Friday, April 24, 2009

From GeoCities to MySpace, another side of Web Evolution

Recently, there are two news, seemly unrelated but actually told a common story, that have been buzzed over the Web. The first is that Yahoo is shutting GeoCities down. The second is that MySpace is in trouble, if not dead yet. The two news show us the progress of Web evolution on another side.

GeoCities and MySpace are nearly identical to each other according to Web evolution. In fact, MySpace is GeoCities 2.0. GeoCities offered the Web-1.0 generation a free place to set up their homespaces in Web 1.0 as well as MySpace offered the Web-2.0 generation a free place to set up their homespaces in Web 2.0. Despite the superficial difference between the two sites such as their graphic layouts and embedded services, they share a common mission and march on the Web in the identical way. The role GeoCities played in Web 1.0 is exactly the role MySpace plays in Web 2.0. The rise of either of the sites represented the rise of a particular stage of the Web (respectively Web 1.0 and Web 2.0), while the decaying of the sites represented the sunset of the respective stages.

As how GeoCities decays, the problem of MySpace is the same. GeoCities has never figured out a way to enter a new age, especially after it was acquired by Yahoo. Yahoo had proved itself a resistant of Web 2.0 for long time. In similar, MySpace is lost in Web 2.0. After it is acquired by the News Corp., the future of MySpace becomes dim. It is unquestionable that the leaders of News Corp. know how to make money. What these executives do not know is, however, that to a cutting-edge Web service, losing the ability of continuously evolving on the Web equals to be dead. A dead service certainly can make money no longer no matter how superior it is managed. History, again, shows us how repeatable it is disregarding the "smartness" of human beings. We cannot be against to the objective laws! And this is why the research of Web evolution is truly valuable.