From a recent comment on The MySpace Problem:
“About 1-2 weeks ago depression hit me for a few days. As usual, it wasn’t just one thing; it was a combination of several things. MySpace and their seemingly undeserved popularity was one of those contributors. I kept asking myself, “Why!? Why is it that the worst things are the most popular?” Then, a few days ago while I was getting in the shower, I had a thought: MySpace is successful because it gives people freedom.”
This is exactly the sort of conundrum I was trying to explore in the piece. MySpace, in all its visual glory, is a paradox for designers, who, with their refined aesthetic sensibilities, cannot fathom how people value such decoration.
What we’ve learned, I think, is that in some cases giving people the ability to express themselves is more important than the designer’s ability to do so. Or, in other words, the designer’s ability to let people express themselves is often an important goal in social web design.