Corey Mwamba

rambles → Dear MySpace

Dear MySpace

When I first started using you [in 2005, I think], you were a badly-coded waste of time. I then applied myself to your many ways, and found you to be very useful for putting out new things—in fact most of Sitting Rioja At Home was posted up there, sequentially, and that drew a lot of people to my music. You were the buddy to this, my main site—if by some chance people found it impossible to find this site, they found you, and could get hold of me there.

Not only that, you opened up access for like-minded musicians who could contact each other about their work; and make the sort of linkages between people that can create new worlds of music.

I'm sure it's very easy, with all the social media outlets that exist, to say that you have to keep up. And so in part, I understand your change to an entertainment portal or whatever term it is you've decided to use.

It's just that it's the wrong direction.

MySpace was never really social for me. It was about work. Very much like this site—there are sounds on here and my gigs are here. These are things people want to know about an artist [what do they do? when and where can I experience their work?]. The other question [what is that artist like as a person and how do I relate with that personality?] that is used by advocates of Twitter, Facebook et al. is interesting, but in my view is not as important for people wanting to experience work. Artists communicate through their work: so for a platform to work for artists it must be focussed on the work, not gubbins like chat, status updates and apps.

With the last profile upgrade you seemed to be cleaning up the code [finally] and improving the player [accepting different audio formats was a fantastic liberator], but with this new thing which I'm calling MyMess, you've really dropped the ball. The site now seems as slow as it did when I first used it five years ago: I can't even enter any gigs, meaning it's now useless to me as a work platform.

So, I'm pleading with you here: change. Make it ready for us to use. The audio player, with its acceptance of multiple formats and punctuation in song titles, is great. But CSV/hCal gig/event import is a must, and it's insane that other sites do not allow it—that was the ONE thing I liked about Reverbnation [although it didn't work at the time]. Allow us to show our band connections—sometimes all the musicians in a band are on the same platform, and it's a good thing to show the connections.

Make the site light in weight and quick to load. Keep it simple. Incidentally, no one really needs a like button for MySpace status updates, and there is no law that states that updates must be 140 characters or less. Stop emulating.

Care about the people that want to use you.