The Horrors Of Bikes (Or The Joy Of MySpace)


Scott Karp lined up beside the alarmist recently with his post about the site MySpace.

Along with calling it “DEEPLY DISTURBING” (caps his) he included a list of alarming headlines.

Sex, Crimes, and MySpace
MySpace Isn’t for Advertisers, It’s for Sex
Scenes From the MySpace Backlash
Prosecutors: Men used to meet underage girls for sex 

scary stuff.

I have a 13 year old daughter. 

Despite her being internet savvy MySpace is not high on my list of concerns.

Here’s why.



Every day millions of kids get on bikes and ride around neighborhoods across the country without much parental supervision.

Now a lot of bad things can happen to a kid on a bike.

She can be hit by a car.

She can be abducted.

She can fall and break her arm.

She can just ride off as far as her feet can take her and decide never to come back home again.

Now because of all the horrible things which can happen to a kid on a bike a huge industry was created. They sell helmets, kneepads, tracking systems, and the like to make bikes safer or parents feel more secure. 

Despite all this stuff most parents still just give their kids some rules and let them ride.

MySpace is just the modern bike.

Lots of horrible things can happen to a kid on the internet. And the industry will continue to grow based around protecting children from all that horrible stuff or making parents feel more secure.

But the truth of the matter is that most parents will just give there child some rules and let them ride.

And that’s o.k.

My arm healed.





Explore posts in the same categories: blog networks, new media, personal

18 Comments on “The Horrors Of Bikes (Or The Joy Of MySpace)”

  1. TerryC Says:

    I still think that the people behind MySpace need to put a stop to the crazy stuff going on their. In my city the libraries are considering banning it. And they may be right.
    Didn’t know you had a daughter. No offense but you don’t seem the father type.

  2. There are many other platforms like MySpace where kids can go willy nilly and do seriously awful things, like Blogger for one.

  3. Matt Jones Says:

    Riding a bike is fine but what if your daughter was riding a bike without a helmet, wearing all black, without reflectors, at night. Nothing may happen to her but if she was riding during the day, with a helmet, wearing lighter clothing, and reflectors the chances of something bad happening to her would be a lot less.

    Some MySpacers ride around with their helmets on but too many don’t because helmets aren’t cool. Myspacers are also riding around in a crowded area filled with millions of people which just makes it even more dangerous then riding in the middle of a busy street.

  4. chartreuse Says:

    Call me old fashioned but I really see this MySpace bashing as media overreacting.

    More kids have been harmed riding bikes this week than have been harmed in MySpace all year.

  5. Scott Karp Says:

    I don’t disagree with your bike analogy, and as I said my concerned parent views are not the point of the post.

    My point was about the risks to MySpace’s BUSINESS.

    To use your analogy, how many advertisers do you think would want to advertise on a billboard near a dangerous intersection where kids on bikes are consistently hit by cars?

  6. Brian Says:

    Gotta give props to Karp for that one.

  7. Erik Says:

    “To use your analogy, how many advertisers do you think would want to advertise on a billboard near a dangerous intersection where kids on bikes are consistently hit by cars?”

    Well, perhaps a subprime insurance company might want that billboard.

    Your point is well taken however. A large part of advertising is about brand association. Any “long tail” user created content community that hopes to make revenue by selling ads has a serious problem. Advertisers want to be able to control how their brands are presented. If you don’t control the content you can’t control that brand association.

    On the topic of MySpace vis a vis kids… The kids who get in trouble on MySpace are the kids who are going to get in trouble in the “real world”. You want to help your kids stay out of trouble (either real or virtual) get involved in their lives.

  8. chartreuse Says:

    Sorry but it’s not about the network. Advertisers are reaching individuals. It’s 2.0. I’ll explain it in a post.

  9. Erik Says:

    Char, I got to hand it to you, you really have “drunk the koolaid”

    While you’re explaining it… explain why Y! found it nearly impossible to sell inventory in geocities and Y! Groups (or Clubs as it was known back then).

    If you understood what was happening during 1.0 you will find there is very little fundamentally “new” in 2.0.

    Has the presentation layer improved? You bet, enormously. Have the tools improved. Yes. Has bandwidth improved? Yes.

    Have the fundamentals of business changed? Nope. Fools said it did in 1.0, they’ll say it again in 2.0.

  10. Brian Says:

    Erik, let’s just hope this is a different set of fools than those of us who might have drunk a little Koolaid in 1.0. Are you saying you never once got a bit caught up in things in the late 90s? 🙂

    Beyond the lessons learned, all I can be thankful for is I sold all my stock in 1999. I missed the most irrational exuberance, but I also missed getting wiped out.

    The tune “Won’t Get Fooled Again” comes to mind now.

  11. Erik Says:

    I retired from Y! at the end of 1999 because too many people I worked with were believing what they read in their press clipping file.

  12. Brian Says:

    Yes, 1999 was the year it all got too much to believe anymore, but that didn’t seem to stop everyone else. And of course no one listened to a word I said about it until April of 2000.

  13. […] Fred also points to Chartreuse: Now because of all the horrible things which can happen to a kid on a bike a huge industry was created. They sell helmets, kneepads, tracking systems, and the like to make bikes safer or parents feel more secure. […]

  14. […] The discussion about MySpace on tech.mememorandum this morning is dripping with irony. On the one hand, you have the MySpace apologists, arguing that what teenagers do on MySpace is no different from what teenagers of past generations have done to rebel and be different, and that parents should just teach their children well and not worry. On the other hand, you have a cautionary article about the perils of posting about yourself online, because that information becomes forever Googleable by employers and other interested parties. […]

  15. Welcome to the Glass House

    Thanks to Bernard Moon, I found Phil Sim , a technology journalist and media director who throws stones at the glass house where all us 21st Century writers live.  If you ever get too stuck on yourself, just visit Squash…

  16. JDubiel Says:

    To be quite honest I don’t like this fuss about myspace. It seems to me that the media and adults of a less than savory knowledge of the internet tend to blow things way out of proportion when it comes to the internet. My case is simply this; you shouldn’t avoid bikes because you might fall off and hurt yourself, you shouldn’t avoid cars because you might crash and kill yourself, and you shouldn’t avoid myspace because something ‘bad’ might happen.

  17. chieko Says:

    I love this blog. Very few comments are wrong, if any at all. Keep the site rocking.Fantastic job.

  18. State Regulation of Online Communities?…

    In a move that is ominous for online community operators, the Massachusetts Attorney General is pressuring MySpace to make major changes in the way it manages its members and community. (See also CNET report.) A list of the demands includes,

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