I came across this blog entry recently as I was rummaging through the dark recesses of my computer. Once again I'm reminded of how much I miss the old MySpace. There's nothing quite like it today.
The blog is written in the collective third person by The G-Men. I wrote most of it, but the drummer, bass player, lead guitarist, harmonica player, and our manager all contributed :-D. I'm no longer in Richmond, but my appreciation of that wonderful burg still lives on. I hope you enjoy the trip back to 2007 when social networking was still relatively new.
ONE HUNDRED FRIENDS!
One hundred friends: it's a small sum by MySpace standards, but to us it's a big deal. Since we passed the one hundred mark this week, we thought it would be nice to take a moment to appreciate MySpace.
The G-Men first joined MySpace for purely commercial reasons. We had decided it was finally time to get our music "out there" and were looking for a way to do so. As we talked around we kept hearing that MySpace was the place to be. We set up our site with considerable hesitation. After all this is the era of cyber predators, phishing, and even data mining. What’s more we had seen a few teenagers’ MySpace pages and were appalled at the profanity, inappropriate sexuality, racism, and plain old bad taste. Did we really want to be part of this?
It quickly became apparent, though, that we DIDN’T have to be part of all the unseemliness. MySpace is just like our hometown, Richmond (or any other town for that matter). We avoid neighborhoods we don’t like, and we don’t associate with the people we don’t agree with. On the other hand, we love to run and bike on the trails by the James; we swim in the river on hot summer days; we commune with our friends at our favorite restaurant, Carrabba’s; we rummage through the dollar record bins at Plan 9; and we love to take in a Saturday-night movie at Richmond’s movie palace, the Byrd Theater—Bob Gulledge on the Mighty Wurlitzer is not to be missed!
It was immediately clear too that our MySpace foray was going to become much more than a mere commercial venture. Much light has been made of the new MySpace-inspired word “friending.” But friending has led to befriending. Through MySpace we’ve been able to meet and even share a stage with some of the best musicians in Richmond. Because the MySpace network is so huge, we’ve been able to reconnect with long-lost friends. In one case we’d been out of touch for seventeen years. We’ve gotten back in contact with relatives too. We’ve discovered new music and corresponded with folks in Britain, Germany, Yugoslavia, and Japan. We’ve even been able to express our appreciation for some of our heroes by leaving comments on their sites.
What is it about MySpace that makes it so much more compelling than other music networking sites? It’s free—no small deal. It’s scope and variety also have big appeal. It’s nice too that non-musicians are also part of the mix: more friends and diversity. The ability to personalize one’s page with colors, background patterns, pictures and videos is fun. (This is sometimes overdone to the point where pages take forever to load, but it’s better than the bland, boring alternatives.) Communication through, friending, comments, e-mails, and blogging eases connecting to others. The numbers aspect is also attractive: being able to count “hits” and friends. It all adds up to an extremely enjoyable, even addictive, experience that provides a sense of progress and self-actualization. I eagerly anticipate sitting down with the computer after dinner so I can find out “what happened” on MySpace today: How many hits did we get; did we get any friend requests; were any of our friend requests accepted; any new comments; did any messages come in?
So hats off to our founder, Tom Anderson. We are grateful for MySpace. You’ve provided us with many, many hours of enjoyment. Thanks too for being our first friend.