A Lesson in How to Not Expand a Network

We believe that by limiting your ability to personalize your pages with content from any source, MySpace is contradicting the very belief of personal and social media. MySpace became successful because of the creativity of you, its users, and because it offered a forum for self-expression. By severely restricting this freedom, MySpace is showing that it considers you as a commodity which it can treat as it sees fit.

At this point Myspace is a gorilla so they can probably get away with pretty much anything but the fact remains that networks that are social in nature expand as a consequence of expanding the opportunities for people to express themselves, not restricting the capabilities. Restricting Myspace users who are Photobucket customers will only serve to remind Myspace users that they don’t have the control that they thought they had.

UPDATE: I read Om’s post after posting my comments on this and quite honestly the additional information made me pause and reconsider my thoughts. While I could be tasked to argue the case from either side, I think Myspace is coming from the more principled position on this one but the point that Myspace users are still caught in the middle remains.

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3 thoughts on A Lesson in How to Not Expand a Network

  1. “…networks that are social in nature expand as a consequence of expanding the opportunities for people to express themselves, not restricting the capabilities.”

    I agree with you in principle, but Photobucket isn’t the only photo/video sharing site in town. Given that there are so many alternatives, I doubt it many MySpace users will switch. The barrier of getting your friends to join Facebook, is much greater than using someone other than Photobcuket for sharing video. But I do think brand loyalty in social networking is a very interesting question. One the Facebook & Myspace audiences reach critical mass of overlap than we may see more flip flopping between the two.

  2. Well Jeff you read my post. It’s clear that Photobucket was making a ton of money with the Spiderman promotion and that sort of promotion is clearly against the TOS at Myspace. What did they expect to happen? They are a remora to the myspace shark.

  3. I doubt users will switch as well, but I think the equation pivots on how much better the photobucket service is and how comparative the other social networking sites are.

    Of course, that logic ignores the “the more market share you have the more you get” rule. This is but a blip in the end, but it sure makes for interesting blog fodder in an otherwise quiet week.

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