Friday, February 17, 2006

Yet another reason how MySpace took the lead from Friendster

Those of us in bands on MySpace and with personal accounts know the ongoing battle to gain fans while remaining respectful of people's wishes to not be solicited. One of the options that users can select on MySpace is to not allow bands to "add" you as a friend. Guerilla marketing, sure, but it is pretty annoying when a band from Pittsburgh that I've never heard of and whose genre isn't what I listen to wants to be friends.

Overall the MySpace route seems to have worked pretty well. I can pick who I want to hear from, because they're identified in a seperate category -- Music. To be honest, even without that option being selected I rarely get solicited by bands to be friends. But MySpace takes it a step further -- they have groups by interest on their site so I can subscribe to topics that *do* interest me, like my band's group.

Friendster, on the other hand, is a spammer's haven. I signed up around 6 month ago, have barely used the account, and somehow with almost no friends have 11 messages in my Inbox -- all of which are spam.

MySpace has its issues, too. For example, their Coldfusion-based apps weren't developed to handle the millions of users logging on, updating their profiles, sending messages, etc. at one time. And the MySpace users let them have it when they can't access their blogs, friends list and groups for hours on end. It's frustrating but I and several others forgive them for that... hell, my band has 1900+ friends, all of whom live within driving distance of Ann Arbor, Michigan... short of payola there's no way an indie band could achieve numbers anywhere close to that.

Friendster, on the other hand, needs to lock down their policies and discourage this type of behavior. No, I didn't join Friendster to be solicited for webcam sex. No, I didn't join Friendster for V1@gr@ or C1@l1s. Not only is the spamming misguided, but more importantly it's annoying. It's annoying to the point where I never use Friendster and log into MySpace daily. In fact, I log into MySpace multiple times per day. Millions of MySpace users apparently feel the same way.

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