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The MySpace Ecosystem 185

Posted by Zonk
from the wretched-hive-of-scum-and-villainy dept.
conq writes "BusinessWeek has an article on how MySpace is developing its own ecosystem in the same way that Microsoft did it with Windows, and Apple with the iPod. From the article: 'Now, MySpace is beginning to create its own ecosystem of third-party companies that are developing features and applications for the giant digital community. The idea is to encourage other companies to use their creativity and expertise to come up with things for MySpace users that MySpace itself hasn't. That could be anything from letting people add to their MySpace home pages from a mobile phone or creating a slide show of their favorite MySpace photos."
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The MySpace Ecosystem

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  • I have to be the only one without myspace... I'm in the demographic I mean early twenties and I have friends with them. I have other social sites etc, but myspace really has no appeal to me. Can somebody explain to me what the deal is, because nobody thus far has been able to.

    And now I'm able to myspace from anywhere and do all kinds of extra stuff with my myspace that I just don't give a rats ass about, so umm yeah... sign me up?
    • In all honesty, it just appears to be a platform from which one can boast about things that may never have happened, and feel important despite never having done anything to justify having a massive ego.

      In this world where one becomes a hero for dying incidentally in an explosion, is it any wonder that a public forum for ego masturbation is the fastest-growing site on the Internet?
    • You know, I hate MySpace as much as the next fellow, but this sort of response to every MySpace related article is getting redundant. 'I'm so much different than all those crazy kids. I don't get it. Can someone explain it to me?' I think your type of people should have a cage match with these type of guys [theonion.com].
      • Personally, I don't see the need in talking about not using MySpace. I'm always seeing all these people whinging about how they don't use MySpace and how stupid it is, and I'm like "What are you talking about? I don't understand!"

        I just find it to be a complete and utter waste of my time, sitting on some website boasting about how little I like a website. But what I don't understand is how this can be, when so many of my friends are jumping right on the bandwagon and hating on MySpace 24/7. Anyone know wha

    • by crlove (857212) on Friday July 21, 2006 @01:47PM (#15758979) Journal
      I will give you one honest way I've found myspace useful. I'm 26, out of school for a little bit. MySpace has been a great "no pressure" way to get back in contact with those people I haven't spoken to in a few years.

      You know, there are those people you had some classes with, saw at parties, ran in the same general crowd, but never became close friends. With MySpace, you can just search for school/graduating class/etc. come across these people you hadn't thought about in awhile, and make them your "friend".

      No need to have lengthy conversations, you don't even have to talk to each other at all. But it never hurts to have those contacts in case you're really bored one weekend/job hunting/whatever. Then you just leave a comment or send an email saying, "Wanna head to the bar this weekend?" "Oh, I see you work at Initech, could I give you my resume?" or just "Hey, remember that time...?"

      In short, it's a great link to people you know but don't have the need and/or desire to talk to all the time.
      -
      • Also, I should add that Facebook might be a better way to do this, but I was out of school before I could sign up. So, MySpace is an ok alternative.
      • I do the same thing, but on Friendster. MySpace is a little more emo teen/friends-thats-aren't-really-friends page (I know maybe 20% of the people on my MySpace, but 100% of the people on my Friendster are genuine friends).
    • by timeOday (582209) on Friday July 21, 2006 @01:50PM (#15759004)
      I was listening to the radio this morning, and a middle-aged radio host said to him myspace is like the VCR was to his parents' generation - it has no purpose and just sits there blinking 12:00. I don't "get" myspace either (never visited), but it must be popular if even people on the radio who don't know what it is, still know about it.
      • by Rakshasa Taisab (244699) on Friday July 21, 2006 @02:11PM (#15759190) Homepage
        A better analogy would be that the VCR is the internet and MySpace is people recording themselves talking about inane stuff and exchanging the tapes with others. If there's something about that I don't "get", I'd rather stay ignorant.
        • If there's something about that I don't "get", I'd rather stay ignorant.

          I think that's always how it is. My elderly grandfather recently bought a computer. He had my sister type up his memoirs on it, then declared he had got his money's worth from the computer and was done with it. We set him up with Internet and showed him how to browse the web and send email. He said it was hard to use the mouse, so we set it up with big buttons and fonts, but no dice. Finally we just realized he just didn't want t

        • let me guess, youre using lynx?
      • What the fuck is a radio?
      • You have hit the nail on the head, they say that any new idea that takes root in society after you turn 40 is automatically to be considered "unnatural". I'm approaching 50, I don't see the attraction of myspace or "big brother" style TV shows.

        Myspace doesn't bother me because I can simply ignore it, I don't know if it's usefull or not, I just don't care about it, I don't want to understand. I'm content to die without ever having experienced myspace, read all my junkmail or watched the Titanic remake all
    • I have to be the only one without myspace... I'm in the demographic I mean early twenties and I have friends with them. I have other social sites etc, but myspace really has no appeal to me. Can somebody explain to me what the deal is, because nobody thus far has been able to.

      The appeal isn't for you, it's for the non-computer literate crowd. It provides them something to do with the internet. It the one place on the net where it's okay to admit you use a computer. Seriously. There are "hot chicks" and

      • Egads (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Gr8Apes (679165)
        They've "re-invented" USENET by the sound of your description. Or rather, what USENET would have evolved into if AOL had not connected to the internet before the web was born.
        • The "groups" feature is certainly comparable to Usenet (without the binaries groups). I think that what MySpace did was create an easy to use interface that included some of the most asked for components of a personal webpage. Specifically, people can put in information about themselves, link themselves to their friends and search for new friends. You don't have to know any HTML to get your own MySpace page going.
    • Ok, I'm biting... I'm not doing anything today, Horay for myspace. Plus I don't want to be that tv guy... (see the onion link below)
    • I created a MySpace back when it was brand new and never touched it. I also made another account (forgot about the old one) just to browse some indie music sites. I think MySpace is useful for garage bands until they break 100 fans. Other than that it irritates the hell out of me. Maybe that is because I am a college student with the wonders of Facebook [facebook.com].
  • by sivartis (634876) on Friday July 21, 2006 @01:30PM (#15758806) Homepage
    Other than having no privacy, but hell, I don't go there for that. I'm findnig it's great for keeping in touch with friends who otherwise would be but a shadowy spectre in some distant land (Wisconsin). I do with it was a little more stable. I understand that with 90 million users whings get a little hairy, but is it too much to ask that they upgrade to handle the bandwidth demand? And expand their features. If I make a comment on someone's blog that they respond to, let me know. Little thing, people. Little things.
    • Woohoo, Wisconsin FTW!

      Anyhoo... I'm actually not sure if I've ever actually gone to MySpace before. I have no interest in the MySpace/FaceBook kind of sites. I don't know. I just don't want to use them. Heck, and I'm a website programmer as my profession. Though, I'm surprised they don't have some of these simple features.

  • New features.. wooo (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JakeX (978243)
    Wow thats great, maybe someone might actually come up with a page design application that doesn't have flashing gifs, multiple videos, tacky backgrounds for my(crap)space. I don't understand why everyone on myspace must design their page like something out of the 1990's with as many flashing images and crap as possible.. Just to annoy you.
    • It's just like ricer cars. The "modifications" do nothing good for the car (or in this case, page), but they are quite obviously noticeable. And, they make the individual feel as though they have performed some great feat, as the person (typically) would not have otherwise known how to do anything like that.
  • Age Verification (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hortos (975067) on Friday July 21, 2006 @01:32PM (#15758824)
    Who ever comes up with a real working age verification scheme is going to be rich.
    • Re:Age Verification (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Bryansix (761547) on Friday July 21, 2006 @01:58PM (#15759076) Homepage
      Simple. Ask for a credit card and then charge a dollar to it. Call the charge "Age Verification". Then refund the charge in 28 days. If some kid steals his Dad's cc then the Dad is going to see the charge on the bill and start asking questions.
      • Re:Age Verification (Score:4, Informative)

        by Mr2001 (90979) on Friday July 21, 2006 @02:08PM (#15759159) Homepage Journal
        Won't work. I had a checking account and associated Visa debit card before I turned 18.

        Also, your scheme presumes Dad actually reads his itemized credit card bill and will become suspicious about a $1 charge.
        • Also, your scheme presumes Dad actually reads his itemized credit card bill and will become suspicious about a $1 charge.
          I know I would; who the fuck would use a credit card for a $1 charge?
      • If some kid steals his Dad's cc then the Dad is going to see the charge on the bill and start asking questions.

        Are you kidding? You apparently have no many pre-teens do have secured credit cards that hold their allowance, and how little people look at low dollar purchases on their bills...

      • That doesn't work to verify your age. It may probe you're not underage; but it won't probe you are a teenager and not a 45 year old male trying to contact young girls.
    • Re:Age Verification (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Skim123 (3322)
      I remember the original Leisure Suit Larry game had a unique age verification system. Before it would let you play, it would ask you three multiple choice questions that had to do with pop culture, politics, and whatnot from the 70s, something a ten year old in the late 80s would likely know nothing about. :-)
      • And yet they were questions that a 12 year old in the early 90's could answer . Strange that.
      • To the frustration of all of us outside US, the questions were also very US-centric... The day I found out that Alt-X bypassed the questions was a good one.
      • Yeah but that was in the 80s, and we didn't have any way to quickly look that stuff up. You could ask any kid today pop culture questions from the 80s or 90s and a little quick googleing and some vh1 'I Love the (insert decade)' would turn up anything they needed to know.

        Plus those questions weren't all that hard or obscure, and you could try as many times as you needed to get them right without the game locking out on you.

      • Liesure Suit Larry was out before we had the ability to quickly google or wiki virtually any small fact for something like this...
      • whatever! the questions were easy, "Who was the first man to walk on the moon?" You didn't have to be alive in 1968 to know that. Plus, they were multiple guess.
      • If myspace tried that, it would be circumvented by a simple google/wikipedia search. Of course, it MIGHT slow down those blasted spam bots, for like a day. They are the cancer of myspace's ecosystem.

        That and for some reason there are a LOT of whoreish users on myspace. What is the desire to show off your body in minimal clothing anyways?
      • even a 6 year old can use google
  • These webpages that provide content for MySpace profiles that consist of a lot of cut and paste code. Yes, you have the instant gratification of getting that cool contact table NOW, but I know lots of people on my friends list that have had to scrap their whole profile and start over fresh because they messed it up so bad with code they don't understand.

    I use a lot of the cut and paste stuff myself, but it definately helps when you know at least some basic HTML.
  • Not suprising.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ChowRiit (939581) on Friday July 21, 2006 @01:33PM (#15758832)
    Not only is it a very, very heavily trafficed site, but it's also one the users tend to invest quite a bit of time and effort in (ignoring the "lawl myspace is teh suck", I'm not a huge fan myself but it's getting silly). Any advertiser with sense is going to see a large market there, and one big enough that it's worth making an effort to specifically target the demographics using it, with relevant services.
  • by Rotten168 (104565) on Friday July 21, 2006 @01:33PM (#15758833) Homepage
    It's a goddamn website, Jim, not the Everglades!
  • MyAOLSpace (Score:2, Insightful)

    by achacha (139424)
    Eco system or not, it is still a public corporation (thanks to Turner) and needs to make some money (it can also be a vehicle for Ted to brainwash millions of kid into watching TBS reruns). However, whie MySpace remains questionable profitable, people think of it as a viable venue, once they start looking for ways to actually make money is when their eco system collapses on itself.

    This is what happend to Genie, Compuserve, AOL, and now a possibility for MySpace. Remember how laughable AOL user was.

    Is MySp
    • Re:MyAOLSpace (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MrSquirrel (976630)
      No. Besides being fundamentally different (an ISP vs. a website), you had to pay for AOL. Myspace is free (well, it may take a toll on your eyesite when you visit a page with a pink background and sparklies and a slightly lighter shade of pink for font). Anyone who pays for crap is a moron. But free crap... hey, it's free! (I use Myspace in order to keep in touch with friends. ...and to have random 15 year olds tell me I'm "sooo hawt" so I can wish I was dead).
      • and to have random 15 year olds tell me I'm "sooo hawt" so I can wish I was dead).

        Liar!!! You post on slashdot, no 15 year olds can possibly think you're hot!!! You are a computer nerd, admit it!! Bask in the glory of your monitor light!!!
        • Re:MyAOLSpace (Score:2, Informative)

          by MrSquirrel (976630)
          Yes, I may be a computer nerd, but 15 year olds think anyone over 18 (and under say... 25 [I'm 21]) is hot. Also, it probably helps that I'm riding a pink pony in one of my pictures... don't ask.
          • Ok...
            1. Not to rain your parade, but those 15 year-olds are most likely FBI trolling for pedophiles.

            And 2. Pink pony. That's hawt.
          • OMG ponies!!1
    • But myspace should have extremely low expenses. It's just a website with user-generated content, right? So making a couple bucks per year from each member is perfectly viable.
    • Re:MyAOLSpace (Score:2, Informative)

      by stradric (983743)
      Turner? Try Murdoch.
  • It appears as though an evil group of people has censored the popular medias, causing widespread stupidity & ignorance.
  • by Recovering Hater (833107) on Friday July 21, 2006 @01:40PM (#15758908)
    Can someone tell me what the difference is between myspace and geocities is? It's as if geocities all of a sudden got extremely popular. I just don't see what the big deal is? Cut and paste crappy webpages with no privacy? Why would I want to be associated with myspace?
    • The difference is about 10 years, that's all. MySpace's timing was better. Not geocities fault.
  • Could I have an emo kid detector? Oh wait... most of the site would get flagged. Hmmmm.... Back to the drawing board.
  • by Temsi (452609) on Friday July 21, 2006 @01:49PM (#15758990) Journal
    Seriously... why bother with anything new if your system is too slow for anyone to be able to use it?
    Right now, I was just waiting for my profile to load for about 2 minutes - and that's not even that bad. Some features just time out or load partially.

    MySpace is simply collapsing under its own load.
    It has become too popular for its own good.

    First, get the site to stay up - then and only then can you add features.
    • The whole friggin' thing needs a revamp. Their code is falling apart. I mean, just today, new mail notifications weren't working. How can something as simple as a new mail notification spontaneously break, especially on a 24/7 service?
    • I'll second that. I've written an adapter that lets me search MySpace music listings from my desktop, but because MySpace doesn't have a public API (unlike Yahoo, Google and even Amazon) I have had to rely entirely on screenscraping. Because the information is so poorly organized, the adapter has to do a little link crawling to actually get a decent set of data to display in the search results. While I was testing the link crawling, the MySpace web server performed so poorly and timed out so consistently
  • by moochfish (822730) on Friday July 21, 2006 @01:51PM (#15759020)
    This is breaking news, but the entire point of this article just got destroyed with the news that myspace is looking to expundge these so-called widgets:

    http://mashable.com/2006/07/21/myspace-update-thre atens-youtube-rockyou-and-hundreds-more/ [mashable.com]
  • by CurtMonash (986884) on Friday July 21, 2006 @01:55PM (#15759047) Homepage
    1. Multiple e-commerce models. Something will probably work.
    2. Multiple approaches to network analysis, collaborative filtering, etc. (Obligatory shameless plug: The hot new company in network analysis is Cogito [dbms2.com].)
    3. Various communications things.
    4. Various real time monitoring things, both narrowly filtered and for overall trends.

    I bet if I'd logged onto the site a single time in my whole life I might be able to come up with even more ideas. ;)
  • 1. Actually know who is checking out my profile. Sometimes people are shy and it would be good to maybe make the first step in communication.
    2. I don't know, how about not getting SERVER TOO BUSY half the time in the afternoon?
    3. Less anoying profile ``themes'' Ok, I know this is the users fault....
  • Here's my idea... Someone should create a program that will go through a user's e-mail box on MySpace and back everything up. The program could also make MySpace's e-mail system better. Kinda like a front end for it...
  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Friday July 21, 2006 @02:08PM (#15759161)
    ...comes complete with phishing, worms, and viruses.

    If I wanted a community like that, I could have just thrown my PC to the bottom of the ocean.
  • Wheee, a blatant plug:

    http://www.flashyourspace.com/ [flashyourspace.com]

    I've been doing exactly this, playing around with myspace as a target platform while I teach myself flash.
    • Oh.. and the hate! I forgot to mention that.

      Do something like I did, make a single post in a single forum letting people know about it. Don't charge for it. Don't have any advertising to generate income... and watch the dozens of "Don't SPAM" messages come accross, with far stronger language than your saturday cartoons.
  • Yes, Myspace has an ecosystem. They have adware. They have spyware. They have spam. [andrewphelps.com] They have Zango. [com.com] They have affiliates. It's like AOL gone bad.

  • Now, MySpace is beginning to create its own ecosystem of third-party companies that are developing features and applications for the giant digital community. The idea is to encourage other companies to use their creativity and expertise to come up with things for MySpace users that MySpace itself hasn't.

    Okay, it wasn't the simpsons. Seriously though, AOL has done exactly that, and it hasn't been working out too well for them lately. It worked well before the inception of the graphical web browser and ubiqui

  • by soliptic (665417) on Friday July 21, 2006 @02:36PM (#15759383) Journal

    Every time myspace is mentioned on slashdot, we same exactly the same thing. 98% of comments are just "UGH MYSPACE SUCKS", leaving absolutely no space for the kind of intelligent debate in the comments which brought me to slashdot in the first place.

    So I thought I would try and buck the trend.

    Let's see what the common complaints are about myspace:

    First, some technical/webdesigner type ones.

    • Ugly... very, very ugly
    • Bad nested-table HTML
    • Poor functionality, built on a mess of coldfusion that never works properly for longer than five minutes
    • Covered in ads

    Second, some more social/content focused ones.

    • Full of emo teenagers
    • Full of pointless "blogs" about how they hate their mom for making them tidy their bedroom
    • Full of people who validate their existence by having thousands of "friends" they don't actually know.

    You know what? Pretty much all true. I can't argue with it. And for exactly these reasons, I used to preach anti-myspace rants in exactly the same vein as this [slashdot.org] comment. I might even have done so on slashdot itself -- I know for a fact I did on other forums, extensively.

    But that's not quite the whole story.

    Things are a bit different for music accounts.

    Ya see, I'm in a band (unsigned/independent) and being a web developer for a day job, I'm left to look after that side of our operations. For the longest time I refused to get the band a myspace page for all the above reasons - but eventually the band forced me to drop my web designer snootiness about myspace and sort us out a page, and since then I've been forced to change my opinions a bit. For bands/musicians, it's genuinely quite useful.

    When we started the page, I went on an adding spree, not adding strangers just to bump up our friend count, but just adding (1) people who are genuinely our friends (2) people who've previously bought our cds / come to our gigs / bigged us up, (3) a few famous bands/djs/people who are influences and inspirations to us. Aside from that I don't add request anyone -- I wait for them to add request us! And they do...! Usually something between 1 and half a dozen every day for the last month or so. Sometimes they're obviously people who have been to our gigs but sometimes they're obviously not (because they live in countries we've never played), they're just people who have been searching for music, come across us and liked the tunes...

    And this is the crux of it. Sure, personally, as a "geeky" / "old school" web user, I'd much rather search google, find a website, and download an mp3 (or ogg, if you insist ;) ), than search myspace, find a profile, and listen with a flash player. Like most of you guys.

    But I - and you guys - are not typical. Obviously most people find the convenience of myspace and its auto-playing songs more appealing. Do you know how many emails I get saying "I randomly found your website from google and listened to your mp3s" -- pretty much none. Ever. Do you know how many messages from complete randoms on myspace saying "nice tunes" I get -- one every few weeks or so. As a band member/promoter you just can't ignore that!

    It genuinely works for getting new fans and networking. Example: A couple of weeks ago we played at a festival near Amsterdam (we're based in London). When I asked the promoter how he discovered us and decided we were worth paying to bring over from the UK (remember, we're completely unsigned, we have no label or financial backing, we book all our own gigs ourselves, we record, produce, finance, and distribute our albums ourself, we have next to no media coverage...) he said "myspace".

    So, if you want to bash it for being ugly and full of annoying emo kids, stolen pictures and unreadable profiles I can't really argue. It is. On the other hand... getting paid to go to Amsterdam for a long weekend isn't

  • "BusienssWeek has an article..."

    Ah yes, the Eidtors are hard at work...
  • ..write your own [robertjohnkaper.com] and make it suck less.

    But don't all be like me. ;-)
  • I just saw two movie trailers which gave the web site for the movie as "myspace.com/moviename". You used to see "AOL keyword: moviename", then "www.moviename.com". Now it's Myspace. Interesting trend.

  • A customized [google.co.uk] home page, 2005 + a Blog [wikipedia.org], 1993 + Usenet [faqs.org] 1979, + IRC [webopedia.com], 1993 + E-mail [webopedia.com], 1970 + a pile of adverts ...

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