Biting the hand that feeds

posted by Brendan Hodgson

So it appears – according to the New York Times – that News Corp has incurred the wrath of MySpace-ers by allegedly blocking access to a competitors video sharing site. What with Sony getting caught earlier in the year for quietly installing copy protection software on PCs behind our backs – and getting fleeced for it – you’d think a powerful lesson would’ve been learned in what not to do when it comes to tinkering with technology behind the backs of users (if in fact, this is what News Corp. techies tried to do – the competitor is calling it all a misunderstanding)

The author of the article, Julie Bosman, highlights a key challenge facing large companies – media or otherwise – in 2006:

“The incident underlines the peril corporations face as they buy blogs and networking sites like MySpace, which depend on the good will of their users. Mr. Murdoch paid $580 million for MySpace, a significant investment for a two-year-old Web site primarily populated by fickle teenagers and users in their 20’s. Like other members of free community Web sites, MySpace users often react with indignation if they believe their content has been tampered with.”

It will be interesting to see how many other companies make similar mistakes in 2006 – is anybody keeping count?

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