WhoseSpace is MySpace


Peter Chernin, Chief Operating Officer of News Corp., according to Multichannel News dropped the proverbial hammer on those who he sees are leaching off the MySpace ecosystem.

“If you look at virtually any Web 2.0 application, whether its YouTube, whether it’s Flickr, whether it’s Photobucket or any of the next-generation Web applications, almost all of them are really driven off the back of MySpace.”

There is a good chance, a lot he said was left on the cutting floor, but if (and only if) he means what he says, then all those tiny start ups that are betting the farm on MySpace economy better watchout.

Regardless of what happens, it is important to point out that MySpace is neither DirecTV nor BSkyB. Instead it is MySpace, somewhat hard to describe, and perhaps that is why we channel Robert Young, who so eloquently wrote an essay called, Inherent Truths and Value of Community, back in September 2005.

So as time goes by, the foundation of ownership and control for content and distribution is increasingly shifting from corporate entities to people and communities. A phenomenon that will cause countless sleepless nights for old media and old-line technology leaders who don’t fully comprehend the significance of the dynamics at hand.

The utility of MySpace is that it is more than a social network. It is a platform, which puts users in charge of taking and assembling their pages, regardless of where the content comes from. It became one, just because it did not care what and how people put their MySpace pages together. Wild wild web? Sure, but millions saw it as the page they started their day, and spent most of their time on it.

In other words, MySpace is an “attention page” not a portal page. For millions of users, MySpace is their most important page, the one that has all their attention. That attention is why MySpace accounted for 10.8% of Google’s search traffic, and the reason why News Corp subsidiary, Fox Interactive Media was able to craft $900 million deal with the search engine giant.

News Corp should be doing its best to grab more of this attention, and figuring out how to make money in the process. Google deal was a good start, and they need to figure out a “developer” plan to make money, not come in the way of those who create widgets to put on MySpace pages, or the actual MySpace community.

This is something we have talked about in the past, in our podsessions. Glad to see our friends at Techcrunch are carrying on the crusade. I’ll let others chime in…. it is late, and time to get some shuteye.


Aaron Cohen

The metaphor I use is Republic and Empire. MySpace is the center of the Republic. Star Wars fans should know Myspace as Coruscant the top planet in the Republic. The Republic is a loose confederation of planets (rich user experiences such as Xanga or Bolt) and comets (one-off applications like Photobucket)that co-exist together.

The empire is Network television with its closed system and constant crushing of innovation.

The question is will Peter Chernin be Yoda or Darth Vader? Closing MySpace would be a disaster.

Ted R.

MySpace has already let the genie out of the bottle on this one and for good reason. People love the widgets. It ads depth and personality the MySpace feature set did not offer them. I see no way in which MySpace can curtail widgets and not make some members look to other spaces that let them do whatever they want.

Everyone is at MySpace because it’s a cool place to be. If it’s not cool …


Peter Chernin seems to still be locked into the old-media mindset. The freedom to put whatever you want on your myspace page makes myspace what it is. In the process of driving out competitors (say for example Youtube vs. Myspace Videos), if Myspace were to put more restrictions on what can and cannot go on their pages, I am certain users will start to migrate elsewhere.

This is not a problem. Myspace is the platform of the new web, and if anything, its cause for celebration. Peter should stop acting like myspace owns its users.

Logo Jock

Thanks OM. I’d disagree, however. MySpace did not become big because of Widgets. As I pointed out in my first comment, MySpace was big before anyone started building things to add to your profile. Other companies came in and added these tools because MySpace was slow in providing them on their own. YouTube can be considered the first major “addition” to a MySpace page, and YouTube was nothing until February of this year. MySpace has been going strong, steadily gaining since its inception. In February this year Myspace already had 65 million users.


the amazing thing about myspace is that it’s no longer really used for finding and communicating with long lost friends (or even close ones). the novelty of building up a friends list has died, and now it’s all about tricking out your page. The problem is, everyone spends all their time tricking out their OWN page, and never actually goes to visit other pages any more! If you were able to send a message to a friend without actually having to GO to that person’s page, their traffic would be cut in half. Now the users are so lazy that they reply to each other in the same email thread that is like 8 months old, and the subject line says “Re:Re:Re:Re:FW:Re:Re:FW: Hey”

I’m sure MySpace doesn’t care what’s going on as long as the page views are increasing, and they make more money off of search. But what will come of SocNets when people realize that the time and effort they spend developing their own pages goes for the most part totally unnoticed by their so-called “friends” ?

Usher Lieberman

I agree with you Om, tread carefully on the things that have gotten you where you are. If MySpace spends too much time stifling innovation and trying to control the user experience, users will migrate elsewhere.

…”Attention Page” I like that. The attention page is the power position. In the future, that page or whatever you want to call it will also be our personal control panel for managing things like our presence and determining who, what, when, where, why, and how we communicate and otherwise create and consume content.

If I were MySpace, anything that allowed my users to have more control over their online experience I would embrace.

Om Malik

Hey logo jock,

actually i was cautious about reading too much into those comments. regardless, what i am trying to say is that because of the widgets myspace has become so huge, and gone from being just another social network. the attention is attention of users on a daily consistent basis.

Logo Jock

You can read more of Peter’s comments here. All he said is that MySpace plans to improve their video section. They didnt say anything about blocking “widgets” or any other companies.


And to the writer above who says that MySpace wouldn’t have got attention without the develoeprs making widgets for it, that’s absurd. MySpace became huge which is why other companies started building widgets to put on people’s pages.

Fukr MySpace Really Aint Cool...

Why Murdoch has bought this non event I dunno a strange posting board for EMO’s to post the latest board talk of saturday tricks in the plaza, TS’s, Lil’Blond Lesbo’s, Vanity Guys on steroids and generally any unsociable freak out there complete with their own personal naff soundtrack – believe me if u got space @ myspace ur a complete LOSER what is this marketing information worth to Murdoch? CRAZY!

As for Flikr et all WHO CARES ABOUT YOUR LANDSCAPES AND AUNTY MADGE? YOUR FAMILY? DON’T COUNT ON IT! Who would want to see your holiday photo’s.

The only other visitor’s to these sites must be stalkers and wierdos…


I don’t understand why everyone keeps kissing MySpace’s butt!! It is without doubt the most irritatingly bad web/social networking whatever in history (as short as the history of the interwebnet may be!)

As for Flickr jumping the the MySpace bandwaggon, are you kidding me, Flickr is a site developed by professionals with a sense of style, usability and interactivity MySpace could only get by burning itself to the ground, firing all their staff and re-hiring the Flickr lot to come and fix it.

Just because Google are stupid enough to fork out almost a billion dollars flogging ads are whatever on it and 500,000,000 melons are sad enough to use it doesn’t make it any good.



I agree the MySpace widgets are what makes the site so popular. If there wasn’t 4 thousand misc. developers out there building things for MySpace it would never have got noticed.

It kind of reminds me of something I was reading online the other day about Avarice GE (Galactic Empires)… The author wanted the game developers at playavarice.com to create a unified way of allowing the game to interact with their MySpace account. Now whether that happens or not I guess is on the hands of the developers, but I would not put it past them.

Just watch, the next big thing you’ll see on MySpace next year is Avarice: GE feeds – as tons of teenager post their stats because some brilliant developer added that functionality to the now being created Avarice: GE game… Anyone got any bets on this? (I watch the playavarice.com blog space everyday, and I can already feel a article about how it will benefit MySpace coming on. – Good or bad thing I don’t know, but funny none the less. MySpace will get even more popular thanks to one highly-popular and ambitious MMO RPG.)

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