Why I left my MySpace page in the rearview mirror. Then backed up and ran over it a few times.

When I first saw MySpace, I didn’t get it. Further, I was appalled that something built so obviously without any love could be so loved. I signed up anyway.

This was probably 2007, but I can’t remember for sure. Anyway, I uploaded my music and some photos and then... nothing. What else was there to do? Sure, I told my friends but my heart wasn’t in it. I simply didn’t want people to get their first impression of my music from MySpace, as it was so ugly and cheap looking. Not too long after signing up, I was talking to a friend about MySpace and I predicted its imminent demise. He asked why. I answered with a rant about the horrific user interface (UI) and utter lack of design. He countered that people liked MySpace’s UI because it required exploration and the more you explored the more you could change it to meet your own needs. I thought that this was an absurd argument. I mean, why have navigation at all if no one likes it or can figure out? Worse, even once you customized a MySpace page it still looked like utter crap, cluttered with ads and flashing shit. And those fixed text links? Nauseates me just to think about it.

Still, my MySpace page lived on, like a zombie, but not nearly as cool. Then I discovered bandcamp.com. Clean, fast, bounteous of simple beauty, bandcamp won my heart straight away. And when I attended a conference to hear Ethan Diamond, the founder of bandcamp, speak I was not surprised at all to learn that he, too, saw MySpace as a pox upon this earth. As a music lover, he was insulted that something so ugly and shitty and crass would be the number one way for musicians to share their music on the web. Luckily, Ethan was rich, having just sold Oddpost, which he co-founded, to Yahoo. Also, Ethan is a geek, full stop, and the man knows and loves code the way Shakespeare knew and loved English. He got to work and bandcamp is the glorious, poetic result. Once I was “encamped”, I nearly forgot about MySpace and never checked my page anymore.

Last week, there was a flurry of activity around something called Quit MySpace Day. I read a bit about it on Hypebot and learned that it was actually started on October 23, 2009, and was celebrating its first anniversary. Then Hypebot published Six Reasons Not To Quit MySpace, which I found semi-convincing, mainly because it pointed out that if you leave MySpace, you give up your URL and may live to regret it. A few days later, I read an article (can’t remember where!) that changed my mind once and for all and I crushed my MySpace page with glee. The article’s main point was that your MySpace page could do more harm than good if your presence looked pathetic, which mine most certainly did. I had just a few songs posted, some random photos, no design tweaks and few “friends”. Why would I want anyone to see me in such an unflattering state? Being seen on MySpace is like being seen in a sex shop. Sure, nobody really holds it against you but it’s still a little embarrassing.

Next up, why I also quit Reverbnation.