My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder/president of Data & Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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MySpace -> News Corp.

I’ve been waiting for a mega-media company to buy MySpace and sure enough, it happened. News Corp bought Intermix Media (the half-parent of MySpace). Unlike the other YASNS, the value of MySpace comes from the data on media trends that is the core of what people share on that service. You have millions of American youth identifying with media and expressing their cultural values on the site. Marketers who want to understand the constantly shifting youth trends are often looking for a perch from which to be the ideal voyeur. And with MySpace, they found it. Here, youth are sharing media left right and center and forgetting that they are doing so under the watchful eye of Big Media who are certain to use this to manipulate them. Because youth believe that MySpace is a social tool for them, they are not conscious of how much data they’re giving to marketers about their habits.

Really, it’s a brilliant move for News Corp. (assuming they can stay out of the courts and that the RIAA is nice to them). I’m just not so certain how good it is for youth culture.

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8 comments to MySpace -> News Corp.

  • Jim

    Rupert Murdoch’s interest in online cultures seems to be growing fast.
    As an example of his apparent colonizing attitude in regards to this these are quotes from a speech he made to The American Society of Newspaper Editors on 13 April 2005:

    “as someone searching for answers to an emerging medium that is not my native language”

    “The digital native doesn’t send a letter to the editor anymore. She goes online, and starts a blog. We need to be the destination for those bloggers. We need to encourage readers to think of the web as the place to go to engage our reporters and editors in more extended discussions about the way a particular story was reported or researched or presented.”

    “To carry this one step further, some digital natives do even more than blog with text they are blogging with audio, specifically through the rise of podcasting and to remain fully competitive, some may want to consider providing a place for that as well.”

    “We may never become true digital natives, but we can and must begin to assimilate to their culture and way of thinking. It is a monumental, once-in-a-generation opportunity, but it is also an exciting one…”

    Anyone feel like “a native”???

  • Does This Mean I Can “Add” Rupert Murdoch?

    I’ve had a “MySpace” account for several years and have found it’s a good way to keep up with people, especially ones overseas, who I know from my Avenged Sevenfold experience. I will tell you that I finally deleted “Tom”…

  • tp

    Wizard of Oz.

    Are we the “man behind the curtain” or is someone else? the false security of a “curtain” is a dangerous thing…

  • The ‘natives’ are getting restless.

  • Seems like hosting your own blog and starting or joining an independant forum are the only ways to avoid this kind of scrutiny.

    Thier whole ‘us’ and ‘them’ way of talking about the Digital Natives totally freaks me out.

    It’s really scary that when you try to go someplace to be yourself and grow your spirit, there are still cameras in the shrubs and a little narrator crouching around the corner and telecasting the whole thing to toothpaste manufacturers or something.

  • mmm… toothpaste ;P wouldn’t you want the “right” kind marketed to you personally? on the basis of your opinion about said shrub quality…

  • well…i like myspace jus the way it is. don’t change it. that will screw up everything. jus leave it alone.

    signed,
    a proud myspace member

  • I heard that they sold myspace for alot less than it’s worth and now they are in court myspace worth was in the billions when they sold for 237 million and now facebook may be sold to google or yahoo for 2 billion.