Posts Tagged: ‘MySpace’

Gather ’round, my friends, and let me tell you a tale of a giant that was brought to its knees. It’s a cautionary tale with a simple moral: Never assume you’ll always be number one. Chris and I have blogged about Myspace before. Back in February, I blogged about News Corp possibly selling the company off to whomever would be willing to take it. Chris blogged about massive layoffs at Myspace. Both of these posts came after Myspace’s attempt at a relaunch that saw the site refocus on becoming an entertainment portal. And now the news is that News Corp has indeed sold off the company at a huge loss.

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I feel awful for MySpace. It was the first social network I ever joined. I convinced friends to sign up, found folks I had lost touch with and connected with people who lived on the other side of the country from me. At the time I joined, it was the best option I had available — Facebook reserved profiles for high school and college students and I had graduated years earlier.

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Myspace can’t seem to catch a break these days. Juan Carlos Perez of IDG News wrote yesterday that the once-dominant social networking site laid off 500 employees, which amounts to about 47 percent of its staff. The cuts were part of a larger restructuring by the company. In addition to the layoffs, Perez said, Myspace now has new advertising and content deals in the United Kingdom, Australia and Germany.

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We took a little break writing up the summaries of what we’ve covered in TechStuff. In this blog post, we talk about the latest three episodes of our podcast. We covered a wide range of topics, starting with Alan Turing, one of the fathers of computer science. We also covered the mysterious Bloom Box, a device some people mistakenly believe provides free energy. We round it out with a discussion on Myspace — where it came from and what its future might hold.

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This morning, I read a piece by Mike Isaac at Forbes about how MySpace is undergoing a total redesign. Isaac quotes MySpace’s CEO Mike Jones as saying the new MySpace will be a “social entertainment destination” and that it’s not going to be “a social network.” The new site design is going into beta this week and will reach groups of users in batches. I don’t have it yet so I can merely speculate on what this will mean to MySpace.

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The fact that still, 2D photographs are still so popular is funny – why haven’t they been completely replaced by video? Perhaps it is because, by catching a fraction of a second, they allow a deception to exist that is useful to human beings, as demonstrated here: The video offers several useful tips for heightening […]

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There’s been a lot of business talk going on this past week. HP acquired 3Com. Intel paid a massive settlement to AMD. Google bought VoIP company Gizmo5. And it’s apparently not over. MySpace is in the process of acquiring Imeem. Peter Kafka at AllThingsD wrote that he’s confirmed the story, which was originally reported by Michael Arrington at TechCrunch.

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The other day, I felt a disturbance in the Force. After some Web browsing, I found out why. Facebook and MySpace, two giant social networking sites known for locking horns and struggling in an arduous battle over the last several years, may form an alliance. It’s almost like Coke and Pepsi decided to get together to produce a soft drink together. I’d like to suggest a name for this mythical drink: Copsi.

But back to the story. MySpace launched in January 2004 and Facebook hit the scene one month later. But MySpace had an open admission policy — Facebook restricted its membership to college students. Gradually, Facebook opened up the doors to a wider audience.

While MySpace had more active members for the first few years of competition with Facebook, eventually the tides turned and Facebook became the more popular site. Now it looks like MySpace may acknowledge that Facebook is the champion in the social networking site war. The proposed partnership would allow members to share music and videos from MySpace over the Facebook network. In other words, Facebook would become the social networking platform and MySpace would become a content provider. In addition, MySpace members would be able to link their profiles to Facebook using the Facebook Connect service.

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Breeanna Hare of CNN posted a story about the relationship between a person’s social class status and the online social networks he or she chooses to join. It’s an interesting read — the correlations seem to support the theory that each site appeals to certain classes of users.

So how does it break down? According to Hare’s research, MySpace tends to appeal to people in the middle class. Facebook users tend to be in a slightly higher social class, with a larger percentage of users making at least $100,000 a year than can be found back on MySpace. Twitter and LinkedIn users are, on the whole, even more affluent.

Hare offers a few theories to explain the correlations. One is that MySpace has always been an open network, while Facebook began as a community open only to college students. Eventually, Facebook opened up to allow anyone to create a profile on the site. But by then, the culture of Facebook had taken hold. That might explain why there appears to be more college students and graduates on Facebook than on MySpace.

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Claire Cain Miller of The New York Times wrote a story that reveals something I thought was common knowledge: Teenagers aren’t using Twitter. While teenagers have a reputation for adopting new technology quickly, that hasn’t been the case with Twitter. Miller offers a few theories on why this might be the case. For one thing, teens seem to think Twitter is a service geared more toward adults, particularly in the way many companies and individuals use Twitter as a promotional tool (guilty as charged). Teens tend to prefer other social networks like MySpace or Facebook.

Another reason Miller offers is that Twitter doesn’t really work the way it was originally pitched. When Twitter premiered, the idea behind the service was that it would let users stay in touch with a network of friends. You could keep up with what your pals were up to and they could do the same with you. If you wanted to organize a quick get-together or coordinate a group event, Twitter could help you relay the message across a wide group of friends. You wouldn’t have to send out dozens of e-mails or text messages.

While I’m sure some Twitter users follow that model, it seems to me that the majority of people using Twitter do so for other reasons. Some use it to promote a project or product. Others use it to make jokes or voice an opinion about a subject to encourage debate and discussion. And of course you have all the people who want to follow celebrities so that they can learn more about the human being behind the fame. But for teens who just want to stay in touch with a circle of friends, Twitter doesn’t seem practical.

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