Jul 5, 2011

Two Thoughts on Tuesday - Myspace and Justin Timberlake

A couple of days ago, it was reported that Justin Timberlake is partnering up with MySpace to try to revive the struggling social networking site.  My first thought is I think it's gonna take more than Justin Timberlake to revive MySpace.

When I joined MySpace in 2006, I saw how it quickly became the #1 social networking site and then quickly go downhill not long after they "forced" users to upgrade into the the profile pages.  Once you opted to upgrade to the new profile, there was no turning back to the old layout.

The problem with the new profile pages was that it was so much harder to customize than the original design.  Most MySpace users I know loved the ability to decorate our profile pages, customize it to show off our individuality.  But it was very hard to do that with the new layout unless you knew how to code.  Add to that the fact that the site was so graphics intensive and filled with advertising that even with a high speed Internet connection, it took "forever" to wait for your friend's profile page to load.  (Headache!!!)

I'm pretty sure MySpace designers were aware of that long loading time so they added a feature that allows you to comment on profiles from your list of friends (so you don't actually have to visit their profiles).  But at the same time, they have this other feature that you can turn on or off that lets you see whether someone actually visited your site or not.  So you can have comments with fancy pictures saying stuff like "Stopping by to say hi" and that person never really came by your profile page. 

Then again, why visit your friend's profile page if it's gonna take almost 5 minutes to load because of all the comment graphics other users have pasted on their profiles?  Really...don't we have better things to do with our time? 

My second thought is that if Justin Timberlake, as a musician, could have enough creative input into an updated design of MySpace, maybe musicians and their fans will come back to the dying social networking site and make it a successful music network like they were supposedly trying to do when they realized people were migrating over to Facebook.

Many of the musician friends I have on the MySpace page that I still maintain for nostalgia (in case my favorite local bands ever get back together) have already created Facebook pages (as opposed to personal facebook profiles) for their bands.  Those pages are so easy to visit and "like" without actually having to become online "friends" with the band.  And I know more bands prefer the ease of Facebook pages because I keep getting messages from these bands telling me to join them on Facebook.  Most of them don't even maintain their MySpace pages anymore.  Their songs and band schedules are not being updated as they do on Facebook.

Well, I'm gonna wait and see how MySpace will change this time.  Although that won't make me leave Facebook (all my close friends, relatives, and old classmates keep in touch with me there), if it makes a good comeback, I'll at least know that MySpace will be somewhere else I can go online for my music entertainment and artistic networking fun. 

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