“Remember Buy.com magazine? How about eBay magazine? Pets.com: The Magazine for Pets and Their Humans? No? Neither does News Corp. apparently, because if it did, it wouldn't be considering a magazine version of MySpace.”
For Google and eBay, it’s about driving new technologies forward to expand sales opportunities:
“The arrangement announced Monday promises to introduce ‘click-to-call’ Web site technology to a broader audience and potentially speed its adoption as a means to more quickly connect online consumers with advertisers. It allows potential buyers to call up sellers by clicking a link in a Web page.”
And for MySpace? Wishful thinking? Actually, as a magazine reader and a parent, I’d love for a MySpace magazine to succeed. All those teens and twenty-somethings sitting down to read story after socially significant story written in finely crafted English prose…hmm…or would it just be repurposed user-generated content?
Curiously, in an AlwaysOn interview, Fox Interactive President Ross Levinsohn seemed to comment on this. I think. “You can say that the blogosphere consists of user-generated content, but many top-flight writers are moving away from traditional outlets like newspapers and magazines, and creating content themselves—and in some cases they’re making more money doing so. There’s still a thirst for professionally produced content; that content is just being exhibited on new platforms.”
Which doesn’t say much for the idea of creating a print outlet that doesn’t suit the demographic. Says the Nylon Magazine page on MySpace: “Like our magazine and our website, www.nylonmag.com, we’re going to be cramming our page full of all the most crucial looks, sounds, and people you need to stay up and get down with. Keep checking back on the reg for MySpace-only exclusives…” Oh well.
While the Google/eBay alliance is exciting for some, scary for others, in the way it uses technology to continue to accelerate the online experience, the movement of social media content from the Internet to the offline world is actually very appealing. It does happen – without a huge investment or fighting demographics – when, say, bloggers are regularly quoted on television news programs, and I would like to see more of it. But a MySpace magazine seems a very long shot, and it’s success would make me happily reevaluate many assumptions about general online trends.