Nathan (gemsling) wrote,

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The MySpace Problem

I've just been reading an interesting post on Vitamin titled The MySpace Problem, which tries to examine why such an ugly site is so popular. Is it getting in first, is it marketing, or is it that the aesthetically appalling design is actually good design because it suits the needs of its target audience?

The comments are worth reading, though there are too many to read them all. I'm glad I noticed this one-liner as I skimmed through, though:

"MySpace is ugly because people who use it are ugly. Please send me all counterexamples."

Funny. Obviously, I have counterexamples: Deborah and most of her friends are not ugly, yet they use MySpace. But why ruin a good quote?

I think I can look past the design; MySpace both fascinates me and horrifies me. But I think my biggest concern with such popular sites is the way they create lock-in and silos. A large proportion of people no doubt join MySpace, MSN Messenger, etc. because their friends are there. What happens when you want to use something else? RSS/Atom feeds are a good start, but more is needed - like the ability to include certain friends in a group based on their OpenID. Hopefully Vox will do this.

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