Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

MySpace’s San Francisco Debut in Living Color!


Last night, BoomTown checked out the new space MySpace is renovating for its soon-to-open San Francisco office. The occasion was a party the social-networking site held for developers as part of its recent platform launch.

In other words, the night MySpace started kissing up to the widget makers with tasty burgers and big techie hugs.

And those widgeteers showed up in full force for the sandbox-themed event (I even brought my kids, who played in the actual sandboxes set up and made quite a mess!), including Slide’s Max Levchin, RockYou’s Jia Shen, Google’s OpenSocial guru Joe Kraus (who apparently did not get to go to Disneyland with the rest of the company) and many others.

Also in attendance were MySpace’s top brass, including Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson, as well as its new COO Amit Kapur and lots of other MySpace minions, coming up from Los Angeles.

MySpace –which is owned by News Corp., which also owns Dow Jones, which owns this site–is still the largest social network both in terms of users and page views. But its growth has been slowing and, worse, its thunder has been stolen by the faster-growing and more-hyped Facebook, based in Silicon Valley.

Last year, that competition was in sharp relief when Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckberberg opened its platform up to third-party developers. The crafty move sent widget makers into near ecstasy. (“He likes us, he really likes us!”)

And while widgets were actually on its site for a while, MySpace had not formalized those relationships with programmers and even battled with them, which has been the source of consternation in the development community.

Now, the company is trying to mend those broken links and has built more organized systems for letting software developers build a range of new services for its users. It also partnered with Google in the search giant’s efforts to open up the development process with its OpenSocial initiative.

Time will tell if the make-nice efforts by MySpace will work, but here’s a video of the party (and in the following post here features longer interviews with DeWolfe and Kapur):