My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder/president of Data & Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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“Move Over Friendster…”

One of my favorite aspects about MySpace is how little attention it has gotten during the whole YASNS thing. It has in many ways grown organically, based on actual networks, usage and whatnot. It is far less of a fad than any of the other services because those who joined it weren’t doing so because of mainstream fad behavior.

So, waking up to the Mercury News exclaiming Move over, Friendster. There’s a hotter site on the Web made me ROFL. Hotter? To who? By what standard?

If you follow this space, you know that MySpace has had more traffic than Friendster for a long time. They have fewer accounts, more loyalty, more freedom and generally a much more youth-friendly culture. Their popularity is mostly amongst users who never got into the fad of Friendster: goth kids, indie rock kids and youth. In the last six months, most of the urban teens i talk to talk about MySpace. If you’re in college, you’re on Facebook but if you’re in high school, you’re probably on MySpace. The only reason to say “Move Over Friendster” is because Friendster never really recovered its hyped status in the States and while its popularity overseas continues to grow, the media here has declared it a fad.

I must say that it’s funny to see things circle back again and again in this space. Was this was the Boom was like?

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19 comments to “Move Over Friendster…”

  • Myspace vs. Friendster

    Danah Boyd breaks down the whole Myspace is cooler than Friendster phenom on her blog and wonders if that’s really the case… “They have fewer accounts, more loyalty, more freedom and generally a much more youth-friendly culture. Their popularity is…

  • Question: Is there a social network site for graduate students? I’ve found plenty of blogs, and am starting to see that blogs are a better place than regular ‘ol homepages for sharing ideas/materials, but I haven’t seen any social networks specifically for graduate students.

  • Myspace vs. Friendster

    Update: Ypulse reader Holly writes “I started on Friendster in 2001 when I was in college and 2003 on Myspace. Myspace is clearly far superior to Friendster, primarily due to web development. Myspace is easy to use, offers more features,…

  • Sarah Bluehouse

    I have a secret Loathing for MySpace…and it’s Flashing moving web-java-applet crap. It’s manipulatability has made it a miserable combination of lowest common denomiator navigability, and aesthetic.

    But then I became a LJ junkie…
    🙂

  • To quote an 18 year old online acquaintance of mine from her email to me a couple of days ago: everyone has myspace right? Or at least it seems so among the younger demographics… I agree with the perception that MySpace grew organically ‘below the radar’ while Friendster was so hyped it created a backlash of sorts. But what really killed Friendster was how stagnated and sterile it was for so long, without improvements or extensions. If they had upgraded the service with additional fuctionality and features at regular intervals, it might have retained its popularity. (As for me personally, I’ve found myself checking on my growing MySpace almost daily but have all but abandoned my anemic Friendster account.)

    In addition, a MySpace is a good ‘online presence’ substitute for those who don’t have the inclination to create or maintain personal domains and/or weblogs, in a way that Friendster or the usual free homepage services never have been able to be. My friend quoted above used to have her own subdomain with a weblog, but she no longer has the time (with all she has happening offline) and is basically moving to a MySpace just to stay ‘connected’ to people or post occasional updates about her life without the responsibility & work of a weblog.

  • danah boyd on “Move Over Friendster…”

    danah ponders what it means to be a ‘hotter’ social networking service: [from apophenia: “Move Over Friendster…”] So, waking up to the Mercury News exclaiming There’s a hotter site on the Web made me ROFL. Hotter? To who? By what…

  • danah boyd on “Move Over Friendster…”

    danah ponders what it means to be a ‘hotter’ social networking service: [from apophenia: “Move Over Friendster…”] So, waking up to the Mercury News exclaiming Move over, Friendster. There’s a hotter site on the Web made me ROFL. Hotter? To…

  • Joley–
    Academics_anon, applyingtograd, and a few other communities on livejournal are good places for grad student networking, especially if you already have an active LJ. However, I agree that we should have something with features specifically designed to drive academic networking.

  • maybe its the names. i mean, friendster sounds kind of needy doesn’t it. something for people that don’t have friends. myspace on the other hand, is a club of one, and you’re in control of who comes in.

  • I prefer Friendster mostly because I’ve found about 10 times as many of my friends on it as I have on MySpace.

    And yet MySpace seems so promiscuous to me. All of my Friendsters are people I met in the real world before making them my Friendsters. Although if I met someone on Friendster and made friends online I would then add this person to my Friendster list.

    It seems most “friends” on MySpace are people who have never met in the real world (that’s fine) and actually never even met online (wtf?) Just read the comment galleries on the pages of really “popular” people. They have hundreds of comments saying nothing more than “Thanks for the add” and sometimes brief personal introductions. MySpace connections often seem so loose to me as to be meaningless.

    (The second part of the “Thanks for the add” routine that irks me is that that’s basically a personal message from one person to another. Why is it posted in the comment gallery?)

    MySpace is its own world and I’m not going to try to impose how I think it should be used on all the people who use it, but it sure gives me a headache sometimes.

  • Ben

    The best part of Myspace is the music services — I can listen to what all my friends are making. (And quite possibly it’s the music service that’s made Myspace look cool.)

  • I looked over your blog and didnt hear a mention of this networking site, which is my personal favorite:

    http://www.multiply.com

    http://pyvozaichuk.multiply.com

    the second link is a link to my personal page. i don’t update all that often, but i do have a variety of the different available ways to post on my page, so you can check those out.

  • Christine

    Anyone know a site that goes by the acronym RL?

  • Yeah, I always thought myspace was cool, but never really knew the history of Friendster. Glad to know the background now 🙂

  • redninja

    how to make your own background???

  • nerissa

    how do you log on myspace at school

  • Now that myspace is here friendster is not mentioned much i wonder who will be next.

  • issabel

    hi im issabel i know how you to make your backgrounds beutiful just visit the site of “tweakyourpage.com”then what you wanted are here backgrounds,layouts,pictures and any you want so try it now!