Is MySpace like the butt of most jokes in terms of the startup technology world? Yes. The question is whether it continues to deserve that irreverent position – and the answer is also a resounding yes.
In a recent move MySpace blew away all of their users blogs without notice and without a plan for exporting or backup.
It’s hard for me to even write that sentence without my jaw slightly dropping in disbelief:
Well MySpace has now shut the door on the past and accelerated ahead into its shiny — or rather space-y — social music discovery future. But in its rush to fulfil JT’s vision of tech brand rebirth it’s managed to miss the fact that all the old clutter lying around the place was the only thing giving it any character.
You know, those blog entries that angsty teens wrote back in anger in 2005. Where are they now? Gone is where. Vanished. Disappeared.
Instead of warning the users now crying a river over their lost blog entries of its frankly dastardly plan to despatch blogs to the social scrap heap, MySpace appears to have assumed no one would care and just steamed ahead and flicked the switch.
Although I love TechCrunch and their use of ALL CAPS as much as I do MySpace they are right – the blog entries were the foundation to MySpace and blowing them away is kind of ridiculous.
Hey, I’ll admit it, I had an account back then too but the sting doesn’t even exist because I moved on years ago. I suppose the only option is to boot up Google Cache if you’re a victim of this horrendous crime against blogging humanity.
What I think this reveals is two very important things that all technology and publishing companies should know about and do:
- Communicate with your users – This one’s obvious. Don’t suck the life out of your system and your users by not letting them know your intent.
- Data Transferability – In other words, create a system where data is always the users’ and where they can have data continuity, even if they leave the service.
I think this ultimately sits with just respecting your user base, plain and simple.