Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Video Tour of Redesign: Back to the Future at MySpace? Or Just Another Retread?

Earlier this week, BoomTown visited MySpace HQ in Beverly Hills, Calif., to interview its new co-presidents, Michael Jones and Jason Hirschhorn, and get a look-see at its evolving revival plans to stop the social networking ship from sinking further.

Thus, I got a tour of a storyboard-like room at MySpace, where the team is trying to formulate the “discover and be discovered” motto it is now using, which is pretty much its old motto restated.

Can the old become new again?

In fact, a lot of the plan does sound a lot like shades of the past at MySpace, focusing on a younger, artistic demo with a heavy dose of pop culture.

Jazzed up, of course, with the latest social networking hooks, a cleaner user page redesign, topics pages, a focus on sharing content of all kinds, especially music, games and entertainment, and more.

That includes a new Today on MySpace, or TOM, to greet new users, rather than the famous analog Tom Anderson, co-founder and former first friend to all. Get it?

It is all part of a very slow-moving effort to turn MySpace into a socially-charged entertainment hub, which is now being led by Hirschhorn and Jones.

They took over management immediately after News Corp. (NWS) execs suddenly fired CEO Owen Van Natta last month.

The pair reported to Van Natta, and now they essentially share his job to revive MySpace, which has lost ground to fast-growing and more innovative sites such as Facebook.

Still, it is not a small enterprise, with upward of 100 million monthly visitors and just above $350 million in annual revenue.

Here’s a video of the tour I did in which the pair describe some of what they have been up to, which seems to center, most of all, on turning back the clock and returning to MySpace’s roots.

Is a proper retread–which is completely dependent on keeping talent and executing well–enough to stem the losses if there are enough newfangled features to make it all feel fresh?

Or not?

Time will tell, but here’s a sneak peek:

(Full disclosure: News Corp. also owns Dow Jones, which owns this site.)


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