Tuesday, January 9, 2007

MySpace RIP?

That headline should grab your attention. While it's obviously much too early to sound the death knell for MySpace -- and that day may never come -- it is no longer the social networking choice of those in the know. I am not a hipster (as my wife informs me on a regular basis, and I actually agree), but my friend Spyro Poulos is. Spyro is the advertising director for Tokion Magazine. It is a decidedly hip pub and Spyro is a decidedly hip guy, and he tells me that those in the know are moving on. I have felt for some time that the next big thing in social networking will be proprietary social networks, those delineated by niche or those inviting membership. These are the new places to be, and the places to find early adapters.

Politics Online

It will be interesting to see what happens later this month with the launch of The Politico, the primarily online political publication, financed by Allbritton Communications. These guys are cutting the papaer out of newspaper almost entirely, as reported by The Times.

As many newspapers across the country are cutting their staffs and trimming back on Washington coverage, The Politico is finding younger journalists and some veterans — including John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei from The Washington Post, Mike Allen from Time magazine and Roger Simon from Bloomberg News — who are willing to leave the once-secure confines of traditional print to join a start-up.

The content will be first rate. What remains to be seen is whether The Politico will be able to attract readers -- and profits -- in a niche where there is so much already available for free. I think a lot of it is going to depend how quickly the pub can establish a brand and demonstrate multi-platform chops, meaning incorporating video, perhaps social networks and other forms of media into the mix.