MySpace’s new owner is expected to be announced this week as speculation suggests that News Corp is in final negotiations with two potential buyers, advertising network Specific Media and private equity firm Golden Gate Capital. The price tag for the failed social network has been mooted as US$35 million, a fraction of New Corp’ …
Way to go News Corp
How many newspapers do you need to sell to make up losses like that?
What a waste of capital.
MySpace coulda been a contender, because it was one of the first places to allow musos to upload their songs. There's lots of bands and singers around my neck of the woods that have MySpace pages for this reason. That would have been lots of captive eyeballs for the advertisers.
The problem is that the resultant pages too often were fugly as all get out - tiny little text using MS Serif, lurid colour schemes, bad contrasts, pictures of all sizes nestled together. Worse, the sites would immediately launch a song when you visited, which is one of the canonical no-nos of web design. So viewers were turned off.
If I were Rupert Murdoch (fate worse than death, I know, but anyway) at the MySpace buyout, I would have a sit down with the directors and suggest this: make it easy for people to update not only the content, but the look and feel - one that makes even the most amateur web tyro come to grip with making an attractive looking profile for themselves. Get rid of the font tags, get rid of the revolting looking tiny fonts. Let the users educate themselves and each other on how to make their band profile look sweet with CSS. Offer forums and help manuals to do it. Easier said than done, I know - but when you've got a couple of billion to throw at the problem, it's certainly seems possible.
A band could have been the dog's bollocks - better than Radiohead, The Smiths and Joy Division together on a good day. But how would you know? You would have to visit their revolting-looking little MySpace page to find out, and why would you want to do that?