MySpace Turmoil

February 11, 2010

I never jumped into the service. I looked at a couple of sites and noticed some presentations that jarred my aging goose senses. When I honk, I am reasonably gentle. One MySpace site blasted sounds and lights at me, and I lost a handful of pin feathers.

What I found interesting was the coverage in the top drawer online media about turmoil at MySpace, which is owned by the large enterprise run by Rupert Murdoch. I found myself interested in the comments in BoomTown’s “MySpace CEO Van Natta Was Fired by News Corp. Digital Head Miller in Late Afternoon Meeting.” Whenever a large online company “fires” a person, I think that there may be some dissention in the ranks. When a giant corporation “fires” someone, there is the specter of some type of litigation or intense media scrutiny. I don’t know about the legal eagles, but there is quite a bit of media interest in MySpace.

In my opinion, MySpace is a member of the Over the Hill Gang without the cinematography. The dramatic soundtrack is there, however. In the BoomTown write up, this passage caught my attention:

The long-running telenovela that has been MySpace over the years took yet another dramatic turn late today when News Corp. Chief Digital Officer Jon Miller fired MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta, whom he had hired only nine months ago to turn around the troubled social networking site, according to several sources.

Brazilian soap opera! Fascinating. But the telling facts in the write up underscored issues with management interaction. And my recollection is that Facebook has left MySpace in the dust and has begun to nose ahead of Google in some features.

I suppose this is an anomaly in the News Corp. empire. If the new pay wall program follows in MySpace’s footsteps, there will be more heads rolling out the door in my opinion. Once there is a problem, unless that problem is resolved, a domino effect can kick in. Is it money? No, in my opinion. Is it market share? No, in my opinion. Is it management? Yes, in my opinion. The management problem can become management problems.

Stephen E Arnold, February 11, 2010

No one paid me to write this comment. I will report it to someone in DC when the city digs out  and the Montgomery County snow plow drivers regain their courage.


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