Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Culture Clash: MySpace at SF MOMA - Southern California Comes to Silicon Valley

Posted by Tom Foremski - October 18, 2007

I popped into the MySpace party to celebrate the opening of its San Francisco office. Rupert Murdoch had already left the SF Museum of Modern Art, just a few minutes before I got there, which was about 11pm.

I turned up fashionably late because the start time was 9.30pm, about the time when most Silicon Valley parties end. Even though Mr Murdoch was gone, there were a lot of people still there.

It was a crowd with very few geeks. I spotted Brian Solis but very few of the usual crowd--which was nice.

It was a very SoCal scene, which I liked. I got to chat with Chris DeWolfe, the CEO of MySpace, who is very rock star in his manners and his looks.

I said that this is a very grand office opening party, what are you trying to say with this event? He said that this shows that MySpace has landed in San Francisco and that we are going to take developers seriously.

I said good, because we are all obsessed with FaceBook. FaceBook has taken up so much of our mind space right now. He promised that would change. Interesting.

Have you seen Arrington?

In the early hour of the next day, the party is still going strong. Suddenly Jason Calacanis appears out of nowhere and asks me "Have you seen Arrington?" I said no, I haven't. And then he disappeared as quickly as he had appeared . . .

Apart from that brief, ghostly appearance from Calacanis, I didn't see any of the Web 2.0/Geek crowd at all, which was very refreshing.

Culture Clash?

It'll be interesting to see how MySpace will interface with Silicon Valley compared with FaceBook. The culture of the two organizations is very different.

FaceBook is a very Geek culture, it is all about developers and APIs, and social graphs, and lots of guys in T-shirts.

The MySpace culture is very SoCal, lots of women, lots of smartly dressed people, very sales/advertising focused. . . very alien to the tech community of Palo Alto/Silicon Valley.

But maybe not to the tech community of San Francisco/Silicon Valley. There is a difference.

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