I still have a MySpace profile. (Or, oh, sorry, according to the last “redesign,” I have a My[_______] profile, or whatever.)
Officially, I sign in once every six months or so, looking for a snippet of music by some band or other that for whatever reason refuses to post its artistry somewhere more contemporary. (These acts are always either death metal bands or gospel/bluegrass/folk performers that did a featured spot at the Grand Ole Opry in, like, ’87.)
Unofficially, I still have a MySpace profile because my MySpace profile is tied to an email address that has been defunct for about six years now. And I can’t delete my MySpace profile without accessing the email address that no longer exists to open the email they can’t send there and click the nonexistent link allowing MySpace to delete my profile.
Which is exactly the sort of shortsighted mismanagement and lack of attention to detail that led to the pioneering social network’s demise. Well, that and, you know, the fickle passing of more than a couple of years, which might as well be an epoch in Internet Time.
But MySpace isn’t really dead, is it? Because nothing on the web ever really dies; not even the ancient, garish and embarrassing proto-network Geocities, which exists to this day in a sort of zombified half-life though dedicated archival fan sites. (Or Friendster, the first “real” social network, which shambles on, sort of, as a gaming community.) MySpace didn’t turn out to be the Titanic — it’s more like some horror-movie leper colony where a few unfortunate residents happened to be in the can when the last employee out wrapped the chain around the fire-exit handles.
Now, pop icon Justin Timberlake and a company called Specific Media have announced they’re just about done scraping the contagious uncool off the walls and floor. Having bought the brand from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp more than a year ago, they’re ready to introduce a completely revamped MySpace to the world.
The new Myspace — now with fewer capitalized consonants! — takes a whole lot of cues from the sites that tossed it from the top of the social-media hill: cleaner, more intuitive layout; more and bigger photos; more media overall; and more updates from a user’s connections. Imagine Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr and Twitter making love in full color against a coolly monochromatic background, as envisioned by the designers of Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 dashboard.
I assume it will do everything the favored social networks of today do, only all in one place.
But will it matter? After all, while nothing ever really dies on the web, nothing ever regains full glowing health either, once the newerfasterbetter comes along. And it remains to be seen if even Justin Timberlake can scrape off the kind of uncool that’s encrusted Myspace in recent years.