So, I finally gave in. I’ve created a MySpace account. I’ve always avoided it before. I dislike the exclusivity of it all. It’s clearly the most heinous crime committed against all that’s decent in the world of web design for many a long year. It’s splattered indiscriminately with ads as if someone flicked the bristles of a paintbrush. There’s the ongoing all your content are belong to Murdoch issue. But most of all it’s the complete lack of RSS feeds that both irritates me and has been the reason for my eventual submission. And I resent that.
There’s a countless mass of social networking sites. I have friends who use quite a few of them. There are lots of blogging tools, all enabling people to publish their thoughts individually on fully customisable personal sites with comments, trackbacks and other forms of interactivity. And for every person I want to read that’s another visit I have to make to some other random site. If I want to stay up to date I have check them all. Every single day. MySpace is simply one amongst the miscellany. I am thus forever indebted to the person who first thought up syndication. These days the only site not in my Bloglines feeds that I begrudge to check regularly is the WoW Europe homepage.
And that brings us to the crux of my objection to MySpace. By not providing feeds in standard format News Corp effectively ensure that the only way you can keep track of multiple friends is with a MySpace subscription. And this is not just some technical oversight of a company behind the times. It’s a deliberate part of their business model, an attempt to monopolise the blogosphere. I don’t want to write on MySpace, I’m quite happy writing (occasionally) in the same place I have been for the last seven years. Signing up to MySpace feels like the first step on the slippery slope back to the bad old days.
Yet here I am. I’ve made my first post, posted simultaneously at sphericalbowl.co.uk. I don’t intend on using it actively. I just want to monitor my friends’ blogs without having to bookmark every single one. I might post on MySpace at the same time as updating my main site in future if I can be bothered. And I’m back to checking two sites a day rather than one.
Update: OK, so I’ve found MySpace’s RSS feed. I could’ve sworn it wasn’t there this morning…