10th Largest Site Online To Launch Microformat Integration Network

As a part of my ongoing thoughts about blog post titles, I thought I’d see how much traction what I think is a very big story would get with a different headline. Instead of “MySpace to Unveil Integration With Sites Around the Web, Using Open Standards” how about we leave the tech-tarnished name MySpace out of it. It’s still the 10th most popular site on the whole internet!

From that story yesterday:

MySpace will announce in the next few weeks a major new feature being added to its MySpaceID product that will allow third-party websites to write updates into the MySpace activity feed just like Facebook Connect, but will also incorporate open semantic microformat code in order to comprehend what those updates are about and make more sophisticated update highlighting and recommendation decisions.

It’s a major move being worked on with both the Activity Streams and Open Social communities – it could push the rest of the web, outside of Facebook, in a direction that supports radical app innovation through the creation of a level playing field of readable data. And it could make MySpace a lot better, too.

“We don’t want to do anything without semantics, to be honest,” Monica Keller, group architect for activity streams at MySpace, told us by phone today. “We can’t afford to show a user content on their home page that they aren’t going to like.” At a time when MySpace is in serious trouble and trying to regroup, a home run by Keller and crew could make MySpace more relevant to people again and impact the rest of the web in positive ways radically unlike the impact of Facebook’s proprietary software.

Here’s the rest. Tell me, is this not a really big deal? Maybe people don’t have confidence in MySpace to pull such an ambitious plan off – but I suspect most readers didn’t even look past the company’s name.

  • Your experiment worked. I clicked through to see which site was 10th largest online 🙂

  • I think MySpace gets a bad rap. I was just as blown away to learn they are now the #2 largest email providers.

    Excited to see where their use of microformats goes!

  • Todd

    If Monica and her crew get the OK to cause MySpace to be hyper focused on music and concerts, then morph into the same sort of thing Twitter does where the API gets 10 times more usage than the web site ( via third party clients ) they will have a winner.

    …social graph rallied around concert tickets as the Social Object has off the chart potential!

  • I agree Marshall that this could be big for MySpace if executed properly but would also serve as a shining beacon for other ecosystems to follow in example.

    @Todd is also spot on with his view that “…social graph rallied around concert tickets as the Social Object has off the chart potential!” (validates something one of our projects is working on).

  • Thanks to people like Monica Keller and Max Engel (he’s not at MySpace anymore, though) MySpace has contributed a lot to open web technologies over the past 12 months or so. However, hardly anyone noticed because everyone was just writing about Facebook.

    So yes, changing blog titles helps sometimes. 🙂

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  • I agree that MySpace is definitely still a player in this space, influencing how technology is evolving and being used. It’s been interesting to see how their brand has changed over the past two years with opening a San Francisco office, leading OpenSocial development, Max Engel getting out into the community and now with Monica Keller pushing Activity Streams forward.

    Not only will Activity Streams provide MySpace with more information about what people are doing as they aggregate actions from other sites, but will also make it easier for MySpace to push their user’s actions elsewhere around the web.