Whups, not so fast says MySpace. It seems that Tom and the gang are putting Tila Tequila in timeout for adding the Hoooka widget to her page that would have allowed MySpace users to sample and buy her music. The MySpace gang yanked the player, created by Los Angeles starup Indie911, on Sunday.
So of course, Tila turned to her MySpace blog to vent her frustrations:
The reason why I am so bummed out about MySpace now is because recently they have been cutting down our freedom and taking away our rights slowly. MySpace will now only allow you to use ‘MySpace’ things.
At least she did according to the New York Times, which quoted Tequila in its article as having posted the above to her MySpace blog over the weekend, but I couldn't find any such postings on her blog. Maybe MySpace deleted it (oooohhhhh more controversy!), maybe TT deleted it, or maybe I am an idiot that can't read. Any of the above is equally possible.
But I think the bigger issue here is, MySpace's insistence on blocking user-added widgets. No doubt MySpace's partnership with SnoCap is playing into the blockage of Hoooka, but recall that MySpace has already gone after YouTube embedded videos in the past as well.
As widgets become more popular, MySpace is going to have to decide what's more important; letting users continue to create and enjoy their own experience, or attempting to dictate what that experience can be, and then monetizing the result.
Fred Wilson, a VC that invests in social media companies, had a great quote in the NYTimes article:
Every attempt everyone has ever made to try to dictate what a person’s Internet experience will be has ended up coming up empty. You have to accept the fact that you are never going to be the be-all and end-all of everyone’s experience. They are one click away from everyone else on the Web.
Will MySpace figure this out before midnight strikes? Rupert, you are now on the clock.
The Viral Garden, Marketing, MySpace, Tila Tequila