From the Barstool of the Publisher – June, 2006


Has become so popular that it’s endangered of becoming obsolete?

Think about this for a second. A few years ago, people didn’t even know what myspace was (understandable, since it didn’t become myspace as we know it until 2003). Since January of this year alone, the site has quadrupled its membership, now totaling in the neighborhood of 40 million users according to a recent story in Business Week.

When myspace was in its infancy, it was a very useful tool, particularly for bands, to disseminate information, be it in the form of songs, bulletins on album releases, or invites to gigs. We have to wonder if the network has become so large, and the amount of bulletins, invites and comments so staggering, will people stop paying attention?

On a recent day, The Marquee’s myspace account received over 123 different communications in the form of friend requests, messages, comments and bulletin postings. Keep in mind that The Marquee has been carefully selective about whom we chose to have on there. Our biggest push, of course, is toward bands and the hardcore music fans we like to refer to as music freaks.

There are many days when we have plenty of free time on our hands, but even if we had the day off, the last thing we would do is go through all of those messages.

If myspace lasts long enough — and from the looks of its financial backing, it will — eventually everyone will be friends with everyone. It used to be that you had six degrees of separation from you and everyone else in the world. Now, you just need a myspace account.

Of the abused features in myspace, bulletins are perhaps the most annoying. The Marquee has been using bulletins to alert our friends to upcoming shows that we think are worthwhile, but in recent months, the sheer volume of bulletins has become so abundant that no one pays attention to them anymore. It’s like junk e-mail. No, I don’t want to take your stupid survey to find out “funny” personality traits. I swear these things are started by the same idiots who really think that forwarding an e-mail to all of their friends will one day net them a big check from Bill Gates. “It works … trust me.” P-LEASE!

I think that musicians, fans and promoters who want to continue to use myspace need to take responsibility and stop using it as a daily brain dump. If we all don’t, it’ll soon be as useful as a dial-up connection on a Pentium I processor.

And remember this, myspace is like real life in only one way: It’s not the amount of friends you have, it’s how many good friends you have which counts.

See you at the shows … and on stupid myspace.

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