MySpace? Who’s Space??

Well it’s been a strange couple of weeks for me and my ongoing struggle with the big pile of silly nonsense that MySpace has become…

As many of you may already know it was unofficially Quit MySpace Day on October 24th. I believe this was initiated by Andrew Dubber on the wonderful New Music Strategies site; the basic premise being that MySpace was now nothing more than a spam-riddled, exploitative advertising tool for Rupert Murdoch et al and the time has now come for musicians and bands to simply close down their account en masse. Steve Lawson has also been blogging on the subject today, having been quoted in yesterday’s Observer about the recent MySpace redesign and his experience with the site over the years.

I’ve posted various rants over the years concerning MySpace. When I first started putting my stuff online, MySpace was the place to go first. For many, myself included, it was a virtual shop window to showcase our work as musicians with it’s simple music player, embedded videos and photo galleries. Over the years MySpace really has struggled to keep up with the changing face of social media; mainly due to it’s dreadful corporate shenanigans since the Murdoch takeover in 2005.

Since then, MySpace has become less about us and so much more about them. I’ve already blogged extensively about why I cannot stand MySpace these days. So when Quit MySpace Day came along, I had to think long and hard about whether to delete my account or not…

I didn’t. No folks, I wimped out entirely.

I did however switch over to the new ‘redesigned’ MySpace profile which seems, to be frank, to have proved as good as deleting the account. I spent a lot of time over the years maintaining my old trusty MySpace page; uploading interesting photos, keeping my gig list up to date etc. The new interface couldn’t be worse (just when you thought the old interface couldn’t get any worse!) and the corporate branding has reached new heights of encroachment. My ‘redesigned’ MySpace is now just a collection of Reverb Nation widgets, links to this site and MySpace advertising space. The intention being that nobody could possibly bear to spend more than 30 seconds looking at it before moving on; ideally here.

But here’s the thing: I can’t bear to ditch MySpace entirely. I still see it, however unwisely, as an essential part of my online presence as a musician. I know for a fact that a large number of people still use MySpace as a first port of call when investigating new music and artists. It’s where they go to have a quick listen to a track or two, maybe to see where the act is playing next. MySpace (alongside YouTube of course) is still a huge part of many people’s online discovery process, and as a result I feel the need to be a token part of it. I might hate it, but at least I’m still showing my face and able to point people in a more sensible and worthwhile direction.

So what do you think?

How do you find out about new and emerging artists? And how do you listen to new music online? Are you getting into Soundcloud, Reverb Nation and Bandcamp? Maybe you are still a little bit obsessed with Last.fm, like me?

Let me know. But don’t send me a message on MySpace. I don’t know how to open them anymore…


4 Responses to “MySpace? Who’s Space??”

  • Kate Says:

    I agree it is a bit rubbish now, particularly the new design which I can’t bear to switch over to.. but… I do always check out people’s My Space pages to see where they’re playing next and to hear them. With everyone’s website so different, if I want the information quickly I want to go somwhere where the format is the same for everyone. I REALLY don’t like the new design though so this might change if everyone switches over. There are sites with better usability but unfortunately there is not one, at the moment, that nearly every band/singer/musician is on.

  • Tabata Says:

    I used to have a MySpace, years ago, but I never really used it and one day I deleted it.

    I got back into MySpace when I first discovered Tim Minchin and I created a new profile and I did add a few musicians but I never really used it and to be honest, I forgot I had one until I just read this blog. I think I added you a while back, but then again, maybe I didn’t because MySpace was being ridiculous again and didn’t let me add anybody.

    When I get to know new music these days my first step is google. Official homepage, has that person got twitter, is there an official facebook page?
    Then youtube, iTunes, amazon.

    NEVER Myspace.

    There are so many new possibilities for musicians these days to add music to their own pages, the stupid little player on MySpace is honestly more than out of date.

    I do think MySpace’s days were counted long, long ago.

    But if you want to keep your MySpace profile for nostalgic reasons then by all means do.

    Just know that it’s not really the first place for people to look anymore these days.

    A personal webpage/blog with little buttons that lead to facebook, twitter and maybe itunes is mure more “in” in 2010.

  • leslie baldock Says:

    you might want to speak to foy about this he this a theory about whats happening to myspace

  • Simon Little Says:

    It is certainly true that MySpace is one of the few sites where virtually every musician and band is represented in some way, although I think it won’t be long before Facebook pages take over in that respect.
    A lot of independent bands still don’t have their own website, which is crazy these days with the plethora of free platforms available to set them up. But even those that do, unless they are particularly internet-savvy, may well not rank particularly high in search engine results. I had exactly that problem about a month ago when I discovered that my MySpace page ranked amongst the top results on searches and my actual website didn’t even register. It took literally days of faffery to sort that problem out…
    I’m not at all nostalgic about my MySpace page these days. It bears little resemblance to the original site that I used to spend so much time with back in the day that I honestly couldn’t care less. Just don’t want to be invisible on such a massive database..
    And yes, what we do without Twitter? In fact, a lot of this conversation is still occurring over on Twitter. Maybe I’ll post a few of the more interesting comments on here in a new thread? Oh, the possibilities are endless..

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