Saturday, December 03, 2005

1000 Channels for mortal men, 1 Channel to rule them all

Walking home from the shops, my thoughts meandered to pondering where the value lies in MySpace. MySpace addresses a market that is notoriously fragment but fad driven. The fads rise and fall faster than the seasons change and so socially immobile as to put even the most hidebound British Peer to same.

Yet MySpace works. Why? Because MySpace is a collection of hundreds of channels each targeting a specific teenage cliche. What MySpace does is not unique; Geocities and Tripod came before MySpace. The uniqueness of MySpace is not the number of channels but how the channels fused into one super channel.

MySpace meets the needs of teenagers to indulge their passions but the lose bonds between each of the channels enables viral spreading of memes throughout the whole super-channel. Those bonds are the teenagers themselves. The memes are moved through MySpace by the users creating momentum and osmotic pressure so that the memes can even cross the social boundaries of teenagers.. MySpace is both targeted and diffuse and that is MySpace's advantage.

MySpace allows memes to take advantage of the whole Long Tail curve from the heady heights to the tippity tip of the Long Tail of the teenager market. That is what Murdoch paid big bucks for and that is where the value lies.

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