Daily Archives: March 22, 2006

Secrets behind MySpace’s success

I met MySpace’s CTO, Aber Whitcomb, last night at the posh and packed MySpace party here at Mix06¬†and I asked him how MySpace got so popular. He cited a few things:

1) They made sure influentials in Hollywood (stars, bands) were among the first users.
2) They listen to their users and add features frequently (usually noticeable new features every week).
3) They let the users tell them what to do. He mentioned that other services, like Friendster, tried to tell their users what not to do.
4) When MySpace visitors first log on they already had a friend: the founder Tom. That was in contrast to other services where you had to work to find your first friend. His page also gave you a template to get started.

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.

Windows Vista delayed

As you might have read by now, Windows Vista has been delayed.

I found this out while I was at Mix06 and in Las Vegas hanging out with the community. I have not had time to get educated on this issue and so I’ll reserve most comment on it.

Various people are asking in my comments and in threads over on Channel 9 “where’s Scoble?” Translation: “why isn’t he commenting on this story?”

The answer: cause I don’t know enough about it and my readers have criticized me strongly in the past for shooting off my mouth before I know the full story.

That said, Memeorandum (linked above) has lots of links to the various people commenting on the story and I’m now participating in the Channel 9 thread. I’m sorry that I haven’t been in the office enough to learn what was behind this decision.

That all said. I’ve learned that dates in the software industry are likely to slip and I’m glad that our management is still paying more attention to product quality and customer and partner feedback than trying to meet some date. Yes, it’s painful. Yes, it’s embarrassing. But we have been through product slips before (before I was a Microsoft employee I was a beta tester on Windows 2000 which slipped years after the first test CDs arrived) and I’d rather have a slipped date than a cruddy product.