"remove the web developer and the web gets developed"

Nat Torkington wrote on the Radar backchannel: “From my friend Jeff Root, one of the people behind this NZ gig guide“:

By the end of the week we should have a module that lets people pull listings into their MySpace pages, based on genre/artist/venue preferences. This is going to be a relatively big boost for our branding and distribution, as MySpace is VERY popular with punters, artists & venues here in NZ. Many venues have better MySpace pages than websites. Example: www.myspace.com/rakinos v. www.rakinos.com (remove the web developer and the web gets developed, how ironic).

Nat added: “That last parenthetical has got my mind going. MySpace did simplify something in how to get a web presence, that’s for sure. What’s the bigger picture implication?”

Phil Torrone wrote:

i’ve always said that setting up a web site for most folks is scary
and intimidating – but myspace, with all your friends there, lends
itself to a helping culture. everyone shares how to do whatever with
their circles of friends…they get by with a little help from their

These are fascinating observations. Joe Krause (formerly of Jot, now at Google, and among other things, product manager for Google’s blog properties) mentioned the other day to me that there are people who are saying that “blogging has peaked.” Now he obviously has a vested interest in having that not be so, as Google’s blogspot.com is still a major blogging platform. But it seems to me that MySpace is actually a kind of blogging platform, too, just a richer one, allowing for a host of additional popular features, including photo and video albums, music sharing, email and instant messaging, and social networking — all pre-configured and ready to roll.

In short, it seems that while many people thought of “blogging” as a thing that was understood and more or less set, MySpace asked themselves what kind of job the software did for most users, and figured out how to do that job better. Myspace is actually not as good as any of the standalone apps — blogging, photo sharing, IM, or email — but it puts them all together into an easy to use package that is not only more comprehensive but also easier to get started with.

Meanwhile, Sarah Milstein responded:

This may be tangential, but my mind has been similarly going over the BoingBoing post about Wikipedia’s coverage of Virginia Tech:

“In case you haven’t seen it, the Wikipedia entry for the Virginia Tech Shootings is one of the most thorough and quite honestly amazing Wikipedia entries I’ve ever seen. The number of edits and the short time between edits in the History… kinda incredible.”

That was yesterday [now a couple of days ago], and there’s a chance the entry isn’t keeping up today. But it was the first time I’d seen Wikipedia noted for news coverage. And it’s the second time in a week I’ve seen the development of an entry referred to in the way that the number of Google results used to be cited as a measure of something’s significance.

Yes, a thought-provoking tangent. One wouldn’t think of Wikipedia as a news site, but it has indeed become one, as users find that they can make the software do what they want, rather than what it (originally) wanted. Ease of use can lead to new uses…

It’s also an important reminder that the winners and losers of the Web 2.0 revolution aren’t clear yet. This is still very much a moment in transition.