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Did News Corp. Save MySpace?

Richard Rosenblatt, chairman-CEO of Demand Media and former CEO of Intermix, told AdAge that:

“MySpace was in an interesting stage of its development [when News Corp. acquired it],” he said. “It had a different type of capital structure and we weren’t able to make the type of investments for the infrastructure. Ultimately if we hadn’t sold to News Corp., MySpace wouldn’t be around today.”

Really? I think that it would certainly be different, but I would hope that MySpace could have found a way to monetize itself.

Then again, perhaps what Rosenblatt means is that without the major investment from News Corp., they wouldn’t have been able to strengthen the infrastructure and prepare for the 100+ million users today. I usually tend to focus on what MySpace is doing for News Corp., but I suppose that it probably goes both ways. Offers Better Search Results than Google?

I’m not sure if Rand was hoping to start a debate on this (if he did, it’s crafty linkbait) but he’s making the claim that the search results at are better than those of Google.

Here are some of the examples Rand gives…

  1. Furniture vs. at Google
  2. Luggage vs. at Google
  3. Laptops vs. at Google
  4. SEO vs. at Google
  5. Web Design vs. at Google

Ok, so Rand does admit that the results from are not perfect, but does suggest that they’re good enough to take on Google.

I tend not to agree with Rand on this one (friends can disagree you know). I think is great for finding resources or information pages and is also better at finding fresh content, but I don’t think it’s better than Google, when it comes to product or service related search terms.

The Diggocracy Strikes Again

Muhammad Saleem at Pronet Advertising reported this morning on a story that got banned on Digg.

The story in question refers to, and asks the readers to spread the HD-DVD Processing Key for all movies that have been released in the format so far.

Digg pretty much had to block it because, as Muhammad points out, if they have knowledge of a copyright-infringing activity, they’re prosecutable.

Diggers, unsurprisingly, were unhappy with this. And, being Diggers, they struck back. Muhammad posts again about Diggers’ response: to post and digg the same numbers on different, non-banned URLs. He concludes:

This incidence only goes to show that the social web is a great tool in the hands of the masses, but in the absence of any moderation or regulation, the masses can become a mob; and this tool in the hands of the mob can lead to nothing good.

IAC Gives Teenagers a Virtual World for their Zwinky

Unless you’re a teen reader of Marketing Pilgrim, or happen to have a teenager in the house, you may not know anything about Zwinky. The IAC owned site allows you to create custom avatars, give them a wardrobe, hair, accessories and then add them to MySpace and interact with others.

Up until today, your Zwinky had a limited existence and didn’t get out much – probably too much homework. Now, thanks to the launch of Zwinktopia, your avatar can grab its iPod, skateboard etc, and head out into the real virtual world.

As TechCrunch explains

Today Zwinky will add a virtual world to the site called Zwinktopia – users can use their avatars to roam around the world, chat with other users and engage in activities to earn Zbucks, the virtual currency of Zwinktopia. Zbucks can be used to buy virtual clothing and other goods.

As Social Networking Rises, TV Watching Decreases

A new study from Marketing Evolution (commissioned by MySpace, Isobar & Carat) suggests social networking users between 14 and 40 years old are increasing their internet, email and instant messaging usage, while decreasing the amount of time they spend watching TV and playing video games.

Ok, which genius thought it would be a good idea to measure the habits of teenagers, and those approaching their mid-life crisis, in the same data set? How many 40 year olds do you know that play video games? (go ahead “out” them in the comments section). ;-)

MySpace News Gets Reality Show?

Less than a week after the launch of MySpace News, Reuters reports on a planned political show, “Independent,” for the social news site.

The goal for the show is to engage young adults in politics. “Independent” is slated to “air” on MySpace News next year, after MySpace’s presidential primaries.

Fortunately, this news doesn’t end there. The producer is Mark Burnett, aka the father of reality TV. What does that mean for “Independent”? From what I’ve pieced together, viewers will vote on the best campaigners—not the candidates themselves, but MySpacers who upload videos about their campaign efforts on behalf of one of the candidates, but I’m not sure. Deduce for yourself:

MySpace users and TV viewers will select from a pool of candidates who have uploaded audition videos to the site.

1/3 Adults Consult Wikipedia; CD Version Out

The Washington Post reports today on a Pew Internet study that states that Wikipedia receives around 70% of its traffic from search engines (citing Hitwise), and one in three adults consults Wikipedia—39% of men and 34% of women. The full study also notes that 50% of those consulting Wikipedia are college graduates. One hopes they take the information they find with the appropriate grain of salt.

The Washington Post also notes the role of SEO in Wikipedia’s search engine traffic: