How To Save MySpace: The Seven-Step Plan

11 Comments

Credit: Flickr/Thomas Hawk

Jason Nazar is the Co-Founder and CEO of Docstoc.com, the premier online community to find and share professional documents. Before starting Docstoc, he was a partner in a venture consulting firm in Los Angeles where he worked with dozens of startups.

I wouldn’t bet against MySpace. They attract over 70 million people a month (just in the US), and by most accounts are still one of the 10 most popular sites in the world. They also have a new management team, that’s headed up in part by Michael Jones (COO), the most all around talented internet executive I know.

But they’re clearly headed in the wrong direction, and have been for the last two years. Having grown up in LA, and having started Docstoc down here, there’s a bit of a shared connection. I know many of their founders and early employees, and one of the co-founders of Intermix (the parent company of MySpace) is an investor. MySpace has lost the battle as the “place for friends”. If the powers that be can accept this and move forward with breakneck speed, they will have an incredibly huge opportunity to build something we will all be talking about again.

The following are my 7 Ways on How to Save MySpace

1.) MySpace = Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) 2.0: Turn MySpace into the Next-Generation Portal
MySpace should not require a login to get into the site, and I DON’T want to see my profile when I do log in. It should be the next generation content/entertainment portal that leverages millions of user profiles to more accurately provide data to advertisers on what is appealing to specific demographics.

— Management will have to be willing to forgo millions in revenue in the short term by giving up the coveted advertising on the login page, to rebuild a compelling user experience.
— Take away the primary focus on the logged-in home page, on my profile and other users profiles

11 Comments

Kieran Hawe

MySpace needs to focus on what made it successful in the first place – the user, not try to be something else. Fix the site and focus on the conversations / profiles / members.

Tom

Dear MySpace

You have a better shot by selling Sham Wow than following this drivel. BTW, it's made in Germany.

Regards,
Your friend, Tom

Donna Lea simpson

I despise FaceBook-I have no desire to be poked, or even superpoked- but have a tough time with Myspace because they make it so bloody hard to use. I would gladly dump FaceBook completely if MySpace was just easier.

On the other hand, as an author, I need some social networking platforms. I have found BookBlogs.ning to be simple to personalize, and a great tool. I wish everything was so simple to use!

If Myspace wants to survive it should do two things, IMHO:

1 – Make it simpler to personalize. It's junky and monolithic right now for anyone who isn't a techie (ie: most of us)
2 – Let us make some money using it, in other words, let us place some ads using Google AdSense, or something similar. Myspace could profit share, if they like.

Oh yeah… Okay, a third thing…

3 – Can Myspace or someone pleeeease make RSS simpler to understand? I have many many social networking outlets, and I'd love to co-ordinate all of them to pick up my blog feed. If Myspace did this, I'd be a happy camper. So far, I'm unsuccessful. Though I'm not a techie (see above) I am by no means incapable. But. I. Can't. Figure. It. OUT!!!

Charles

I hope this is a do not do list for saving Myspace. Make anyone pay for anything and they are going to jump over to Facebook or where ever, and making status updates something only for celebrities? really maybe twitter should do this too and see how far it gets them.

Ed Dunn

my goodness you guys are so brutal! But I co-sign with all the great points made by people in the comment section.

these firms myspace/facebook are failing at contextual marketing. Google is the only one that appears to get it. If these companies do not understand how to make money off content like Google does with contextual, I don't care how "cool" the tech pundits think they are…

NoN00B

True crap – what sort of editorial process exists here? Can anyone submit sh*t like this and get it published?

There is not one useful or provocative thought expressed in this piece. Buy Mahalo? Why? Because it is in LA too? That's a good rationale. Why not buy the Lakers?

News? Who the hell would go to MySpace for news?

Be an offshore labor marketplace? I am sorry, but I have to stop. Just thinking of this post places me seriously at risk for losing a couple of IQ points.

Arghhhhhhhh!!!!!

willyD

Yeah this article is way off base…Myspace needs to start with a whole new codebase. The site is buggy, prone to hacking, and aesthetically horrifying.

The idea of user customization of their page is a leg up and a tremendous selling point over facebook, but it needs to be done in a much better way than complicated and nested html.

c007km

Every last one of these suggestions has been tried by other Net-Incs to generate revenue and failed miserably. The bottom line is that social networks are based on social trends and therefor are fads – Facebook will soon give way to another, and then another.

The GOOD news is that people make a lot of money on fads when they recognize them as such. I'm fairly certain the pet-rock dude knew he had to make as much money as he could before people got bored of rocks-with-googly-eyes.

Unfortunately, Net-Incs spend too much time building user bases for there yet-to-be-determined business plans to ever profit. Ever.

Ryan Holiday

If I was an investor in DocStoc I would be pulling my money out so fast.

Please somebody explain how making Myspace more like Yahoo is the answer. Last time I checked, Yahoo was desperately trying not to be Yahoo.

Where is their Ashton Kutcher? Court star power? Have you ever even been on Myspace? Celebrities aren't the problem. In fact, at least there Ashton is a c-list celebrity like he is in real life.

Someone could go through line by line and point out how mostly this post was just name dropping of popular web 2.0 startups none of whom would solve Myspace's revenue, DNA, or technology problems. If you really read Angwin's book you'd see that most of these problems are unfixable and have deep deep roots. You sure as hell don't solve underlying engineer, culture and strategy problems by having Guy Kawaski twitter about your company more.

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