May 2nd, 2006

If you can't beat 'em...

I'm flat-out fascinated by what danah boyd says about MySpace:

Portability of identity doesn't matter. Easy-to-use interfaces don't matter. Visual coherence doesn't matter. Simple navigation doesn't matter. Bugs don't matter. Fancy new technologies don't matter. Simple personalization doesn't matter.

Before you scream "but it does to me!" let me acknowledge that you're right. It does matter to you. The question is whether it matters to the masses. And it doesn't. Especially for teens.


If the moral panic over MySpace succeeds and causes a change in law (which it is looking like it will), everyone invested in social technologies will lose. In other words, stop celebrating the crisis and get off your asses and engage.

Okay, I will. You win. I'm tired of meeting people who are appalled that I'm not on MySpace. But maybe I'll just say I'm not, every now and then, just to see how they react.

And it remains a dealbreaker if I then write down '' for them and they say, and this is a direct quote, "That's not an email address".