Secrets of MySpace’s success: for good or evil?
Robert Scoble wrote a piece about the secrets behind MySpace’s success. Amongst several points that were listed, what I found most interesting was he ended the post with this controversial statement:
These things mirror what Danah Boyd noticed in her essay: Is MySpace just a fad? She says that we need to pay attention to MySpace because moral outrage against MySpace will hurt all of us. I totally agree. More reactions to Danah’s post are on Memeorandum.
A self serving comment by someone that makes a living off technology if there ever was. Unfortunately Robert didn’t elaborate on that thought and what entrigues me most about it is I don’t understand the rationale behind separating technology from it’s social implications.
This reminds me of all the uproar over violence in computer games and I see little difference here.
So I have to respectfully disagree Robert, and in my view how this technology can enable or otherwise affect the fraternization of impressionable kids is of extreme importance and is in fact the whole point. Because if technology is the conduit of that fraternization, then its social implications are and should be subject to discussion and criticism.
The fact is technology can be used for good or for evil (not saying that myspace is evil mind you) and if that should happen to put a crimp in further development of similar technologies then tough nuggies.
Developers of technology cannot separate from its implications or act with impunity without standards in place. They call it social responsibility and experience has shown that we can’t leave that for the corporations to decide.
If it is the mission of the computer industry to make cooler apps in pursuit of the almighty dollar, then it goes without saying it is also the responsibility of society to impose standards on that technology as we see fit.