Disclaimer: The following is my opinion, and my opinion only. You listening, Tom?
Even though I’ve only got four or five posts to my name, I think it’s pretty clear that I love Web 2.0 apps – especially the social interaction and collaboration that they enable. What I don’t understand, though, is why MySpace is so popular. Honestly, every time I check in, it’s either veeeerrrrry slow to load, or it just doesn’t work at all. For the longest time (think months, closer to a year) they didn’t have IM functionality – even though they advertised that they did (if you clicked the link, you got a rather curt message that IM was “broke”.) When they did finally get the IM working, they didn’t even let anyone know (at least not any of my friends on MySpace.) And to add insult to injury, for the first week or so that IM was allegedly working, it wouldn’t. Oh sure, the app would launch…and just hang there. Unfortunately, this is par for the course with MySpace.
So why do people stay? I just don’t get it, especially when there are so many better alternatives. My current favorite is Tagworld, which actually works, has a better interface design, and frankly, a better feature set. Heck, even Orkut, Google’s answer to MySpace, is better, although it seems to have been abandoned. It’s not like we don’t have choices. There’s The Black Stripe, a social networking site that is based on who you know in real life, not who you meet online. There’s Yahoo! 360, OnMyCity, and Friendster. There’s communities for music lovers, aspiring film critics, and even for cats and dogs. What all of these apps have in common, aside from the social networking aspect, is that they all perform more reliably than MySpace. (And Dogster has cuter friends.) But getting MySpacers to leave is like pulling teeth, and without your friends at the other social sites, well, there’s not much point, is there?
I just don’t get it.