Tag Archives: MySpace

MySpace – The rise, greed, and fall of a social media giant.

In 2015, Sean Percival is a partner at Silicon Valley seed accelerator 500 Startups, but from 2009 to 2011, he was working at MySpace as its vice president of online marketing – just as the social network lost its crown to Facebook.

In a speech at the By:Larm conference in Oslo this week, Percival gave an insider’s view of what went wrong at MySpace, from the “massive spaghetti-ball mess” of its website and the “politics, greed” of parent company News Corporation to a doomed attempt to acquire music streaming service Spotify.

His talk was aimed at startups looking to learn the lessons from MySpace’s decline, but it seemed as relevant for the largest internet companies today, such as Facebook, as they seek to avoid a similar fate. Continue reading

Gangs move between streets and social media

For monitoring gang activity, police have a free intelligence-gathering tool at their disposal: social media. This is just one example from Newport Virginia.

“The graffiti of old is now Facebook,” said Sgt. L.W. Spencer, who leads the gang enforcement unit at Newport Police Department. “They’re trying to portray a certain image in everything that they’re doing on Facebook.”

The communication and activities that play out on the streets have been extended to the Internet and sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube, said Executive Director George Knox of the National Gang Crime Research Center, which supplies research to police. Gangs have long maintained a presence on the Internet, and the popularity of smartphones just makes it easier.

“From the perspective of police investigators, this is an intelligence gold mine because this is open source information,” Knox said. “It’s due diligence for any police department to take that stuff seriously.”

For instance, police made connections between several of the “Dump Squad” gang members in Newport News from a rap video they produced and released on YouTube more than two years ago, Spencer said, watching the video and pointing to the young men that were arrested. Group photos on Facebook show youth displaying gang hand signs and wearing gang colors or other symbols. Young people use Twitter like “walkie talkies” to alert each other to police presence in the area, Spencer said.

In April 2011, 11 men were charged in federal court with different gang-related crimes as members would identify their West Coast Bloods affiliation through Twitter, Facebook and MySpace photos, videos and posts, according to the indictment. The accused members of the Portsmouth-based gang have since been found guilty on various counts, with one man sentenced to life in prison on two counts of murder, according to online court records.

But social media alone doesn’t finish the investigation, as police have to corroborate and confirm any information, Spencer said. To use Facebook information in court, police also need to file search warrants.

“That’s just a piece of the puzzle,” said Sgt. Jason Price, a spokesman for the Hampton Police Division. “It just confirms what we already know.”

Newport News has about 60 active gangs, Spencer said. Hampton has about 10, said Sgt. Derrick Woolaston, supervisor of the police gang unit in Hampton.

The gangs may be as few as three people and are usually a neighborhood group claiming affiliation with either the Bloods or Crips, Spencer said. Often, police aren’t dealing with rival gang fighting so much as infighting, Spencer explained. However, what makes it difficult to accurately tally the number of Peninsula gangs, comprised mostly of youth, is that members switch from one gang to another, and even to supposedly rival gangs, Spencer said.

This is evident in Newport News police seeing more “amateur-like” graffiti combining symbols, Spencer said. Hampton is seeing less “tagging” and the graffiti there is also filled with mistakes, Woolaston said. Local gangs aren’t organized as portrayed on TV, and youth will join and switch gangs for acceptance or protection, Woolaston explained.

“There’s less criminality and more socialization,” Woolaston said, adding Hampton police are seeing fewer gang-related crimes compared to five years ago.

Youth continue to be influenced by the glamorization of the gang lifestyle as it appears in movies and music, police said.

The people committing the crimes would do so whether they were in a gang or not, Woolaston explained. Even so, proving gang affiliation in court can tack on more time for sentencing and make it easier for police to prosecute a gang’s future criminal activities, police said. Spencer said the streets in Newport News are safer than 15 years ago although police continue to monitor gang hot spots in the Southeast community, like 23rd and Chestnut Avenue, and 33rd Street and Roanoke Avenue.

As far as how gang members use social media, each person or gang member is different. Spencer said youth seem to use it to portray an image of “money, power and respect,” although some use it as an intimidation tool. Knox said gang members will post or message witnesses to keep them from testifying. Spencer said he hasn’t heard of gangs recruiting through social media in Newport News, although Knox said this happens across the country. In 2008, Hampton police charged a 15-year-old boy with making gang threats and recruitment of persons for a criminal street gang through MySpace.

Spencer advises parents to know what their kids are doing online, to pay attention to who “friends” them on Facebook and to be wary when their children don’t accept their friendship.

 via dailypress

Myspace reborn: Hands on with a social networking comeback

New MySpace

I’ll be honest—until very recently, I hadn’t visited Myspace.com since 2008. By that time, Facebook was the king of social networks and Myspace was just the court jester, often mocked as an outdated platform with tacky user profiles mainly frequented by high school students, creepy men, and scenesters.

But in September 2012, Myspace announced a total overhaul and redesign. A flashy video trailer starring Justin Timberlake showed off a fresh, side-scrolling layout, with large pictures, a music player, and a new way to interact with other Myspace users. People started talking and headed over to the site to request early access to the new Myspace beta site. Everyone wanted in, but invitations were scarce.

Myspace was suddenly cool again.

New Myspace finally opened to the public on January 14, and the initial buzz has continued. I started using the site regularly again in November 2012; here’s an account of my rediscovery of the newest old social network on the block.

Not your old Myspace

The first thing to note is that the original Myspace.com (now referred to as Classic Myspace) and New Myspace are, at present, completely different sites. If you still have active Classic Myspace accounts, your profiles won’t be imported to the new site automatically, though you can to create your New Myspace account. (Alternatively, you can create your account by logging in through Facebook or Twitter.)

It has come a long way since the beloved, gaudy (ugly) customizable profiles of the early 2000s, but Classic Myspace still focuses on connecting with friends—an almost hopeless objective considering that Facebook has become ubiquitous as a tool for that purpose.

New Myspace is about discovering new people, artists, music, and other content, and connecting to an individual’s work in a different way. The site layout has an altered look and feel from its older sibling, along with a new login page at new.myspace.com.

Ali Tahmasbi, Myspace’s vice president of product development, explains that the team needed to start from scratch to create what it wanted. “The legacy code from our old site was hard to build on, so we had to make the investment in a brand-new site,” he said.

Keep reading at TechHive.com