:: Ben Kwok Space ::
If you ever surf around on the “blogosphere” or the “blagosphere” or whatever the kids are calling it these days you’ll notice that nothing ever blows up from a myspace blog. I’m not familiar with someone posting something so trenchantly insightful or fall off your keyboard hilarious on a myspace blog that it’s gotten 10s of thousands of incoming links in 48 hours. I’ve never seen slashdot, digg, or reddit link to myspace.
This doesn’t really make a lot of sense to me, it seems like at least a few of the millions of myspace blogs should be saying something diggworthy. The first thing that comes to mind is that the highly personalized nature of blog posts has a limited appeal to any sort of greater audience (ie omg drama with the bf!!). That doesn’t really fly though because LiveJournal is also personalized but there are still fairly common blog explosions on the major aggregators. Given that Myspace has the largest userbase of any of the social networking sites (it’s the #5 most accessed english website on the internet according to alexa as of this writing) I have a hard time believing that myspacers aren’t writing brilliant and incisive blog posts about the state of the world. As the tagline of technorati says “70 Million blogs out there…some of them have to be good.” A view of technorati’s top 100 blogs shows that a few are hosted in blogger, typepad and wordpress the rest have dedicated domains but not a single one is hosted on myspace.
Closer inspection of my own blog on myspace may reveal the reason why. If you start at my myspace profile(myspace.com/titaniumdreads) and click on [view all blog entries] your taken to my blog page. the nonsensically long uri is
I did some logical inference hacking and discovered that I could get to the same page by going to
http://blog.myspace.com/titaniumdreads. However, there is no indication anywhere on the page that it can be accessed with a simplified uri. In fact
there isn’t even a permalink the permalink is disguised as a link in the time I made the post.
The permalink is the mainstay of the blogger. If you expect to have people link to your posts you have to have a clear and concise uri. the permalink for my last entry is
There is no fucking way that someone could type that. I believe that myspace is losing millions of dollars because they haven’t programmed their namespaces properly. If you could access my myspace blog through http://blog.myspace.com/titaniumdreads/?p=162 I might not have gone to the trouble to set up this website. Something this simple would be easy to forward around in email and on comments to other users. If you think that this isn’t a big deal you’re wrong. The weblogs inc network was the first to make over a million dollars in advertising with only a handful of blogs, myspace has at least 200 million users growing at a rate of 230,000 per fucking day (although most of those are probably like my friend ruthie). The creators of myspace sold it for 327 million dollars. Not long afterwards google paid 900 million for exclusive search rights. Myspace is currently working on expanding into the chinese market. this minor usability error is costing myspace hundreds of millions of dollars.
To me there’s a bigger issue here. AJ Liebling said that
Freedom of the Presses is for those that own one.” This minor programming error is holding back public discourse in a very significant way. The internet is destroying television and newspapers because *anyone* can have a voice not just the media monopolies that thrive on a cheap political system dominated by sound bites, fear-mongering, emotional appeals, and ad hominem attacks.
Myspace has the shittiest user interface but is the most popular social networking site because it gives users the freedom to create their own pages (myspace). Yet they’ve totally missed that most basic of points with their blogs. Give users the basic uri’s and the ability to embed html in blogs and myspace could make billions while invigorating the public sphere.
New Friend Requests!!!
If the profile no longer exists why do I have to deny their friend request?!?!? Shouldn’t this just disappear? gah!
dear ruthie, I totally think you’re a real person and not a porn fakesters* created by a sophisticated bot. what? you have a cam?!? only 5.99 a minute? I would have never guessed.
*see attack of the smartasses a great article from sf weekly when friendster was considered an “uber-chic” dating site.