A while back, I created a Friendster page. It was great! I found all kinds of people, and then, actually, maybe it wasn’t all that great. Their platform never evolved and the novelty wore off. Hot on the heels of Friendster came MySpace. Suddenly I had friends, and I could connect with bands, and leave cool comments on their pages, and listen to music, and it was pretty sweet.
Then a stripper named Tiffani tried to be my friend. Followed by Shawanda, Aimee, and jUnIque. Then a whole bunch of random people in Guatemala said they knew me. And wow, there’s a LOT of ads on my MySpace page. And what’s with all this spam?
So we all went to Facebook. And as Facebook eats the lunch of just about every competitor, I have to wonder — what happened to MySpace? Are they the spurned middle child between Friendster and Facebook? Do they have a Jan Brady complex that causes them to sit in their bedroom dreaming up imaginary boyfriends?
MySpace seems to have the best -and- worst problems. On the positive side, they’ve got millions of users, a huge collection of artists at all levels and genres, and enough money/manpower to accomplish just about anything. But in the case of MySpace, subtlety is useless. The ability to make a HUGE wave (or have anyone notice), isn’t easy. Thus if you’re going to do something BIG, you can’t really afford to mess it up. For further proof, go read about SnoCap.
These days, there’s a myriad of stories about MySpace losing money, relevancy, and purpose. All the while though, every musician I speak with is concerned about their presence on MySpace. It’s ironic, but not all that surprising. While musicians are quick to latch on to the latest and greatest everything, they also appreciate something that gives them mass exposure. When even a low-level artist can gather 20,000 “fans” on MySpace, that says something. Even if some of ‘em are named Tiffani and jUnIque.
That audience has to do “something” for you though. And for MySpace to succeed, they need to consistently provide and prove value to musicians. Facebook is a less spam-tacular affair. A fan is actually a real person, with ostensibly measurable value (unlike Tiffani).
The road to creating that value proposition is an exciting one. And there are a variety of ways to go about delivering it. Who can lead that change?