MySpace becomes YourSpace — for advertisers

News out of Los Angeles that MySpace has opened the kimono and bit more and will allow more control of commercial MySpace pages (full disclosure: my firm — Cohn & Wolfe in Toronto — represents MySpace Canada). It’s basically a self-serve platform called Community Builder Platform.

Ian Schafer, CEO of NY-based online marketing company Deep Focus, was one of the beta test companies. In one of his regular blog postings two weeks earlier, he raised the idea that marketers need to create another position, chief relationship officer (CRO), to optimize their foray into the social networking space. His message: ease up on the one-way promotional monologue that is the essence of most marketing/advertising vehicles, and create a true dialogue through social networking sites, with a CRO leading the charge.

The fine line that marketers walk is to walk gently in the grassroots environment of social networks and participate, not pontificate, about their product, service or cause. Just because marketers and advertisers can take more control within MySpace doesn’t mean they should. It takes some discipline to resist the old-style marketing strategy: communicate at people. MySpace and other social networks demand you speak with them, or not at all.

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