Steve's Blog: Solo Bass & Beyond

Myspace friend-cull. Who, How, Why.

November 23rd, 2008 | No Comments | Categories: Managing Information Streams · Musing on Music · tips for musicians |

Steve Lawson's myspace friends.I’ve just spent a most enjoyable few hours of the last couple of days removing over 90% of my Myspace ‘Friends’. By ‘removing’, I just mean from my list of myspace friends, not anything more sinister!

My reasoning was fairly simple – with just over 8000 friends, I was finding Myspace to be completely unusable. I wasn’t getting a play-count that suggested any sizable number of those friends were checking back in to see me, and the same went for blog-views. The way that Myspace’s interface is set up, it’s pretty much impossible to sort by region and send targeted messages (there is that option in the event invite, it just doesn’t work as they neither require location info from people signing up, nor do they make it clear why it would be useful. Even then, you still have to add people one by one.

If you’ve got over 5000 friends you can’t get a list of who’s online, or search within your contacts and there’s no sensible way of grouping them (yes, they’ve just added categories, no, they don’t really offer the kind of granularity of data that I’d want).

Basically, the myspace platform is a distaster. So why stick with it?

Well, let’s have a look at what Myspace has going for it:

#1: Ubiquity.
#2: ….

Uhm, that’s it. Pretty much. But it’s a biggie. Lots of people unfamiliar with the rest of the internets still use Myspace to find music. Promoters often use it as their first port of call when looking at a band as a potential booking (goodness only knows why), and there are just millions and millions of people on there who think of it as a music site.

So I’m going to try and make the best of it. I’ve started by removing everyone I don’t know, don’t recognise, and don’t remember having had any proper communication with, as well as all the huge bands I’m a fan of but never talk to. In the process of doing it, I’ve almost certainly deleted a load of actual fans, some of whom probably had me in their top friends list. Hopefully, they’ll come and find me, add me again, and we’ll have a chat we otherwise wouldn’t have had. If not, it means they haven’t noticed, or don’t care, and that’s not a problem either.

Now, when I look at my friends list, I have context for all of them. I want to talk to them, message them, read about them. Myspace is going social in this house. And I’m not accepting any friend requests from anyone who doesn’t send me a message with it.

Lobelia did the Myspace mass-delete about a year ago, and saw no drop-off in the number of plays she was getting. She just stayed in touch with more people. So I’m copying her. 🙂

If you do want to add me on myspace please click here and do so.

And if we’re already friends over there, check out the blog post and all the comments over there too.

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No Comments so far ↓

  • lou plaia

    Hello Steve, hope you are well. I know you are a user of our ReverbNation platform and I hope it has brought you the value you are looking for and could not get from myspace. I know you already use the Fan Exclusive feature and the Fan Collector widget which we hope gets your true myspace friends to join your email list. Take care.

  • Mike O'Hara

    Saounds like an excellent idea Steve, think I’ll do the same!

    might get me into using MySpace again (haven’t updated it, or even looked at it, in ages)


  • steve

    yeah, it’s definitely working for me so far. I mistakenly deleted a few people who had me in their top friends. They got in touch, and we’re now chatting on a more regular basis. So that’s good.

    And everything that comes through the news/status/whatever stream on my home page is now from people I have some point of reference for.

    I think if you had somewhere in excess of 50-60,000 ‘friends’, it might be worth leaving there, just for the ambient traffic. But anything less than that, and you’re better off talking to people and getting them to spread the word about what you do, than you are trying to broadcast via Myspace…

    Try it and let me know if it becomes useful again. It might not… that’s always a possibility 🙂

    Hope to see you soon, Mike – haven’t caught up in AGES!

  • paddy

    yeah plus if someone can find you on myspace there’s plenty of otherways of getting in touch with you, its not like its an exclusive channel of communication.