MySpace Woes :: Is There Promise for the Future?

MySpace is in trouble. They have been from the beginning, but didn’t fix the model. Now, News Corp. has to eat the costs of that problem. And, there are likely many more lawsuits – alone – coming their way.

I still “wonder if any actuarial tables already exist in C-suites and venture capital offices when the purchase or support of a social media site is being considered.” It would be nice to see that addressed in news coverage.

New security measures for young users of MySpace.com won’t be enough to stop online child predators, safety experts warned Wednesday. – Forbes

…where is the proof in all the “social media” promise – so far, there may be as many pitfalls as revenue waterfalls…

A recent AdAge article – MySpace Looks for Search Partner – News Corp.’s Chernin: Google, Microsoft and Yahoo Are Contenders speaks to the revenue potential, but also shows that MySpace is still surviving off of “remnant” ads and revenue – from the previous owner’s sales. Does a Google or Yahoo! want to take on the risk of association with MySpace? Well, duh – sure. There is a potential for great revenue. But, will those partners push for greater security measures in order to stop the problems – and the bad publicity? I don’t know. There are a lot of money hungry people out there. Some may see these potential problems as a part of the risk of doing business.

MySpace has – to some degree – really become quite seedy, in my opinion. Recently, while looking through some of the aspects of the site – like video – I came upon the following:

Note: If you upload Porn, your MySpace.com account will be deleted.

Well, if you look through the “Just Added” videos, it is quite obvious that there is porn in there. By my anecdotal snapshot in time count – it was one in five. That isn’t just one person’s idea of what porn is, either. I’m talking about people showing body parts and more. Hey, they obviously go through some sort of approval system, so I’m thinking the process has some flaws. Wonder what age the reviewers are – 12? We won’t even speculate on their maturity.

And, I’ve heard from some people that after uploading videos, their’s take forever to get approved. They state that their’s are clean and just fun goofy videos. This happens to them while others seem to have their videos go straight through – or through pretty quickly. Kind of makes you wonder if they are looking for the outrageous and salacious. One of the most often used tags I saw was “sexy” and there were titles like “bounce dat ass.” Hey, I’m really not a prude – but, I’m just sayin’. It would make sense, in terms of driving traffic, to let it through. But, what does it say about the community – especially when MySpace is facing such bad publicity lately? When I speak to groups of parents, they are usually clueless as to what is happening in MySpace and other online communities.

I’m wondering if MySpace might prove to be (at least in the short run) more of a money pit (think legal fees) than a revenue producer. They have problems and are exposed to a great deal of risk. Social media needs a success story. Despite what others are saying, I’m not too sure MySpace is one – at this point. The 85 million users they claim doesn’t tell us (like Blogspot and Livejournal and others) how many sites are idle or how many are repeat users, either. This story, like blogging, has a long way to go (think years) before proof-of-process pans out – if ever.

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0 thoughts on “MySpace Woes :: Is There Promise for the Future?

  1. Kristi

    Robert,

    About myspace, I watched a dateline special the other day about child predators and if I had kids I would be worried. Most parents don’t even know how to get online and find myspace. I had one of my teachers last semester ask me to help her find her sons profile because she was told by another parent who saw the profile that is was very obscene and he was 13. I think this is starting to become a very serious problem and I hope something is done soon because suing is not going to stop this craz. A parent information site could be very beneficial. I was doing some google searches to see if any were available and there are some links from this Dateline article:

    But if someone would take the time to set up a very simple site to educate parents, this problem could be stopped one by one.

  2. Robert

    Kristi, I agree.

    It would not surprise me to see sites like “parentsformyspace.org” or other domains begin to pop up in response to the problems. That domain is available, by the way.

    In fact, a crafty and industrious person might make such a site and begin compiling helpful links and suggestions for parents. It would likely draw an audience and serve a positive purpose while showing the creator’s understanding of CMS and social media.

  3. Pingback: Kristi's thoughts