One huge opportunity.

Jeremy Wright is afraid of MySpace:

MySpacers connect better than bloggers, get their friends into it better than bloggers, stay in touch more than bloggers, and form true sociological pods better than bloggers. MySpace is closer to the Google Grid than Google is. MySpace is the closest humanity has ever come to a central community or a central consciousness.

Well that makes sense because blogging isn’t really a social connection framework; it’s just publishing with a little bit of moderate feedback – a few comments on a post. It isn’t a community. When bloggers connect with each other they do it outside of blogs. The blogs are just the introduction point.

MySpace is a publishing medium as well, but while blogging is the domain of "adults", MySpace is the domain of teens. And let’s face it, this is the most connected generation in history. MySpace is merely one of many connection and communication channels.

MySpace isn’t a culture unto itself. It is merely one more outlet for a very connected culture and lifestyle. As I’ve watched my kids grow up the internet has been integral to their lives, first for research, and now for an almost unbroken connectedness. They move effortlessly from MSN Messenger to Skype to cellphones and back. Their IMs are sent to their phones. They make plans online. I’ve even watched a few of my son’s friends sit with laptops in our family room and laugh simulaneously at some comment they’ve IM’d around, without a word spoken.

And if MySpace were to suddenly vanish something else would take its place the next day, if not sooner. I can remember the day Napster shut down. My kids had new tools within minutes. Just as the internet routes around problems, so do they.

I read the novel Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson for the first time over 10 years ago, and I can now clearly see it becoming a reality. My kids spend much of their time connected. In fact that is often the quickest way to get a message to them. And we can move information, software, music, or videos virally around the planet in minutes.

I personally don’t care if blogging becomes obsolete tomorrow, because for me it is just a tool to reach people. If a tool like MySpace, or some even cooler thing that comes along tomorrow does a better job then I’ll be there to use it.

I see MySpace as a huge opportunity. For research on how people interact and communicate. For understanding on how to better market effectively to large groups of diverse people. For improving our ability to build connections and maintain them.

Disruptions are like that. You have to destroy what you have to get something better. Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, said his company had to blow up their business model if they wanted to grow. Apple just says Think Different. MySpace isn’t scary. It’s just different.

But if you’re a teen, it’s perfectly normal. And it’s just the beginning, because in their lifetimes the internet has been a constant disruption. They’re used to change. Everybody else better get used to it.

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2 thoughts on “One huge opportunity.

  1. Hey, you kids! Yeah, you, with your flashing backgrounds, your embedded music videos… get off my lawn! ;)

    Really, though, this increase in comfort with online presence is great. I think we will see aggregable content and semantic markup really strut its stuff once a larger group of users is comfortable with concepts like peer production and edge content.

    The ease with which content can be moved amongst platforms is also beneficial for this – I foresee a definite demand for “edge feeder” services that pull in pieces of content from multiple media so that they can be shunted around and mashed a la Suprglu.

    Or, maybe the internet is already two steps ahead of me. It’s fun to try and stay on top of this, at least :)

  2. Solid. Haha. Solid.

    Soooo funny. So true.

    “They move effortlessly from MSN Messenger to Skype to cellphones and back. Their IMs are sent to their phones. They make plans online. I’ve even watched a few of my son’s friends sit with laptops in our family room and laugh simulaneously at some comment they’ve IM’d around, without a word spoken.”

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