In Episode 4 of Download: The True Story of the Internet John Heilemann suggest that what we, as humans want more then anything else in this day and age is to communicate. I agree with this, but only to a certain degree. Whilst it is true that communication is integral in a successful, happy and fulfilled life, I (establishing my truly anti-internet standpoint) believe that face-to-face communication will be forever of more value then any communication that goes on over the internet. Now, I’m not 100% anti-internet – I am studying media and I am blogging about it – the information we have access to and the way in which we can connect with people across the globe is phenomenal, I simply feel that it cannot replace a face-to-face conversation.
The developments throughout the late nineties and noughties have been astounding. Heilemann outlines the way the average joe can take out the big companies, now,
“the world is changing the web.”
The collaborative nature has seen the rise (and fall) of sites such as Napster, Digg, and Craigslist which essentially undermine the big media moguls and their way of buying up big to control what is out there. They have opened doors to new arguments around internet ethics, intellectual property, the cost of content and who decides what we should be reading, and therefore, thinking about. But the battle continues to forever rage on between the little man and the media mogul.
One clear example was Rupert Murdoch buying out Myspace in 2005 for $580million. This grab for power has been reported as “huge mistake”. It is ironic that Murdoch himself labels it mismanagement “in every possible way” that was inflicted by the big time corporation to a platform that now functions mainly as a launch pad for (small time) music artists (see Matt Lynley’s article in Business Insider, October 21, 2011). One of the original founders, Chris DeWolfe described it as a look into someone’s bedroom or apartment, giving you a “real insight into someone that you wouldn’t ordinarily have” – somewhat creepy if you ask me. But of course it has its place in the social networking revolution. It was created by college students, just like the majority of successful social networks and web platforms that we have come to know today.
Myspace was sold last year (2011) for $35million, a small fraction of the original cost, to Specific Media and Justin Timberlake. It is now being rebuilt, and I reckon it looks kind of cool. Much more sophisticated then the old days of backgrounds-of-hot-boiz-wishing-you-were-in-that-girl’s-top-friends.
Take a look at the preview video, looking like a mix between Facebook, and Pinterest… with music, I think I’ll be requesting an invite.