TechCrunch just posted an interesting article about Myspace’s “Hail Mary Strategy”. Ultimately, what Myspace is going to “discover” out of any strategy they have is that they cannot succeed with NewCorp. Yes, NewCorp pumps a ton of money into Myspace. Yes, Myspace would not have been able to spend as much as it did over the last several years if it wasn’t for NewCorp. However, that doesn’t mean that Myspace would have failed without NewsCorp.
I’m going to liken Newscorp’s purchase of Myspace to a bailout. Much like the bank and auto industry bailouts, it is a failure. Pump a bunch of money into a failed system and you get Saturn, GM, Chevrolet, Pontiac, AIG, and Myspace.
To be sure, Myspace had plenty of opportunity to join the rest of the Internet in the innovation that took place over the last several years since the purchase of Myspace by NewsCorp. The most notable failures I can think of by myspace:
- Failure to popularize and authentication system like FB Connect
- The continued used of Cold Fusion
- Failure to go ugly (let’s face it, Facebook and Google have shown the world that ugly generates traffic. And by ugly, I mean a simple, clean interface that isn’t cluttered with banner ads)
- Failure to implement AJAX everywhere
- Too little too late with implementing integrations with out websites
I think the last item is the biggest failure and that the mentality inside Myspace stemmed from the culture of NewsCorp. If you look around at the Internet today, the Facebook share button is everywhere. It wasn’t like that not too long ago. Myspace could have integrated with Digg, Youtube, College Humor, and scores of other content aggregation websites. And that’s not all they could have done. They could have developed an elaborate “my space” that allowed users to integrate their information along with their favorite bands, friends, trends, twitter, etc.
What would have happened if Myspace had gone geo last year? Yes, that would have taken development time and a push to jump ship from Cold Fusion (honestly, who uses that anymore?)
Imagine going geo with a combination of calendar, photos, and social networking! Has anyone noticed the lack of a functional web calendaring system in all of the social networks?
Myspace’s focus was on “cool”, which is a huge failure on the Internet. The Internet is not cool. It’s geeky! It’s nerdy. Cool is so not cool anymore!!!
Watching Myspace over the last couple of years is like watching Dr. Evil when he first meets Scott. Myspace continues to try to be cool. Its latest “discover and be discovered” is an attempt at making Myspace cool to use “again and again”. It will only continue the path of Failspace.
How can Myspace be saved? Drop the Newscorp bailout, innovate, leverage the connections with the Entertainment industry, and go ugly.