Have you heard of MySpace?
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Have you ever heard of MySpace?
I am quite certain some of you have been thinking about MySpace lately. Why? Probably because so many people are talking about it.
(I am actually writing this entry an example of the funneling effect the web has on certain themes. MySpace seems to be the "it" boy of the internet right now, and thus sort of proving my funneling effect
theory--we just can't stop writing about MySpace.)
I still do not understand the appeal of MySpace
, so I still consider it an interesting experiment. However, it is a community that should be taken seriously. A few months ago, Rupert Murdoch paid $580 million for MySpace. That is quite a chunk of money when you stop and think about it, but being Rupert investing the money we have to assume he knows what he is doing and that there is something of extreme value around all those, seemingly, disjointed web sites.
This week there has been good and bad news about MySpace. Of everything reported about the company, only one particular story caught my eye: MySpace announced
that it was hiring a new Chief Security Officer.
Is the hiring of this person due to the buzz on the web or was it something they were planning all along?
I think it may be a bit of both. Most of the bad PR that has been floating around seems to be related to public security issues--not the sites per se, but the content or the people using the community.
Though it seems to be a good PR move, I do not see what this new Security Officer will actually do for the company. It definitely has a good marketing twist to it, which may be enough, i.e., having a high profile executive join the ranks will put at ease the minds of concerned parents whose teenagers use MySpace to talk to their friends and, dangerously, anyone with a computer and internet access).
Aside from this, I do not see the clear function of such Officer. Will he create a task force to audit 10 million existing sites or do background checks for anyone creating an account?
Probably not. I mean, the whole appeal of this net community for the site creator is the easy of use, and for MySpace the low maintenance--read cheap to maintain: they provide just enough tools to create sites and then just let the whole thing grow.
I think that putting too many checks and bounds to the game will decrease the growth rate and will affect hundreds of other side businesses: Wired reported that News Corp. "sells $13 million in ad revenues each month," in addition to other little side business selling customization for MySpace sites--it may be a problem because all the economic value being generated actually depends on the growth of the community. I.e., no growth == no money.
News organization writing about MySpace:
- And of course the other 6,150 news sites reporting on MySpace (as of April 19, 2006)