MySpace or My Own Space

Dude, add me to the list of folks who just do not get MySpace…

Dude, add me to the list of folks who just do not get MySpace.

Yes, I have a profile there, which basically says: I’m only here because people I know are here….

As someone who has worked in the field of design and usability, the site is a complete nightmare. The first time I logged in, I almost fell off my chair. It would give Jakob Nielsen a heart attack. Matt nails it in Myutterconfusionspace. I know the kids love it, and the reason must be because we old folks can’t stand it. But still, I know people my age (or, well, a few years younger) who seem to like it quite a bit.

There’s been talk of MySpace elsewhere as well. Some of the points made were that MySpace is the cool thing right now, and while people who are no longer in their 20’s may actually care about archiving their own stuff on the web permanently (via blog, videoblogs, etc. that they control) the kids only care about today, and never really think about the future.

That last bit is pretty important to some of us. Jay Dedman has this idea of using the web to archive his live, to save those moments for the future so he, and others that know him can look at it, and in the future, look back at it. It’s a great idea, in line with Ourmedia,, and what many bloggers are doing. It’s the reason I have archives going back over 8 years here and try really hard not to break that.

Plenty of people believe that MySpace replaced Friendster, and some go as far as to say that Flickr fits into the same category (groups, friends, sharing, etc.) but in the end, I still prefer the independent network created by bloggers. We started this thing in 1997 without any assistance from big sites, just bootstrapping ourselves, and that’s the way I like it. Here’s to the future, in my very own space…

7 replies on “MySpace or My Own Space”

I’m also a fan of the independent networks of websites. I’m against the closed communities that places like flickr, LiveJournal, Xanga, and Myspace create. I’m nominally involved in those communities in that I have a profile, but it only serves to draw people out to my own website. I find that far too often, the users of such websites rarely venture out to read other content, and even more rarely do they provide any feedback on that content. In the same vein, I’ve recently taken a new tactic on flickr: whenever I create a new photo album on my personal website, I upload a single photo to flickr, and then place a note in the description that points the reader to the full album on my own website. Otherwise, flickr folks rarely check out my photo gallery, and even more rarely comment on my photos.

I think of Flickr as being a bit above most of the other sites mentioned, due to the fact that they’ve got feeds which make it easy to pull your own content (and others) out of the their system, as well as an API to go even deeper if needed. Hmmm, I really need to do a follow up to this post…

Hey, don’t lump all of us young people together — I’m twenty years-old and I think it’s a user interface nightmare. I don’t think anything needs features that take three or more clicks to reach. The site loads so slowly I lose interest before I ever reach the page I’m seeking. I think, I should add So&So to my friends but it’ll take me five clicks to get back to where I am, so forget about it. I would agree with your supposition that kids only care about today. Those temporary photo-hosting sites like Imageshack attest to that; it doesn’t take but a second to create an account and the service automatically provides the code needed to include the photo in their Myspace page or wherever. Its users don’t want or expect the service to hold their photos permanently.

Flickr as a service is a bit better than the rest in terms of the syndication and publication technologies it offers: they make it easy to post photos to your blog, syndicate your photos via RSS, etc. However, the Flickr *users* I come in contact with regularly seem to be fairly xenophobic, in terms of their willingness to browse and comment on photos that are not hosted on flickr.

Yeah, I think plenty of Flickr users probably fit into the “Flickr is all I need for photos” type of thinking… Though Flickr does make it pretty darn easy to collect up the photos of the people you know (who are also Flickr users) into a single place.

I guess the thing that annoys me most is that Flickr and non-Flickr users don’t treat each other equally. Non-Flickr users frequently view and comment on Flickr users photos – to us, it’s just another photo gallery. But the Flickr users tend not to take the time to visit photo galleries outside of Flickr – after all, why go through all of the trouble to visit a separate website, when Flickr makes it “pretty darn easy to collect up the photos of the people you know (who are also Flickr users) into a single place”. I can completely understand the appeal of browsing photos all in one place, but it frustrates me to no end that my work is being ignored by thousands of photographers on Flickr simply because I don’t feel like posting all of my photos there.

Back on the larger topic… another thing that annoys me is the increasingly common use of proper service names in place of generic pronouns, and the resulting inability of users to identify their particular implementation as part of a larger whole. Take Xanga for example. Xanga users frequently refer to their Xanga webpage as “their Xanga”. They ask “Do you have a Xanga?”. No, I don’t have a Xanga. I have a website. Or even a blog, if you will. This happens with Livejournal as well, and I suspect it also happens with MySpace. Overall, MySpace seems to just be a collecting place for random personal cruft, with incredibly bad layout and a plethora of ghastly “personalized” themes. There are a few bands and artists that I’m interested in who seem to maintain fairly respectable-looking MySpace pages, but on the whole, they’re just nasty.

i am nineteen years old. i unfortunately had a myspace account for about two weeks when i was pressured (oddly, significantly) by the loser people i was around. i deleted it. i have a fairly active livejournal account and a new booming flickr account. i use them both as tools because i have neither the time or the interest (at the moment) to make my own website. i agree with most comments here. although the idea that one can get upset about their photographs being ignored while not on flickr are strange to me. from what i know of the site, those who want comments actively seek it (like i). comments on photographs are the most interactive part of flickr and not really something that anyone looks for on site they aren’t in the habit of frequenting.

if i were to create a website i’m sure i would use both accounts still but as gateways to my site. the most impressive example i’ve seen of this is:

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