That’s what I call my Myspace attitude: high deny. The vast majority of bands or musicians that approach me on Myspace aren’t that good, or any good at all – so I deny the vast majority of their requests to be added to my network. This sea of crap has bothered me about Myspace (and music) forever. I don’t want to encourage them, and I very much don’t want them hanging around in my network, dragging down the general aesthetic.
I’ve never understood the empty exercise of adding all comers to a social network merely to build “reach”. Reach to whom? On Myspace, it’s to a whole lot of terrible bands. “Quantity has a quality all its own”? Do you know who said that? Josef fucking Stalin, that’s who.
I know all too well what high deny means in terms of conventional social networking mores. It means I’m doing it wrong. It means I’m keeping the size of my network smaller than it could be, which is allegedly a bad thing.
On other networks than Myspace, I have some sympathy for that point of view, and don’t set the bar quite as high (although I do set it by refusing to add people willy-nilly in any case.) But on Myspace, I feel very comfortable in knowing that if someone takes the time to browse around San Andreas Fault or Sirs Myspace pages, (the former of which I capped at 200 friends years ago) the time will be spent checking out something I or my partner curated – a collection of decisions based primarily on musical aesthetics. The curatorial feature of Myspace is thrown away by most in the mad dash to have a lot of meaningless adds and “reach”, but I revel in it instead.
Take tonight: I went through some three dozen add requests at the Myspace page for Sirs. Of these, I added only one – Racetrack Babies from Denmark. They’ve got something – call it a weird meanness. Or a mean weirdness. Either way, I really like “I Carry The Zero” and “Void” and I’m proud to know them, proud to add them. Salut Racetrack Babies!
I like the Babies enough that I don’t even mind that to get to them, I needed to brave dozens of lousy attempts at corporate pop, braying, boring hip-hop, unnecessary metal more formal than a cotillion ball, godawful uptempo eyeliner emo rock, inessential twee dabblings, execrable dad rock, and whatever other terrible flavors the plummeting price of recording equipment and the first world’s expanding pool of free time could assault my ears with.
Social networking norms say I’m supposed to add these people and build my network – but my standards insist on high deny.