MySpace's "It's So Over" Problem Among the Social Media Intelligentsia

Last Updated Jun 24, 2009 3:05 PM EDT

I spent yesterday at a twice-a-year social media conference I run called OMMA Social, and once again, it hit me how deep MySpace's problems are -- because it's rarer and rarer that it even merits a mention among online media agencies and clients, the people who will need to have a vested -- and invested -- interest in MySpace going forward. Worse, mentions of MySpace often seem to put it in the past tense, as if it were some quaint early Internet artifact like Mosaic or Compuserve. On one panel, Don Steele, the vp of digital marketing at MTV Networks, noted how quickly what is considered the hot social media platform shifts. This year, he noted, the social media crowd is talking about Twitter, after several years of talking about Facebook, and then, before that, he said, everyone was talking about MySpace.

Aw! Remember MySpace? Seriously, though, it was at that moment, toward the end of the show that it occurred to me: no one at this conference is paying attention to them!

To put a few stats around this phenomenon, I did a quick search on #ommasocial tweets that mentioned MySpace (or MS), vs. Facebook (or FB). The results? Fifty-six mentions of Facebook; six of MySpace.

New CEO (and ex-Facebook exec) Owen Van Natta and News Corp. digital chief Jon Miller need to address this, soon after they finish restructuring. (Yesterday, the company laid off 300 international employees, after letting go 420 people last week.)

Yes, the lack of interest in MySpace among social media wonks is somewhat of a cart-before-the-horse problem. You have to provide a service that people actually want to spend time with again, and that has regained its mojo, for advertisers who might spend money on it to care about it. On the other hand, Van Natta & Co. would do well to involve the social media community in whatever it does next. Many of them hold the keys to whether or not MySpace can stop its sink into irrelevance, and right now, unfortunately, it seems to be sinking fast.

Previous coverage of MySpace on BNET Media:

MySpace Will Never Be Facebook, Van Natta or No MySpace Is Over; Long Live Facebook Is MySpace a Portal That Thinks It's a Social Network?