Andrew Hargadon blogged about MySpace and other social networking sites.

So what is MySpace?

Is it the next media platform–a new company with the reach and influence of an NBC? Does its phenomenal ascendance and enormous population of demographically perfect users mean it is the platform that will usher in a new golden age for marketers. What they last saw in the 1950’s with television and its ability to reach 75% of the viewing audience at a single moment? Is MySpace the next television?

Or it is not the network but rather the hot show–the Mickey Mouse Club or Davy Crockett that sold millions of mouse-eared hats and coon-skin caps. The kids across America who watched these shows were the canaries in the marketing coalmines (pardon my own metaphors), giving advertisers a glimpse into the power of that new medium to create and drive buying behavior from the ground up. Before then, kids were an elusive target and, a few decades later, were so bombarded with advertising that no one message carried as much weight. Is MySpace a glorified, 24/7 Mickey Mouse Club?

I had this conversation with Andrew when I bumped into him on a plane last summer. It boils down to MySpace being just another “hot spot of the week/month/year”. I agree but disagree. (You can read my feedback and the conversation in the comments section of his post.)

I really think social networking sites are just like any other site on the net. Google wants to stay the dominant player in the online-office suite of tools. Even though they already bought Writely, the just recently purchased Jotspot. This is their move to buy up or trump all other online-office technologies.

In the same way, social-networking sites such as MySpace should not just focus on new features, but on new products or other ways to serve the evolving demographic. Just as Gap Inc. owns all four retails chains: Banana Republic, Gap, Old Navy, and Fourth & Towne, so should social-networking sites be looking to service all the demographics.

Why hasn’t MySpace bought up LinkedIn or launched a competing service with better features? How about kids.myspace.com, teen.myspace.com, and college.myspace.com? Where is the corporate instances of social networking? Why not turn it into a CRM tool to compete with industry products? These things will happen eventually.

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