ADOTAS – After you kick your CEO to the curb — you know, the guy that was supposed to turn everything around, but you decided to give him the boot after less than a year — it’s not a bad idea to have a little powwow with the team. Possibly assure them that the operation is not nosediving with a pep talk and some cute mini-cupcakes from the independent bakery next door.
The remaining MySpace top brass coaxed employees to stop working on their resumes last Thursday and come to the courtyard of the Los Angeles headquarters — employees in other locales got to watch on the telly — as they unveiled MySpace’s new slogan: “Discover and be Discovered.”
After clearing the air about Owen Van Natta’s departure, execs detailed “Discovery,” the new area of emphasis on the site. When a user logs on, he or she will be inundated with the latest cool stuff on MySpace — movie trailers, games, music, etc. — based on what their friends are into. This feature will be rooted in the recently improved activity stream, which sorts updates into categories such as events and photos while introducing updates on what music friends are listening to.
Apparently MySpace doesn’t want to call it a recommendation engine, but it sounds like a pushier version of StumbleUpon (“ShovedOn”?). Granted, teenagers are still pretty big MySpace users and certainly the most open to the suggestion of peers. (We called it “peer pressure” in my day — and we were told to ignore it… The times, they do change.) I wonder if this initiative is more to keep the social network afloat because the comeback potential seems limited.
But I know you only care so much about the latest last-ditch effort to save the beached whale — you want the filthy details about the CEO-sacking! News Corp. Digital Chief Jon Miller was willing to satisfy your bloodlust, complaining at the meeting that Van Natta wasn’t moving fast enough for News Corp.’s taste. Like, OMG — he didn’t turn things around completely within a year? What a loser.
Miller also cited bad vibes among the executive triumvirate installed back in April 2009, particularly between new co-president Jason Hirschorn and Van Natta. Hirschhorn was supposedly on his way out, and his failure to be launched apparently infuriated Van Natta.
On a side note, apparently when you join MySpace now, cofounder Tom Anderson is no longer automatically added as your first friend. (A person commented to The Onion, “Well, that’s a shame. I’ll never forget the feeling I got when I immediately deleted him.”) Tom’s MySpace page hasn’t had a status update since the holiday season.
Did News Corp. finally axe Tom? I’ll bet you’ll find his body next to Jimmy Hoffa’s…