The Internet is a cruel, cruel business in which if you're not going up, you're going down, a decline which nobody has yet been much able to reverse. But over the last few days PR people have been frantically staging a roll-out of a new plan for MySpace and a series of "first" interviews with the company's new co-CEOs, Jason Hirschhorn and Mike Jones.
First question: Do the reporters receiving these calls from the PR people and then actually doing interviews with the co-CEOs really believe MySpace has a hope in hell? (And, if so, on what evidence of one-time Internet category-killers bludgeoned and drubbed by their competitors accomplishing a turnaround?) They don't, but they write a breathy piece filled with all sorts of hoped-for nonsense anyway. "Users will be able to categorize and filter music, pictures and Internet links in a live 'stream,' sharing and referring them with online friends," writes the Financial Times, as far as I can figure, meaninglessly.
Second question: Does MySpace's parent company, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., actually believe its new co-CEOs, the third and fourth CEOs at MySpace within little more than a year, can effect a turnaround? News Corp. knows so little about and has played so unsuccessfully in the Internet space that maybe it does believe this. But probably not. More likely, what it is trying to do is to use energetic PR and the lazy good-will of technology reporters to position the company for some kind of sale. For one thing, if you really believe in a turnaround, you do it more quietly: You want to hold down expectations, you want to do something first, and then surprise people with your accomplishment. MySpace's present initiative seems more road show-like.
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