Jul 3, 2011

Rummaging thru MySpace's wreckage

The old site becomes a 3yo snapshot

As some of you readers are aware, we here at Nanoburgh dabble in the music business. Translation: we produce and promote live concerts, mainly on the low end of the spectrum (100 to 500 attendees per show).

It's more a passion than a business, but it's something we're good at. Over the years, we've put together a perfect streak of excellence on the stage, having hosted many dozens of great acts in a wide variety of genres. We can even brag of having discovered an artist who is now a major star and playing a smaller role in a another of the same. It's all good and it's all fun.

MySpace played an important role in our promotional and talent discovery activities in our early years; say in the 2006-2008 period. MySpace was the buzz, and its roots in music made it the perfect place for us to hang our brand, announce shows, collect a following and keep that tribe up to speed on what we were up to. It worked well.

But come 2009, it was quickly losing its value to us. Do I really need to know what happy hour every cover band in the country was playing? The in-box was flooded with acts trying to get in our loop, but too many of them were kinds in a basement. The bands outnumbered the fans, and the promotional aspect of the service was disappearing. By early 2010, our page was pretty much abandoned --- as it seemed everyone else's was.

MySpace is the ultimate boom to bust story of the Net. It was just sold for $35 million, a far cry from the $580 million that NewsCorp paid for it. At a recent powwow with some of my business pals, the question was posed as to "what would you do if you were handed the keys?". None of us had a good answer.

Every few months, I log into the old account, just to see if I am missing anything. I never am. But I always fail to completely shut down and delete the account. 2,000accumulated friends is why. That, plus the hope that someone has an answer to that question that my own posse failed to deliver.

But rummaging through the old contacts, artist and fans as well as reading the old messages and bulletins is kind of like hitting the Wayback Machine and going back in time. It also shows how fluid people's live and their relationships can be.

I see bands and solo artists that are no longer active; casualties of the most unfair business int he world and forced to give up their dreams and enter the 9 to 5 door. I find devoted music lovers who used to come to all of our shows and became friend as a result, but have since moved out of the area of are in a different state of mind where hitting a rock & roll concert on a Wednesday night just doesn't jive anymore. Our former interns and helpers pop up here and there, as do press and radio people we lost track of, college kids that use to beg their way into shows and are now scattered all over the world, and yes--even a couple of flames as well. All of it is a bit, well: sad.

Saddest of all is one particular trail that can be followed in the old site, that of a pretty cool and quirky band whole original tunes and on-stage sprit I thoroughly enjoyed when they played for me a few times. I can still read the buzz that was generated at those early shows, with their large local contingent of hometown friends that were along for the ride yakking back and forth. Then I can observe how it all started to fall apart and the gang lost their cohesiveness and the shows became less of a big deal to many of them. Relationships split and people moved away and the band's upward trajectory stalled as the party stopped. It came to a final crash ending with the leader of the group passing away; much, much too young. It makes me wonder whether each and every member of that extended gang is even aware of that tragedy of their former ringleader?

It's all there to discover, follow and interpert; almmost like an Eqyptian tomb. RIP MySpace. RIP 2008.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

MYSPACE sucks. Small loss. Where will the 12yo's go to play now?