MySpace Raising Some Walls

TechCrunch (via Baris) has reported that MySpace has started banning widgets to link to external sites.  TechCrunch concludes:

That’s a major blow against the viral spread of services like YouTube,
RockYou and countless emerging others. I’ve been talking to a lot of
widget vendors lately, and “it works in MySpace” is a now a primary
selling point. Companies are investing large amounts of money in
widgetizing content from one site onto another and MySpace is huge.
This move, in the name of security, will likely do serious damage to
the cottage industry of flash widgets in MySpace. In as much as users
love their widgets, that means this will do serious damage to MySpace
as well.

I am not sure about the potential damage to MySpace.  Baris is right in that MySpace should not care about the widget companies. However, MySpace must care about the user experience.  To the extent that MySpace can allow its users to express themselves on its platform to a degree that satisfies them, there should be no problems, and MySpace should continue its growth.  However, it’s getting more and more obvious that open source development models are more productive than closed systems.

The question ends up being, "just how demanding are MySpace users?"  Now that MySpace is mainstream, I think the expectations of its user base is declining.  The mainstream has tolerated mediocrity in traditional media for a long time.

Even though I am a big fan of open systems, I think I am with Baris on this.

2 thoughts on “MySpace Raising Some Walls

  1. I don’t agree with you on this. Rationale: This is very similar to the Windows-Linux story. Windows and MySpace are both platform providers. The difference is that barrier to entry in Windows case is much higher. But the monopolistic behaviours of Windows pushed others to create alternatives. Today, in such a high-tech field, Linux is a serious competitor to Windows, leader in server installations and rising in desktop market too (wait for the Vista and the new versions of Gnome and X11 -2007-). As for MySpace, there’s a very low barrier to entry, and a more open and user-friendly competitor (like PeopleAggregator maybe) can always take the lead.
    What I mean is that being a platform provider brings you big responsibility; if you are not friendly with others, they won’t stop harming you. I think, being open should be the way to go for platform providers.


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