26 October 2006

MySpace jumps the shark

Apparently MySpace has jumped the shark, with the number of page hits dropping 4% in September. News Corp say it’s a normal seasonal variation. I’m skeptical of that explanation, as us old-timers know that September is when all the students go to college, jump on their fast college-provided Internet connections, and post tons of crap on the net. Of course, now we have Eternal September, but many sites still see a noticeable uptick in traffic that month.

Anyway, if MySpace is dying, it’s not a moment too soon. Why do I hate MySpace? Well, let’s see…

For starters, it’s owned by News International, Rupert Murdoch’s company, the same corporation that gives us FOX News. If there’s a corporation I’d less like to trust with my personal data, I can’t think of it.

Then there’s the design. Ye ghods, it’s like Geocities rose from the dead and shambled onto my browser window.

Then there’s the functionality. In a way, it’s genius marketing. Someone obviously sat down and put together a list of exactly the functions that would encourage self-obsessed teenage drama queens to adopt the site as quickly as possible:

  • Picture of person, interests, personal data at the top, as that’s the most important thing in the world. After all, we’re marketing to the people who start chat conversations with “A/S/L?”

  • A lie at the top of the page saying “ is in your extended network” no matter who it is, to try and sucker people in.

  • Under that, a section boasting how many friends the person has.

  • A “top 8 friends” feature, to guarantee lots of drama.

  • Lock down all the content not on the front page, so you have to sign up even to read it.

Unsurprisingly, I’ve yet to see anyone link to anything worthwhile on MySpace. It makes LiveJournal look like Granta, it’s the toilet stall wall of the Internet. “JUDY UR THE BESTEST LUV U LOL!!” “ ROCKS!” “FRIEND ME!”

So no, I don’t have a MySpace page. I will never have a MySpace page.

© mathew 2017