This conversation started with Hargablog talking about the decline of MySpace as the hot-spot for socializing. I responded and Andrew replied with evolving metaphors.

What we would like to get at is, “What is the business of MySpace?” Are the just another Internet hot-spot that could be eclipsed by the next-best-thing or will they remain a driving force in social networking and online communities?

I think that when News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch spent $580m on MySpace (Intermix Media), of the $1.3b allocated for Web acquisitions, he was just buying it for their “hotness”. One would have hoped that they would manage it like any other business and make sure it evolved and expanded to reach other markets and offer new features. History has not shown this to be the case.

If I was the CEO of MySpace I would be looking at how to address the aging customer population and offer services that will maintain their business even after they graduate high school. Where is kids.myspace.com, teen.myspace.com, college.myspace.com, and business.myspace.com? How are they addressing competition from companies such as iLike.com?

The first time I looked at MySpace I thought, “who would ever use this?” It had annoying ads, less than optimal user interface, and its feature set was just average. To my surprise, and over the years, more and more people flocked to the site. The problem is that they are no longer in a “blue ocean” situation with no competition. Other companies are looking to take down MySpace just as they tried with Google.

In order to survive MySpace does not need to keep being the hot-spot to everyone, they need to branch out and offer different services to different demographics. I can easily see MySpace being sold as an HR application for businesses or as an alumni tracking application for colleges. They need to look at integrating (partnering) with other sites such as LinkedIn or creating their own.

MySpace needs to decide what business it is in. If they stay as a hot social spot, soon they will fade away. They stand at an inflection point in their business path and need to decide what business they are in.

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The Internet Keep Safe Coalition group teaches basic rules of Internet safety to children and parents, reaching them online and in school. Governors and/or first spouses formed this coalition in partnership with a growing list of crime prevention organizations, law enforcement agencies, foundations and corporate sponsors.

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