After posting something on Twitter stating how I still hated Facebook and thought the new MySpace was actually the best looking social network, I got a lot of flack. Now, I never said people were going to come back and make it the new (or old, reborn, whatever you want to call it) it social network for 2013, but I wanted to take a second and explain what I meant while sharing some thoughts that won’t fit in 140 characters.
First up, I was a huge fan of the original MySpace. Back in the day, I had one of the bigger profiles on the site and used it as a huge promotional tool for my brand, music, and products I wanted to promote (and it actually really worked). I even came on board to consult with Chris DeWolfe (then CEO) on marketing and branding, ultimately creating and launching the successful “Official DJ Program” with them where we got the top DJ’s in the country on the site, featured on the homepage, and built a nationwide network of key personalities connecting not only each other but millions of fans and music heads (who all in tern promoted their MySpace profile on air for free- genius). It was the best social network for music ever (still) and for many was a crucial element and part of our daily life.
Obviously this all fell apart soon after for a number of reasons. Multiple buyers bought and sold the company again and again and the focus ultimately shifted towards generating page view money. Add on that users were given too much power to customize the page look and made the worst and slowest looking pages ever that were annoying to navigate, the infamous Top 8 became top 1 billion and irrelevant, spam inundated the comments and inboxes, and the site itself was often slow, buggy, and became increasingly ugly especially compared to newer sites that popped up. MySpace didn’t evolve with the times and died a very slow public and painful death. I, and most others, haven’t even logged on or thought about in years.
Jump to 2013. You’d think someone would have built the perfect social site by now (ha), or at least a good music one… but no. Facebook is the worst for any brand, musician, or person trying to promote or push anything. With stupid policies like the way the newsfeed is ran, not letting people message brand or music pages, let alone not offering a good way to really promote your product on the pages themselves (outside of apps, don’t get me started there), they have left a huge chunk of the market open (no comment on privacy policies, which is actually negative for not just Facebook and the consumers who hate them because of, but for brands as it is impossible to find people to reach or connect to people since you can’t see what many say unless they like you). Quite simply, 98% of musicians, brands, and personalities I know hate Facebook for their personal brand. I don’t see any change coming.
Next up, Twitter. Twitter is great, but still limited in several aspects. First up, 140 characters doesn’t give you a ton of room, and there is no way to easily showcase or access music or media (they have made strides, but it’s not the fundamental goal of the service, nor should it be). Next up, your latest tweet is up top. There is no way to “value” or place weight on and feature specific tweets. For example, if I released an album, its obviously more important to share that post/tweet versus my thoughts on my lunch from today, but Twitter only shows the latest. Again, this isn’t a problem that needs to be fixed, it is how twitter was designed and should be, but there is room for something else (and don’t tell me “Favorite” tweets are for this- who really uses that?).
Instagram is the same as twitter except even less friendly as its only pictures. It doesn’t need to change what it does, it is what it is. Hopefully Facebook doesn’t mess it up more. LinkedIn is business only and doesn’t count, and nothing else is truly relevant enough to discuss now, leading us back to the new MySpace.
Now, when they brought me in to see the new MySpace, I was skeptical. However, after seeing it in action, I actually love the way it looks. They really did an amazing job with the design and created the best looking social network out there. This isn’t to say its without flaws. First up they need to just trash the old MySpace, its junk, and convert it all to the new platform (now you have to type http://new.myspace.com to see the good stuff). Next up, I still don’t honestly know what the hell I’m supposed to do when logged on, and they need to make it a little more user friendly and engaging so the site is more sticky, but for the first time in what seems like an eternity, I actually want to go on MySpace… and that my friends is why MySpace has a shot.
When you want to see something work, and are willing to try it out, you have something. Because no social network was ever as music/brand friendly as MySpace was in its heyday, we all have hope they can take the same principals and magic from back in the day and make a comeback. Add this to the fact in 2013 that there is no good music (or brand friendly) social network (no, Soundcloud is just a music streaming site, sorry), and that we as musicians (and brands) are DYING for a good one that can be as effective as MySpace was back in the day, give the new MySpace more than just a smother of hope. Remember musicians and music are the most viewed/watched/searched thing on the internet* (and thus have the real power- audiences!), and these artists are usually all about how things look and feel, so I believe many will share the same thoughts as me on the site and give it a chance.
Kudos to the MySpace team for doing something daring and starting from scratch (you don’t have your old friends/profile/anything anymore, MySpace is basically starting from 0, yes you have to re-sign up) AND keeping a name that has a negative connotation to it in an effort to build the ultimate music social network. Plus, everyone always loves an underdog. Add to the fact the biggest music release of 2013 is from its new owner who will undoubtedly cross promote the site everywhere, and it may be on to something. Again, MySpace still has a long way to go, and I’m not saying it will work, but don’t say I didn’t warn you if it somehow does… Could this be the best comeback in Internet history? Connect with me and lets find out together - http://new.myspace.com/djskee
*porn doesn’t count