Make Space to Leave MySpace
The alarm clock woke me up with the news that a senior News Corporation executive hinted about the possible closure of MySpace within "quarters, not years."
Even if MySpace manages to avoid a total shutdown, independent musicians should worry whenever company executives change the focus of a service from "community" to "celebrities."
For years, I've been advising that MySpace should be your "second" online home. Pasting someone else's URL on your merchandise leaves you open to exploitation if their site ever:
switches from a free to an overpriced service
changes owners and redirects your traffic
Chris Brogan has an even more refined explanation of why you don't want to depend on a social networking site as your main online presence. Focusing on your own website as a hub for official information, you can use Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace as "outposts" where fans who live on those services can easily find you and get connected back to your core site.
The nasty truth for starving artists: You will have to pay something to maintain your online presence, but you shouldn't have to pay more than $20 per month. Even more reason to find ways to make money making music.