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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

MySpace: Parents, parent company

To a lot of MySpace's 43 million members and some 660,000 member-artists, the presence of parents can put a real damper on things. That would go for parent companies as well, most likely. Reuters reports that MySpacers are nervous that News Corp.'s acquisition of MySpace last year will make it more like News Corp.'s space (after all, the company, "one of the most powerful news conglomerates on the planet," as Reuters put it, did pay $580 million for it). Co-founder Chris DeWolfe, now "making the rounds of News Corp.'s European territories," is trying to assuage those concerns. Clearly, the social-networking/blogging site has growth plans. It'll be interesting to see if that growth has an adverse affect on MySpace's atmosphere and regulars, since its ambience is supposedly a cross between a virtual bar, MTV, and "an online version of a teenager's bedroom, a place where the walls are papered with posters and photographs, the music is loud, and grownups are an alien species," as the New York Times put it last fall (see also "MySpace, the new MTV"). At least one 14-year-old Web publisher, gamer, and podcaster I know says MySpace has peaked already (see "Teen's-eye-view of tech in 2006").

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