Friday, October 20

Another day, another bad day for MySpace

They should really rename this box on the MySpace homepage. It's not a 'MySpace Announcement Page', it's a 'MySpace Apology Page'.

Every day, I login to MySpace to maintain a few different profile pages (professionally, i'm not a weirdo, honest!).

And every day, something's not working properly on MySpace. Often I'm unable to login for a while, clicking a button produces an error page, and those are just the errors affecting me.

Then there's the errors I haven't experienced yet. Because at least once a week, the little 'MySpace Announcement' box is showing an apology from Tom about what's not working right today, with a vague, fuzzy description of what might be wrong, how long it might take to fix, and a glib reassurance.

If Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail or Gmail has a one day outage, the tech community is up in arms, it gets reported as front-page news, and the world as we know it is about to end. Meanwhile, MySpace, the world's biggest online community, staggers from messup to rollback and on to the next set of glitches, and nobody bats an eyelid. "MySpace has always been buggy, what's the problem?" I hear people say.

The problem is, with the sloppy dev culture at MySpace, one day they'll do something dumbass they can't easily recover from. A lot of user data will be lost, a lot of advertisers will want a make-good, and MySpace will acquire a reputation as the last place you'd want to trust with your personal information and social networks. Then, if people start migrating to another online community faster than MySpace's organic growth rate, the MySpace snowball may hit the wall.

MySpace developer

A MySpace developer at work.

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