Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Want to Watch MySpace in Real Time? Here’s Your Site.

Despite MySpace’s well-documented woes, the site still attracts a very large audience. Want to see what they’re chatting about as they say it? Here you go: Real-time search engine Collecta has produced a site that does nothing but index MySpace users’ comments, shout-outs, videos, etc.

MySpace, along with Twitter, Facebook and other sites that collect real-time, user-generated stuff, has opened up its stream to third-party developers, which means Collecta isn’t the only place you can see what the social network’s users have to say.

But it is, as far as I can tell, the only site offering a dedicated vertical to MySpace. (Disclosure: MySpace is owned News Corp., which owns this Web site.)

collecta favre myspace

I’m still a little fuzzy about the endgame for Collecta, One Riot and all the other search start-ups that are mining real-time data. Each promises a different take on the problem: This one claims to be faster, that one says it’s more comprehensive, this one says it does a better job of sorting the data pouring out of the firehose, etc.

But it seems to me that the default winner should be Google (GOOG), which is able to index the real-time stuff and integrate it into its search results. And if Google screws that up somehow, the likely winner will be a site like Twitter or Facebook, sources for much of the data in the first place.

Then again, if we take this approach toward every new search development, there’s really no reason for anyone to innovate again. So more power to these guys for trying.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work