Nov 1 2010

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…