Fred Wilson, technology VC, recently compared MySpace today to AOL of the 1990's by saying:
"I've said several times in this blog that MySpace is the "AOL of blogging." I see blogging as the most open form of social media so that's why I used that term. MySpace made it simple and necessary for people to have a place on the web that represents them, the people they like, the things they like, etc."
I see what Fred's saying about the social media aspects of MySpace since products like MySpace, VOX and AIMPages are as close to a blog as many people will get. He also eluded to the way AOL acted as a catalyst for community building and interaction online back in web 1.0. When the Internet was still scary and unknown, AOL gave the Internet a friendly yellow face making it safe and accessible for people to get started. I have had conversations with friends and family members who are not in the technology or web 2.0 industry about blogging and often we end up discussing their usage of MySpace since it is the easiest connection they might have to what the heck I am talking about. For many, MySpace might be the beginning of people dangling their toes in the oceans of the blogosphere.
However, I don't think I would use the analogy that MySpace is the "AOL of blogging" and would be comfortable saying MySpace is the "Geocities of personalized webpages."