Myspace, Marketing, Marx and Me: A Cluster of Gripes from the Maginot Line of Art and Commerce

I’ve been trying to build an exportable contact list out of it (out of myspace…for the band…the band I play in?…) and it scores a fat DONUT for Usability.

While LJ and Yahoo services generally rock in comparison in this area (usability, open standards), you can’t top tha ‘Space for eyeballs and kids giving the whole world a peepshow of the interiors of their bedrooms/diaries. Really, it’s a phenom you just can’t look away from. It’s like geocities and angelfire crashed into each other, a colossal internet vanity page trainwreck, and we’re all its willing victims, limping around, trying to fashion our disfigurements into stunningly pimped out profiles, with the help of Thomas’ profile editor, or whatever. Until we grow up and start using wordpress, that is…

Sorry about that little ramble. Where was I? Oh. Because Myspace has such enormous reach, such horrifically effective stickiness, and such a low cost of entry (setting up a music profile is free), it is likely the most important marketing tool for pop musicians (especially indies) in history (it’s no wonder I get distracted thinking about it).

However, it’s far from perfect. I’ve emailed them time and again promising to PAY THEM to put up a decent friend management/contact export tool (and by this I don’t mean the Hot-Or-Not-knockoff “Top 8”, but something by which I can sort people, seeing that I need to sort promoters, DJs, reviewers, labels, graphic designers, photographers, podcasters, fans, and so on). But myspace thinks they’re better than everyone else, and they won’t DO anything, and they probably don’t need my money (I probably can’t afford to pay them anything anyway, come to think of it).

Maybe they’re right? Maybe I need them more than they need me after all? Right then, I don’t mind, as I’m comfortable going old school, or old hat, or whatever. It’s all coming home to my cute little iBook (well, the dental receptionist said it was cute), and I will scrape and toil and sweat my weekends away when I should be out riding my bike, or writing new material. The whole music industry can get crammed into a tiny 30 G hard drive, you know.

So it goes. Given their much-trumpeted ringtones for bands campaign announced recently, you might have the false impression that myspace cares about indie musicians. Not so, said the fox (or was it News Corp? does it matter?…). If they cared (or knew more about indie music marketing) they’d fix the inexpensive, little things that have a track record of actually helping indies do their everyday stuff (like simple email list exporting). But, then again, doing that would drive those little sullen eyeballs off their portal, wouldn’t it?

Oh well. They’re doomed to struggle against us for centuries, anyway. How many H4X0RZ are ready to move?

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