Kim Schulze

My-Spat: The NEW MySpace Debate

2013-01-11 11:45
My introduction to the world of social media was MySpace. In fact, it was my very first online platform, other than e-mail. I loved it. I was at u¬niversity doing that whole "personal identity" thing – MySpace was catnip for us varsity kids.

I'd personalised my page within an inch of its life. I'd figured out as much coding as I possibly could, and adjusted widths and colours and backdrops to get the exact look I wanted. A lot of people were using it, so there was fairly frequent interaction. It was limited to one-liners and profanity, but, interaction regardless.

Then everyone started telling me to join Facebook. "Argh, blergh", I moaned, "so boring; just blue; seems pointless." As it does tend to go, resistance was futile and I was eventually coerced. None of my friends were using MySpace anymore, and I was basically left with the online equivalent of jerking myself off.

MySpam can

It took about two days for me to become obsessed with the little blue and white page.

So simple. So clean. Everyone was RIGHT THERE. 'Oh look, Hennie passed Stats. Monique liked the new Chevelle album, rad, let me check that out.' It was immediate and easy. And I loved that about Facebook. As The Social Network movie would have us believe, Zuckerberg had sourced exactly what we wanted to know about each other and share about ourselves.

My friends and I were all posting statuses, varying from daily-to-dos, the partying we were doing that week, more profanity. Oh, the fun. Not to mention participating in a few addictive, procrastinating-friendly games.

I soon abandoned my MySpace page altogether. It was too complicated. I’d had to spend far too long on the damn thing. Changing info was complicated, removing things was complicated, FINDING things was complicated. As for the posts, it was like a MySpam can. And after all that complicated crafting of my page, there wasn’t a lot to actually do. But most of all, no one was using it. Which made its very existence null and void to the non-up-and-coming-musician.

Log onto Facebook in 2013. Adverts. Newsfeeds telling me about my friend liking some stranger’s photo. Bizarre privacy laws so complicated we can’t decide if we should be worried or laugh at the paranoia. I hate it. People post stupid photos that rotate through the Facebook community quicker than herpes in an infested round of spin the bottle. My friends’ incessant motivational quotes have me wanting to plot their deaths, as opposed to joining them on the light side.

The reasons for the anti-Facebook movement vary. It’s too personal, too often, too everywhere. Simply, it’s too messy. There are far too many apps that you get spammed with, despite blocking them. In my world, Facebook has become like the MySpace I so despised. And interestingly, it’s not so much because people aren’t using it, as was the case with MySpam…

New MySpace is clever

It's just, well, boring.

And hark - the quiet whispers of the NEW MySpace have been circling. All I've seen at this point is a promotional video, prompted by Memeburn's article, and a few other articles showing us how to use it. I'm waiting on my official invite, so until then, my opinions are reserved.

But, what I do know is that they've been clever.

They've risen above all the trivial social elements typical of Facebook and even Twitter, and made it about music and music sharing. Of course, personal statuses and information are included, but it's the musical element of the New MySpace that makes it different.

They’ve got a great relationship with various record labels, which makes finding and sharing your favourite songs as easy as a search on iTunes. You simply start typing, and it finds what you’re looking for.

It’s taken a leaf from the very effective Pinterest layout, which is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. It scrolls horizontally, which is either going to be fresh or frustrating, we shall see. You can find more details on the sites inner-workings here. You’ll notice, that they are aiming for very smart interactions. It helps you find people, lets you know if your friends are connected to you, as you are to them – sneaky, sneaky.

I’ll admit, a large part of the appeal is quite simply that it's something new. I’m a big fan of the visual side of Pinterest, which New MySpace has adopted. It’s a simpler way of scrolling through posts and knowing what you’re interested enough in to click on. An easier filtering process, if you will, than Facebook’s incessant scrolling and reading. I’m a lazy networker, okay?

We'll all be addicted

But in this digital environment of constantly evolving social media spheres, will we eventually get sick of it, and if we do, how quickly? (I know we’ll have those annoying "what NOT to do on the New MySpace" articles within two weeks of it launching to the masses, but we can’t control everything, now can we.) I feel that its specialised musical element, as well as its legitimate links to record companies and artists means we won’t.

Music lovers never tire of music, and most of us LOVE sharing it. We love to say we found it first too, and if New MySpace’s trick of finding things you enjoy works, we’ll probably all be able to call ourselves hipsters. Once the New Myspace’s tools are refined, I think we’ll all be addicted. Especially because we can listen with 'just von click'.

I’m excited, because it’s not the tedious posting we initially loved about Facebook, which we now hate. (I think that has a lot to do with being "friends" with people we’re not full-on “friends” with, but that’s another bucket of porpoises.)

Food, wedding and baby posts aside, do we really care that "Jeff is so angry about his boss’ new carpet"? It’s like being permanently exposed to the trivial redundancies of EVERYONE’s day-to-day lives. Your relevant other person is there for you to bore with your mundane activities, thank you. Pssh.

Some early reviews have written off the New MySpace simply because the name is attached to it. The crash of the initial social network was pretty epic, so while the, er, lets call it "stigma" associated with it is understandable, don’t be so quick to deny it a chance.

I think – if the programming and functionality are really good – we'll all be obsessed with it in no time. Go here to sign up for an invite.

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