comes with a price, though… a huge lack of any form of privacy. We have evolved into a generation of people who claim to care about our privacy yet who continue to post nearly every aspect of our lives online for the world to peruse. We check in and tell others where we are every moment of the day. We send out statuses and messages telling them what we’re doing, who we’re talking to and where we may be headed next. We share nearly everything.

To me, this is the main difference between networks of today and the ones from 30+ years ago. It’s not about the difference in platforms. WE have changed. Yup – Facebook looks slick as hell compared to an old BBS. Twitter is faster and simpler to use. But at the very core of each type of service – where are the true differences – the real innovations?

You should stop asking yourselves what life would be like without social networks. They’ve been around for many more years than you thought, and they aren’t going anywhere. What you should ask yourself, instead, is “How am I going to change the way I use these services throughout my life?”

Crazy Lawsuits Should be Outlawed

We’ve heard stories of completely ridiculous lawsuits in the past. Do you remember the McDonald’s coffee suit? What about the case of a burglar breaking into a lady’s home, hurting himself and then successfully suing the homeowner? There are thousands of cases on the books, and they are often won in a court of law – to the tune of a lot of money. Unfortunately, the trend doesn’t seem to be fading away, as evidenced by three recent separate filings. Each case is nearly identical other than the defendant.

Twitter, MySpace and Facebook are all being sued for sending confirmation messages to a cellular device. In each case, the plaintiffs chose to activate the text-message feature within the service. At some point later in time, the three people each changed their mind and replied with “stop” so that they would no longer receive the communications.

As with any other service out there, the three services all then sent back a confirmation message. This is standard procedure, folks. It’s been done forever, and I’ve honestly never seen someone complain. However, these three individuals have seen the opportunity to make a few bucks, and are pointing to a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. This Act was designed to prevent unsolicited communications to cellular devices. It’s used when companies are spamming people and when you have cases of harassment, even. It shouldn’t apply to something that you signed up for willingly and then changed your mind about later on.

I don’t know about you, but I am glad I receive confirmation messages. Imagine you want to receive these little tidbits on your phone. Another person is using your device and decides to play a prank on you by replying “Stop.” Or… perhaps you accidentally do so. Whatever the case may be, it’s good in my mind to have that extra little layer of security in place. The companies are simply making sure there was no error. They don’t continually harass you and try to get you to stay signed up. They don’t send message after message. You receive ONE confirmation notice. Why is that so wrong?

Personally, I think this is a load of hogwash. What are your thoughts?

MySpace is Totally For Sale

We’ve thought for a while now that News Corp has given up on MySpace. We all speculated that the company would go up for sale when the big layoffs hit last month. Even though they aren’t advertising it, the website is most definitely for sale. News Corp COO Chase Carey told a reporter over at PaidContent that “With a new structure in place, now is the right time to consider strategic options for this business. The new MySpace has been very well received by the market and we have some very encouraging metrics. But the plan to allow MySpace to reach it’s full potential may be best achieved under a new owner.”

Carey makes it clear that while they haven’t offered the social space to the sale block, offers have been coming in. He is quick to point out that they will entertain all offers, including those which may keep his company involved in some way.

Subterfuge aside, it’s pretty clear that Tom’s site is about to change hands. What would it take for someone new to breathe life back into it and make it more viable again?

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Top Social Media News

The turn of the year brought some big news in social media along with some seriously lame memes. Facebook has effectively killed MySpace. In the last month, we have also seen the emergence of lawsuits based on the use of social media, and brands using social media to leverage consumers using contests for a more active level of engagement, though not entirely effectively.

Check out these stories amongst the other best posts of social media for December 2010 – January 2011.

What social media news has caught your attention the most this year?

MySpace Cuts Nearly Half of Workers

In a move that (sadly) surprised no one, MySpace announced that they were laying off 47% of their workforce today. These people include those who pulled double duty at times, helping to re-launch the social site that no one ever remembers to visit. Employees are angry – and rightly so, judging by an email sent to TechCrunch. Rumors are swirling as to whether the struggling property is up for sale, but today’s pink slips speak loudly: MySpace is in trouble.

I’m sorry if you feel it’s wrong for me to pass judgment on the formerly-hot site. Yes, there are “millions of registered users.” How many of those users actually ever log in to their profile? How many even remember their login information? Having a high amount of registered users doesn’t mean a damn thing unless those people actually use the site.

Current CEO Mike Jones puts a tired spin on the news:

… significant organizational restructuring… With our recent relaunch as an entertainment destination for Gen Y, we introduced a much tighter focus, a significantly streamlined product and an updated technology platform.

I swear… every layoff within a company is attributed to restructuring. If that were truly the case in this particular situation, wouldn’t the company have been better off reassigning people to different tasks? Would they really have needed to lay off five hundred people? These are people who gave up their lives – literally – for a period of several months in order to help relaunch the site. They are the same men and women who were motivated by telling them what a wonderful team they were. Color me silly, but that’s not my definition of true team mentality.

The future of MySpace is one that none of us can predict at this point. Will it survive? Will it fade into oblivion? Will someone buy it and turn it into something we all want to use and love? Your guess is as good as mine right now. What I do know is those people are all going to be looking for work. My hope is that each of them will find a position with a company who will value their talents and dedication far more than their former employer obviously ever did.

Are You Still Using MySpace?

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Seb asked me in chat recently if I actually use MySpace. I have an account there, yes. I actually even receive tens of visitors there each month. I admit that I really don’t even USE the site. Do you?

From all appearances, it seems as though MySpace has turned into almost a joke. They are working hard to rebrand the site and turn it into something unique that people will want to use again. However, I just don’t see it happening. When they first came up with the customizable pages, everyone loved it. We could make our pages look however we wanted… until it got out of control. Everywhere you look there are blinky things, strange graphics and comment pictures. It’s overload of a very bad kind, and people who actually care about such things seem to be the only ones using the site still.

Everyone I talk to who takes part in social media profile sites is on Facebook. LinkedIn is ranked up there as another site people feel the need to have a complete profile on. If I mention MySpace, I get strange looks or outright cynical snorts.

What are your thoughts? Are you still using MySpace?

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MySpace and Facebook: A Connection Made in Heaven?

Speculation mounted last night about today’s “big” joint Facebook and MySpace announcement. Sadly, the news was almost a let-down today during the actual event. We already knew that Facebook Connect was coming to MySpace. Finding out for sure was pretty anti-climatic. We’re all sitting here scratching our heads, wondering exactly why we are supposed to care.

Mike Arrington hit the nail on its proverbial head earlier when commenting on his own story. Someone in the comment thread dared to challenge him by asking why there are hundreds of millions of users on MySpace if they suck so much. Arrington simply replied “because they started out with hundreds of millions of users?” I’m not convinced that the announcement between the two sites today is going to bring more traffic to either site.

Mashup with Facebook is an opt-in feature that is quick and easy to set up. Users can visit Myspace.com and click on the Mashup with Facebook button to begin. In just a few simple steps, a basic Myspace profile is created and users can immediately begin building their personal profile based on information they’ve listed in their Facebook profile. Built into the feature are robust algorithms that help enable the discovery, expression, and connection to entertainment content for a user to customize their Myspace profile.

That’s it, folks. IF you use both sites, you can connect your likes to MySpace. The BusinessInsider actually says it best:

Users can now log into Myspace with Facebook connect, and all of their likes will get sucked into Myspace. With that information, Myspace will try to become a hub for users watching their favorite TV shows and listening to their favorite music. This is a pretty smart move from MySpace. It will not win the social networking war. So, it might as well take advantage of Facebook’s “social graph” to help it with its new mission, which is to be a “leading entertainment social destination.”

Yes, there are millions of users who have MySpace accounts. There haven’t been millions who USE those accounts in a very long time. Will this Mashup change anything? Time will only tell, I suppose. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s safe to say nothing will be changing for me.

Why is MySpace Meeting up with Facebook?

Earlier today, an invitation went out to the press to attend a (gasp!) GoToMeeting tomorrow with both MySpace and Facebook in attendance. Unfortunately, I doubt this means that we’ll see some major alliance between the two sites. I doubt that MySpace is going to close up shop or anything of that nature. Rumors are flying, of course. I have a feeling that it’s a simple matter of announcing the fact that you can log in to MySpace using Facebook Connect.

If that’s the case, it’s really not much of a big deal. Who still even uses MySpace? This is likely the reason they chose to hold a simple online meeting software instead of an actual physical event. It also explains why Zuck himself won’t be in attendance. Presenting at the webinar will be MySpace CEO Mike Jones–who has been pitching MySpace as “a social entertainment destination” rather than a social network–and Dan Rose, VP of Partnerships and Platform Marketing for Facebook.

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TweetDeck Helps You Manage Your Social Stream

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Matthew has created a screencast to walk you through setup of the free TweetDeck application. TweetDeck runs off of Adobe Air, and is an excellent program to help you manage your social stream. You can add your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, FourSquare, Google Buzz and MySpace profiles. Mix and match to have any (or all) of those accounts right in one easy-to-use application.

Using TweetDeck, you can tweet like one of the pros. Customize your Twitter experience in the program by using columns, groups, saved searches and automatic updates. You can tweet, share photos and videos and send links directly from the application – without ever having to log in to the web UI.

When you connect sites such as Facebook and MySpace to your TweetDeck application, you can update your status, share photos and videos, leave someone a comment and even group your friends. Add groups to follow only the people you want to see updates from, keeping your TweetDeck interface nice and tidy.

Thanks, Matt, for another excellent screencast!

What desktop application do you use to keep track of your social stream?

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MySpace Introduces New Profile Pages

Ahhhh, MySpace. You remember that place, right? Way back when, we all thought it was pretty cool. If you remember your login credentials for the site, you should check out what they’ve been doing with profiles. It’s actually, well, pretty cool. The new layout is slick, even if I don’t much like to have to admit it. The social networking site just raised the bar when it comes to user profiles and design. Sure, you’ll still have to put up with the blinkies and doo-dads on other people’s pages if you choose to visit them. But overall, YOUR profile is going to look sweet.

As you can see from MySpace exec Sean Percival’s profile snapshot above, there are now options to allow people to follow you around the Internet, as well as a Flickr Gallery. I spy with my little eye some buttons that I can make use of to help all of you stalk me, such as ones for my RSS feed, Twitter, FriendFeed, YouTube… and even one for Facebook(!) – yes, really.

The site confirmed the new features today, saying that: “We’re testing a new look and feel of our site among users and the response so far has been positive,” …”As always, we’re interested in hearing feedback from our community as we roll out enhancements to the user experience and look forward to sharing more details with you in the coming weeks.”

What are your thoughts on the new profile pages? Do you even still have a MySpace profile?