My Space or Rupert’s Space

MySpace isn’t my space at all but Rupert’s Space and that that is its weakness. The Times reports today that MySpace is restricting users from using widgets they want on their own pages unless there’s a business deal in place.

The internet already is a social network. The big winner will be he who finds a way to bring — in the words of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg — elegant organization to that.

  • Paw

    You never cease to amaze me, Jeff. What is so inherently bad about MySpace wanting its users (who inhabit the space at zero cost to them) to utilize the widgets it created – so they can block porn, copyrighted material and get paid for providing a space to sell advertising or goods?

    Bottom line, MySpace has always been someone else’s space – first it was IntermixSpace, now it’s FoxSpace. They are the owners – say it with me now O-W-N-E-R – and can do with it as they like, especially as it relates to keeping it economically viable so it can continue to exist. Anyone that doesn’t like it can find another space, which will also be owned by someone who will want some minimal level of control over what can and can’t happen there.

    Speaking of porn, do you really think Tila Tequila is the best person to be the spokesperson for Internet “rights” and “freedoms”? Yes, there is symbiosis there – Tila brings people to MySpace and they in turn make her rich – but at the end of the day, her MySpace “rights”, like everyone else’s on MySpace, are defined by News Corp and no one else. This is not a democracy, it’s a business.

  • No surprise here.

    Citizen Murdoch has been, quite possibly, the worst thing to happen to mass communications in the past (fiscal) century… For those who can’t bring in the widget of their choice, let us hope they remember jpegs and gifs, along with image-mapping…

  • Businesses need customers. No customers, no business. That’s that whole crazy people are more in control trend we’ve been seen last few years. Sure MySpace can come out with all the stupid policies they want. They are the O-W-N-E-R-S. And then their customers can throw them the B-I-R-D. If enough customers do this MySpace will C-H-A-N-G-E T-H-E-I-R T-U-N-E because it’s a B-U-S-I-N-E-S-S. oh wait, we already covered that point……


  • Kinda hard to complain if it’s free! The only photo blog I’ve ever seen let you fool around with their html code is textamerica! It ain’t cheap but I really do feel like it’s my space! :-)

  • Paw

    That’s right, Leigh, businesses need customers. But customers need to know, before they flip anyone the bird, whether an alternative service provider exists that will allow them to do exactly what the current service provider (in this case, MySpace) won’t allow. The customer also needs to know if the alternate service provider has all the positive attributes of the current provider (cost, ease of use, etc). If that’s not the case, the customer is simply having a T-A-N-T-R-U-M, you know, like a W-H-I-N-Y B-A-B-Y …

    Is there a social networking space that allows any user to utilize any widget available for any purpose, including selling competitive advertising, posting porn or copyrighted material? Is that space free? Is it as easy to sign up with and use as MySpace? How difficult would it be for the user to get everyone that he or she interacts with on MySpace to switch to the new space? If the answers to these questions are positive, let the bird flipping begin. If they aren’t, create your own and compete. But don’t damn MySpace for wanting to prevent leeches from building businesses on its back…

  • My space = their money.

  • Ok I can’t continue with the dash approach to this conversation because i am too L-A-Z-Y…but here’s a question: why couldn’t MySpace just warn and ultimately take down the sites of offending widget owners (ala Ebay)? Should the entire community not have widgets because there are some leeches that behave inappropriately? (That was actually two questions but both of them valid i think…)

    Time will tell if these types of policies actually have any impact on their use base at all. But I still believe that once you stop satisfying the needs of users over your short-term business concerns (especially if your business is your users) you will ultimately fail.

    It’s inherent in the Webs DNA – it’s built to go around obstructions.

  • foxsnuze

    Coming soon to MySpace:

    * required video feeds from Fox News for all profile pages.

    * rigid wallpaper requirements for profile and blog pages so that only approved images from the Fox Network will be displayed.

    * an outright ban on any positive references to NBC or any of its affiliates, news stories, or programming. (Otherwise known as the O’Reily Rule.)

    This is, after all, Rupert’s Space and he can do with it what he wants.

  • greg0658

    As long as the www pipes are affordable by the masses … the web will provide you all a platform … maybe not the notoriety tho.

  • Paw

    Ok, I’ll stop dashing as well. To answer your questions, the article indicates that MySpace isn’t banning widgets completely; they just want you to use theirs, which happens to comply with the way they want to run that business.

    Interesting that this dovetails with the NBC/Fox announcement today. Presumably, users on the various distribution portals will be allowed to use widgets to post clips on their own sites. Will they be able to strip out NBC/Fox’s advertising and insert their own? Wonder how they’ll react to that…

    Time will tell, indeed. The best thing about a free community for the user is the ease with which one can migrate to a different community, if the spirit moves. And yet

  • Paw

    …it doesn’t seem to be happening today, which would indicate there’s no better free choice foe this sort of thing right now. Tomorrow, who know?

  • don’t want to be one of those annoying “i told you so” ers….but

    facebook the new platform anyone?