Trends and taste are changing and the younger generations are getting older. They are tiring of the chaotic and music based environment offered by Myspace. So, how do we address these issues? The next step in the process is to figure out the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the company...otherwise known as SWOT Analysis.
In the my previous blog post (Can Myspace be Revived?) I spoke briefly about research. Research, as most writers will tell you, is the bread and butter to any good writing. Is some of it subjective? Depends. If I'm writing about a company I may offer my opinions but those opinions would be based on the factual information obtained...such as in this blog. Yet, the information I present will count for absolutely nothing unless I can "back up" my stance with the research I've presented. With that said, I am offering a SWOT Analysis...this gives us a clear understanding of how Myspace stands based on internal and external factors. While those items listed are not exhaustive...they are the items which turned up frequently in my research.
MySpace lost its prominence in 2008 to Facebook although the company once was the gentle giant of social networking. Unlike Facebook, MySpace focuses much of its attention on young audiences with its music/video imbedding capabilities, its highly customizable profile pages and its encouragement of musical artist/fan base connections. It also includes blogs, groups, bulletins, widgets, and instant messaging as well as online advertising called MyAds. (Safko, 2010). This is perhaps why, although it is ranked 6th in the United States, MySpace still attracts international users including notable organizations such as Operation Blessing International and Planet Aid. Even the current President of the United States, Barack Obama utilized MySpace as a highly functional campaign tool. According to Wilkinson and Thelwall (2010), “Among U.S. teens in 2007, the articulated reason for choosing either Facebook or MySpace was based on a perception of Facebook’s greater maturity/dullness” (p.2313). Tom Anderson, former president of MySpace, sold the company and now has his own Facebook account. However, this has not deterred the remaining creators of MySpace such as Brad Greenspan (founder of eUniverse), Chris DeWolfe (DE), Josh Berman and a team of programmers from blatantly describing to whom the company caters to....Generation Y.
What additional factors do you think you could come up with for each category?
Now, you are probably wondering again, "WTH does any of this have to do with writing?" Well, think of it this way. Suppose as a young child you have always loved dinosaurs. I don't mean just simply think they were cute...I mean really really loved dinosaurs and you spent most of your days reading about all the dinorsaurs you could think of. Now you are an adult and your love of dinosaurs is still as passionate as ever so you decide you want to write a book about dinosaurs. However, only about a month ago there was an explosion of dinosaur related books and it seems as if that subject is just over-saturated. So, do you just give up on your childhood dream and call it a night? Not necessarily. Research and SWOT analysis will provide you with the information you need to make a clear decision. By focusing on the the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of the current books written on this subject you can determine the angle you wish (if you decide to write it at all) to take; this includes what genre and age market to write for. You may find out that the current books deal more with fictional stories of dinosaurs or stories related to their living habits. However, after much research and a SWOT of the market you realize the opportunity lies in crossing subjects matters...perhaps you decide to write a book that focuses on the relational habits of dinosaurs and how physiological needs determine our continued existence. Yet, making this work is highly dependent on your skills as a writer. My point? Know your market and figure out the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in your story telling.