From Terry Heaton’s PoMo blog comes word that MySpace — the 800-pound gorilla of social networking — will soon be launching a Digg-style news aggregation service of some kind. Is that a good thing? It’s certainly interesting, and I would expect Digg to be worried about the prospect. Whether it’s actually something worthwhile depends on how it is handled.
Mike Arrington at TechCrunch raises an interesting point, which is that having its own “social news” feature connected to the gazillions of people who belong to MySpace (even if those gazillions aren’t quite as large as the service would like us to believe, thanks to the multiple-account problem) could give News Corp. lots of ideas about pushing its news content into such an aggregator, giving it priority of some kind, etc. In my view, that would be bad. On the other hand, News Corp. could use the social aspect of such a service to get a read on what a large audience is interested in, and use that to inform the rest of its media operations, which would be smart.
Will News Corp. use its MySpace News as a kind of jungle drum, to pick up stories that might be under the radar? Or will it just be another Digg-style echo chamber where the uncouth hordes and flash crowds can congregate and spin stories into hysterical overkill? Should be interesting to watch. For more, see Pete Cashmore at Mashable and Seamus McCauley at Virtual Economics.
Joe Duck says that he expects MySpace to fail miserably. He says that “social news networks like Digg and Netscape are pretty bad for all but tech and quirky news because they generally fail to analyze or treat significant stories with much if any respect.” I would have to agree there, but then I’m a news junkie from the old school :-) News Corp. is also trying to get other video content owners to bring their stuff to MySpace.