Tuesday, May 01, 2007


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.


C.M. Mayo said...

Hey, amigo. Madam Mayo for one is definitely not ready for MySpace. Blog on!

helmut said...

Yeah, I think it's kind of ridiculous. A bit like wearing a t-shirt advertising some company or product. MySpace is basically a way for others to advertise themselves while your site becomes one of the facilitators.

Anonymous said...

Dang, that made me laugh! As someone who has recently fled the flickering insincerity of MySpace, I appplaud both your willingness to check it out and your perceptive statement re advertising.

As a friend of mine (a real friend, in meatspace) said only this week, "Why would you bother with FaceBook when you can have ZZ Top as friends?"

I know you drop by KuiperCliff every now and again, so you may have seen my post about J.G. Ballard and MySpace. I think Simon Sellars at ballardian.com got it dead right: "MySpace [has] perhaps the lowest signal-to-noise ratio on the entire Web".

How long do you think you're going to keep it up? Long enough for La Gainsbourg? Will you be pimping your profile?

Anonymous said...

I got a MySpace page, just so I could look at the photos that my sister posts. Then my sister canceled her account. You can see my page here.

MT said...

MySpace gets billboards off the street and Times Square out of Times Square. That's what it's for. I think. I heard it's owned by Rupert Murdoch.