Give Me MySpace

Monday, April 06, 2009

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Julia Angwin chronicles how an idea at a Southern California spam mill became MySpace, the most visited website in America. Her book is Stealing MySpace.


Julia Angwin

Comments [15]

patrick from Killarney Queensland Australia

Now I know a lot more about thees things,its better than rock climbing,or some dysfunctional regilion/s A Mate ?? Happy Easter

Apr. 12 2009 09:33 PM
Zak Smith from Los Angeles

I have been listening to Leonard Lopate for years, and I have never been so embarrassed for him.

Both he and his guest, seem bent on seeing social networking sites as some sort of "self-expression" or "self-help" thing rather than a form of communication like a telephone or radio.
Myspace et al. are places on the web which allow people to have their own websites. This is a good thing, or at least a thing that's easy to empathize with. We're on WNYC's site right now.
Social networking sites allow you to tell people things without having to call everyone you know on the telephone. Interactions like "Hey, I just had a baby" or "I'm selling baked beans, buy some" are, more are less, what society is based on, not some decadent indulgence.
The advantage of Twitter is not some vague thing about the "fiction of friendship"--the useful thing about Twitter is: if you happen to run a business or be famous--like Leonard, when you log onto Twitter, you only see news updates from people you WANT to hear from. So Leonard could see what Amy Goodman over at Democracy Now is doing without having to wade through his show's 1,000s of "friends" (listeners) like he would on myspace or facebook.
The guest also seems unwilling to disabuse Lopate of the notion that having a profile on a site is necessarily "time consuming". Having a facebook profile is not too different than being listed in the phone book, and no more time-consuming than designing a yellow-pages ad.
In the discussion about music, no-one thought to emphasize the fact that bands put songs up on their myspace page. So: you hear about some new music that a friend says you'd like, then you go to a band's myspace page and listen to them. This is a sane and reasonable way to use technology, not a goofy thing for novelty-obsessed kids.
If thoughtful people treat new technology like a passing fad, then the only people controlling the means of communication in the future WILL be morons and people trying to spam us.

Apr. 07 2009 07:25 AM
sara from Brooklyn

Although I am not a complete stranger to social networking, I fear some of these sites are helping to set us on a downward trajectory into all-consuming narcissism.

Perhaps amid the enjoyable/useful services they can provide, this is simply a human reality their daily over-use reveals...

"Oh, no! Bad hair day!"

So it goes.

Apr. 07 2009 05:02 AM
anonymous from manhattan

facebook lacks a functioning bulletin board. for visiting another town, posting available rooms/apts, jobs, etc. myspace is the best venue. the "newsfeed" on facebook disappears.

Apr. 06 2009 01:55 PM
Mark from Princeton NJ

With all dues respect Leonard, the full disclosure should have been the first thing stated. That fact frames all the other spin that follows.

Apr. 06 2009 01:54 PM
al oof from brooklyn

tom, it's the for the privacy of the users. nothing is private unless the user sets it to private. you can check out band pages, look at myspace videos, etc. without any membership. it's not an 'exclusive club'. it's safety. a lot of members can't read other members' info either, because it is set to friends only.

Apr. 06 2009 01:49 PM
al oof from brooklyn

twitter is more blogspot than facebook.

Apr. 06 2009 01:48 PM
dwk from nymetro

i'm glad this woman is in print so. annoying to listen to

Apr. 06 2009 01:47 PM
tom from NYC

Why won't myspace make it's pages public to non members?

This idea of an exclusive club with such a large membership is disconcerting.

Apr. 06 2009 01:43 PM
Dale from Brooklyn

One thing of note is that Friendster had a lot of scalability issues. It was often crashing and slow. That caused a lot of it's user base to shift to MySpace and similar services.

Apr. 06 2009 01:42 PM
al oof from brooklyn

leonard, paying 5000 dollars for a domain is -not- cheap. you can get a domain name for 15 dollars. and it isn't as if myspace had related cache that translated into advertising. if they had just chosen their own name, it could have been much cheaper. i mean, did they get the whole company with that and all their servers? i certainly hope so.

and in all these discussions, they always start with friendster. but what about make out club? what about prodigy and aol, where users had profiles with their interests and even, later, webspaces? myspace is basically a fairly crappy remake of the pre world wide web internet providers.

Apr. 06 2009 01:36 PM
Drew from NY

Last Thanksgiving my brother's brother-in-law observed that time after time while reading probation reports, he's a judge, the story was--
Blah, blah, girl meets a guy on line, girl decides to meet the online guy in person, girl get's into a jackpot.

He said he was going to start keeping real records @ this this year.

Apr. 06 2009 01:35 PM
bk from nyc

I have never had the need or desire for social websites but I've found that myspace is wonderful for sampling music. bands have 5-7 complete songs on their sites. am I just ignorant of this asset on other sites?

Apr. 06 2009 01:34 PM
Gary from UWS

Social networking sites will never be able to be stand-alone, public companies since the "advertising" model to people who expect everything for free won't work.

Apr. 06 2009 01:33 PM
Mark from Princeton NJ

Full disclosure? The owner of WSJ is the owner of MySpace.

Apr. 06 2009 01:33 PM

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