Get Back Your Forgotten Myspace Password, Join The Real Time Music Hunt!

(The UI for this App is a slick piece of design: big buttons, simple elements, bright contrasting colors, and one single click leads people to what they want)

This is truly the first time Myspace gave me a pleasant surprise since I involuntarily signed up for a Myspace account months ago: the refreshing real-time music search app, “We Are Hunted Myspace Radio Station” just launched, not only on the Myspace website, but also on iPhone and Android at the same time. Trying it out, I have to say Myspace has finally done something right with their valuable music assets after such a long time. They have fused the two hottest things on the web right now: crowdsourcing (or more precisely, “hordesourcing” according to Wired) of millions of Myspace music lovers’ picks, and a real-time music feed, to rejuvenate its long neglected music gold mine. As a result, this app will likely help Myspace and its indie music groups open up to a larger public audience.

Here is more detailed information of how it works, according to Myspace:

  • We monitor what MySpace users are listening to via the MySpace Real Time Stream. Depending on the time of day, we hear 15 to 100 updates every second.
  • The most popular artist in the last 60 seconds plays next.
  • The service is tuned for music discovery service. The programming is biased to favor new and emerging music popular right now. We play only 60 second samples of each song with a voice intro so you know what is playing.
Listening to these 60 seconds tracks, when you catch something that is interesting to you, you can also easily drag it to “my favorite tracks” box on the right side of the app page. Also, one simple click on the album icon can lead you to the artist’s Myspace page to learn more about them.

After listening to it for a while tonight, I have to say it is really not bad. Besides these new, refreshing music tracks themselves (finally something other than the ubiquitous Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga songs playing for the millionth time from the car radio), I simply love the interesting mash-up of different genres of music. Listening to my familiar genres of music on Pandora is safe and delightful, but going out there and being a little adventurous with a crowd-sourced DJ on Myspace can open up a whole new world of music.

One additional bonus: this app is quite easy to use, as long as you can find your Myspace password after abandoning the site for so long (ha!), one minute is all you need to get started with this app. Try it out here.

What Makes Things Go Viral On the Internet?

(This viral video currently has 890 tweets on Twitter according to

Speaking of things going viral online, the first thing that came to my mind is, an experimental project by social media trend-capturing star As defined by themselves, Bitly TV “showcases the most viral videos shared on”. Besides showing videos, TV also displays dynamic, real-time buzz and conversations of the video on Twitter. With all these conversations

being captured and documented, it would be very interesting if there was research done on Bitly TV’s top 100 viral videos and the reasons people were talking about them. Some common qualities of these viral videos may be revealed through this research. These common qualities of viral videos may make it possible to create a formula for producing successful viral videos and messages. Just as the Heath Brothers wrote in their book, Made to Stick, there are certain qualities that make messages “sticky” and stay in people’s heads. Would the most commonly shared qualities of these viral videos and messages be humor, embarrassment, surprise, controversy or heart-touching emotion?

In Wikipedia’s explanation of “Viral Marketing”, viral messages usually rely on “pre-existing social networks” to spread, and “high Social Networking Potential individuals” are the most powerful force in helping spread messages. In that case, if viral marketing was designed to specifically cater to these two criteria, would it more likely for that piece of content to go viral?

Another question I have about viral marketing is that after a company successfully creates some viral buzz on the internet, how does the company turn that one-hit wonder into something that can sustain the brand? I still remember last spring the hot buzz stirred by Burger King’s “Sacrifice your Friends” for a free Whopper program on Facebook. At that time, it was widely talked about, and I still remember it today. However, I did not see how that would have a specific effect on my purchasing behavior towards Burger King.

With so many questions about viral marketing in my head, I am very looking forward to hearing Social Media Whiz Matt Singley from M80 share his thoughts on this topic with us in tonight’s class!

The Current and Future of Gaming

Today a friend of mine who studies gaming design at USC showed me two very cool game trailers, the first one is the next generation of a famous Japanese game franchise called Final Fantasy (yes, of course it is a Japanese game), which he describes as delivering the best graphics design the current video game industry can achieve. The second one is a preview for Xbox’s Project Natal, which will be launched later this year. As an amateur video game player who has only been into Super Mario all these years, I was very enticed to play these two games after watching the two short films about them. What will the future of gaming be? Just combine these two games in your head, and you would see a picture that in the near future everyone of us will be projected into a sophisticated video game world, controller free!

Final Fantasy XIII

Project Natal Xbox 360 Announcement