Monday, October 23, 2006

More Spaces

So, has anyone checked out the new Microsoft Live Spaces?

The only reason I had even come across it (though I'm sure I would have, eventually) is that Barenaked Ladies (my favorite band) is using it to blog their new tour. And, because I am a librarian, and feel like it's my "duty" to check out all of these things (who am I kidding - I wanted to enter the BLAM contest), I slapped a page together.

So, first of all, it's pretty much a blatant rip-off of MySpace - I mean, they barely even changed the name. That, and the fact that it says Microsoft, would have kept me away - but, like I said, I'm a librarian in pursuit of knowledge (cough*contest winning*cough).

I am wondering who, exactly, the target audience is for this "space." I doubt that the MySpace-ers will flock over here - why would they? The "pros" of this set-up - easy to choose and arrange modules, "tasteful" templates, clear instructions (most of the time) - would hardly appeal to the teens who have already taken great pains to conquer MySpace and make their page as garrish and unreadable as possible. That, really, is one of the joys of MySpace. I am forced to believe, then, that this "space" is aimed at my generation (one of the choices about your musical taste is "I'm still stuck in the 80s" - most MySpacers have no recollection of the 80s).

Does Generation X need a "space" to call their own? Maybe. I graduated high school with more than 600 people, and only a handful (less than 50) of them can be found on MySpace, and even fewer have any other web presence (and I've looked, believe me) at all. Why is that? I've been online in various incarnations since 1996 - am I really that unusual?

Anyway, if the aim of Live Spaces is to be a more user-friendly, less fugly, 80s hipster alternative to MySpace, they might be on to something - in theory. In reality, they need to do something different with their advertising campaign, and they need to lose the Microsoft branding - even if it does belong to them. Because, let's face it - nothing screams "not hip" like Microsoft.

And, they need to add music players full of the 80s classics.

So, yeah, I have a page there, and it will probably get even less use than my MySpace page - which is too bad, because I'd love to hear from some of my old classmates.

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