A musician friend recently set up his MySpace page. I wanted to comment on it, but this required me to be a member of MySpace. So I joined.
I'm accumulating "friends" quite rapidly. I actually do know Richard Rorty, and he's contributing to a book I'm editing. But now Charlotte Gainsbourg and I are also pretty close confidants planning a Mauritius getaway for July. Wilco's coming over for mai tais on Friday. Holly Golightly is making us blueberry pancakes. Lee 'Scratch' Perry and I are starting up a TV repair shop. And I don't have nearly enough time for all the lithe young women who want to get naughty with me.
The question I can't get out of my head is this: what is MySpace for? I can see the advantages of a free public space for musicians and others trying to promote their product. It's an easy way to have internet exposure. I can also understand how it might be fun for teenagers to share photos, music, etc. It's a more sophisticated package of blog, IM, email, and information, a center around which many can immediately participate rather than the usual one on one communication of IM and email or the into-the-void character of blogs. It could probably work well as a public-access site for various causes or sharing broader projects, a bit how "blackboard" works in the university.
But what's the use for someone like me? Can I somehow meet Juliette Binoche? If not, I'm not sure I want to continue with it.
In all seriousness, this seems to me a case of adopting technology for technology's sake. I didn't articulate any clear goal and then choose this medium as a way to achieve the goal. The original goal - to communicate with my musician friend - can be done without going through MySpace.
So, speak to me. And be my friend.