Tuesday, May 15, 2007

MySpace Report - Famous for 15 People

By Alan Brody

Shawn Gold, SVP, MySpace; Shelly Palmer, IATA; David
Teten, Nitron Advisors
(See articles in BusiinessWeek & USA Today after report)

Shawn Gold did a great job of explaining why MySpace
has been so successful with young people (over 80
million users) and why it is a compelling tool for
marketers to reach them (see USA Today and over 100
other news outlets that picked up the story.). It
really comes down to self-expression, kids thrive on
it and MySpace allows it in spades. More the to the
point, it allows you promote yourself to your
friends, peers and colleagues.

That is really the way to understand the phenomenon
of User Generated Media. It is not about everyone
trying to outdo Hollywood, although it happens form
time to time, its about "us "getting to feel like
Hollywood. If sites cater to "us," we’ll reward you
by paying attention to wares.

Adults don’t feel like taking on the media (although
they did with the desktop publishing revolution of
the 80’s) but kids do. The fact is, they don’t know
any different. So they have seen every brand and
celebrity promote themselves, so why not them too.
That’s why, as one pundit put it, everyone is famous
for 15 people. Blogging and older web page community
sites took advantage of it too. What MySpace and the
new generation sites do that is so attractive, is
give you ways to go out and find the 16th, 17th,
18th and so, person to be famous for. So they have
become an eCommerce for a lot of entertainment acts.
That will increase rapidly across the board.

MySpace began as a response to the uniformity
imposed by the then, very popular Friendster, and
the rest is history. (For complete notes on this
event we refer you to David Teten’s blog and the USA
Today story.) Despite the occasional outcry, they
consider this a safe haven from the perceived
dangers of hanging out at malls. One other aside, at
a conference the iBreakfast promoted on Monday, the
CFO of Viacom explained why they had passed on
MySpace and let Fox buy it for $500+ million. "We
asked our salespeople and they said they wouldn’t
know how to sell it." There is a certain amount of
common sense in that but even so, it says that
Viacom ties its future to the imagination of its
salespeople. Hope they have a left brain!

Shelly, Palmer, the popular producer and pundit of
the next generation TV described the big buzzwords
and the reality of the next wave of TV. Ultimately,
he believes, as his book TV Disrupted, posts, that
content creators will be able to bypass the current
network of gatekeepers in various ways leading up to
the great coming "WiFi Broadband Cloud" enabling
devices to pluck IP-based content form the skies in
a mesh network that no one can disrupt.

David Teten talked about he rules and practices of
social networking and how it creates better
relationships for business, professionals and your
kids. Most important, when properly aggregated,
usually by the provision of free tools from the
websites, they enable marketers to target and get
very close to specific audiences. One intriguing
idea is that millions of people today own optical
readers and very small printing presses in the form
of digital cameras, camera phones and so on. Some
applications like ticketing and bar code reading etc
and even depth sensitive gates are starting to
appear but many more surprises are yet to appear.

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