The NYT’s Saul Hansell cuts through the clutter surrounding MySpace’s answer to Facebook’s much-hyped open platform. Saul notes that MySpace has always been “open” — the fact that anyone could slap just about anything on users’ pages was fundamental to the site’s original appeal. (Where have we heard that before?) And he argues that MySpace doesn’t need to ape Facebook’s platform — it needs to focus on its bulky, antiquated technology that wasn’t good to begin with and is looking much worse with age:
To read the coverage of MySpace’s announcements on its new “platform” at the Web 2.0 conference, you would think that the site had been as closed to the outside world as North Korea, and is only opening up under pressure from Facebook.
This is, of course, telling the story backwards. And it misses the important issue for MySpace: the failings of its internal (not external) developers. And the news that Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson have renewed their contracts to run the company raises the question of whether anyone is being held accountable for the site’s technical stagnation……The upshot: If the platform is the only thing to change at MySpace, the site will look much the same as it does now, and it may be increasingly vulnerable to defections of users. Bits
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