The collapse of Myspace and its legacy

By Razib Khan | June 26, 2011 11:06 pm

BusinessWeek‘s The Rise and Inglorious Fall of Myspace is a compelling read. But a huge piece of the puzzle which I thought was omitted was that Myspace was incubated in the short term bottom-feeder world to begin with, so the later fixation on revenue now rather than a long term vision may simply have been part of its original DNA. See this Planet Money podcast, MySpace Was Born Of Total Ignorance. Also Porn And Spyware, for what I’m talking about. As it is in the BusinessWeek piece Chris DeWolfe just tries to blame News Corp. Remember that DeWolfe and Tom Anderson sold out to Rupert Murdoch, while Mark Zuckerberg was uninterested in an immediate cash windfall. As far as the long term impact of Myspace I notice that the Urban Dictionary entry for ‘myspace angle’ is still more fleshed out than ‘facebook angle’, so the word “myspace” might still get preserved in this manner. In this way Myspace may resemble the audio cassette, which is still haunting our culture as the “mixtape”. Not surprisingly some young people are totally unaware that the tape portion actually refers to cassette tapes, since that technology was before their time.

MORE ABOUT: Facebook, Myspace, Web 2.0
  • Shecky R.

    Many folks have also long-forgotten that before mySpace and Facebook there was, a hugely-touted, fast-rising social media site in the late ’90s that pretty much busted with the original tech-bubble… I’ve never quite known why they failed while a few yrs. later mySpace and then Facebook took off wildly, but no doubt a story there as well (or perhaps just the same short-term outlook you cite here for mySpace).

  • Brian K White

    Never heard of theGlobe but before myspace the closest analog or precursor that everyone was using for the same purposes they now use facebook and twitter for was livejournal.

  • Abelard Lindsey

    I remember friendster and tribe. I even had accounts on both of these, but did not use them very much.

  • Roger Schlafly

    Mixtape refers to cassette tapes? I thought that it referred to reel-to-reel tapes.

  • Micah

    Closer to myspace actually was AsianAvenue (started in 97)–had the same ability to design your own page with annoying blast music appropriate for the 90s then that myspace thought was still good in the 00s.

  • Christopher@BorderWars

    Myspace was undone by the choice to allow users to bombard you with ugly backgrounds and auto-play music. I spent less than 10 minutes on the site in its entire run. It’s basically where animated gifs go to die.


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


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