The Idea Dude


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

MySpace, the Final Frontier or Space Oddity 2006

Captain's Log 2006 AD. Most people see MySpace as a social network for teenagers or early tweenies. Perhaps it started that way but any serious commentator should spend time looking through the profiles, reading the blogs and comments because like it or not with 75+ million members, it does represent a pulse of the North America (if not global) society. It is more than a playground for kids who like music. Depending on which group of friends or forum you look at, it is also the Internet's largest bar frequented by 35 year old lawyers, artests, people like you and me.

Advertisers have also jumped in, creating profiles that promote movies, products, services in a one-to-one manner. Yes, your favorite movie star and/or porn star can be your friend. It allows anyone to lay claim to a homepage and then wander around looking for friends. If you're not the promiscuous type, boldly clicking on profiles you think you like and asking them to be your friend, you'll probably still end up lonely, milling around 75 million strangers. So enter the MySpace trains, sites at which you can join and add friends, are they really your friends or just trophies so that you can show off your profile and declare I have 30,000 friends.

The secret of its success is unlike some of the social networks, it never tried to define you but rather let you define yourself as evidenced by some of the profile pages that have hideous backgrounds, loud music and illegible fonts, not unlike some teenage bedrooms. I find it extremely fascinating because it is the world's largest social experiment or the largest human ant-hill ever, but it pulsates, mutates...Darwin would have loved to be immersed in it, observing, probing, wondering what it will be in a few years time, will it mature or simply implode. It is a complex pseudo community where people take on personalities or lay bare their souls, for some these are the only friends they know. Meriam-Webster defines space as the opportunity to assert or experience one's identity or needs freely...perhaps all it needs is for someone to take Google's 3D worlds and build another virtual civilization...could it then be the next MyMatrix?

Like the classic song goes...

This is Ground Control to Major Tom
You've really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now it's time to leave the capsule if you dare...
Can you hear me, Major Tom?


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