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The Internet

MySpace Takes on Google News and Digg 123

cyberianpan writes "According to a Times Online article, MySpace is going into the news business. They'll soon be premiering a service that will scour the internet for news stories and let users vote on which ones receive the most exposure. This approach blends elements of Google News and sites such as Digg and Netscape, which rely on readers to submit stories and determine their prominence. One could see where this might be the 'holy grail' of internet news. Not only will you be able to tap into the wisdom of the crowds, but ultimately your recommended stories could be influenced by the likes and dislikes of your friends/heroes."
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MySpace Takes on Google News and Digg

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  • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Thursday April 19, 2007 @03:42PM (#18802987)
    The "'holy grail' of internet news"?

    And "ultimately your recommended stories could be influenced by the likes and dislikes of your friends/heroes"?

    All in the same paragraph as "MySpace"?

    Hold the phone... where do I sign up?

    After all, it worked marvelously for Digg!

    And instead of taking contributions everyone - which works out famously on Digg, by the way - or instead of using intelligent algorithms to uniformly aggregate news from a wide variety of news outlets around the world, this instead filters down to the existing membership and intellectual level of MySpace?

    What could go wrong?

    ...

    More like "the collective whim of whatever quasi-viral story du jour interests MySpace users at the moment".

    Yeah, I realize News Corp owns MySpace. But give me a break.

    • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @03:45PM (#18803063) Homepage
      However, I would love to be able to mod a story down on google news. Don't you hate clicking on a news link on google, only to be brought to some advertisement covered page, where every other word is highlighted such that when you hover it, another ad shows up. It would be really nice if you could mod a story down, so that other users wouldn't have to deal with pages like this, and also so that websites with enough negative karma wouldn't show up in the links at all.
      • by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:17PM (#18803491) Homepage Journal
        Whenever possible I try to go with a reputable news source's version of the story. 99.99% of the time, if the link goes to the Heath Ledger Times Star Jones Dispatch, it's really just a copy of the AP or Reuters news wire. If I'm going to get that I might as well get it from the Washington Post or New York Times (especially since I've already sold my soul and possess the Devil's Cookie on my system anyway).

        I've also got NoScript on my FireFox, which limits some of the worst abuses that a web page can throw at me.
        • I don't want to get too off topic here but NoScript is great. Also try flashblock. It only blocks loading a flash untill you click the window which is really easy to use. I'm sure that probably most people here already use adblock also. The triple tag team of flashblock/adblock/noscript on firefox makes browsing hassle free.
        • by fbjon ( 692006 )
          Does it block only adscripts and such, or does everything go? I've adblocked the specific servers the scripts come from, since they're always third-party.
          • by jfengel ( 409917 )
            No, it blocks all of the javascript, with a whitelist. It's pretty easy to add a new site to your whitelist, and you can select individual sites (so if there are several sites contributing to the page you can block the ones serving up the ads but not the ones giving you the navigation.)

            Adblock is probably more generally effective, but I don't mind polite ads, so I don't use it.
      • Ah, those double underlined hyperlink ads. Yeah, that always seemed like the most bizarre way possible to advertise on a web page, as it's both highly annoying and utterly useless since the products they link to are almost always unrelated to the context of the source article. But hey, if companies are willing to throw their money at ridiculous advertisers, I guess they're not going to complain.
    • by Letar ( 675474 )
      I thought /. was the Holy Grail.
    • by wsanders ( 114993 ) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:18PM (#18803509) Homepage
      "What could possibly go wrong?" Well, how about "Triumph of the Will", only with NASCAR. Or for the less serious maybe some of the mass hysteria scenes from "Spongebob Squarepants."

      I'll take my content filtered by The Man, please.
    • by nexex ( 256614 )
      http://internetisshit.org/ [internetisshit.org]
    • What would be interesting is an RSS feed highlighting all of the idiots who got busted for crimes they blogged about on their myspace page. I don't have the link but there was some knucklehead who just got busted for growing pott; the looser actually wrote about his in-house pott farm -- pictures and all -- on his myspace page. Assuming he's locked up until he his procreative powers expire, this would qualify him for a Darwin award...
    • by Lord Ender ( 156273 ) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:41PM (#18803857) Homepage

      After all, it worked marvelously for Digg!
      One of the top articles on dig right now (as we speak) is: "Check out what my friend found in a bag of Tostitos".

      Enough said.
    • Or perhaps they are providing another service likely to appeal to their current userbase. Gee, who'da thunk?
    • What 'holy grail' can come from hordes of 16 year old girls and boys and an ENORMOUS army of porn/spam bots all voting on what's the most important news of the day...
    • More like "the collective whim of whatever quasi-viral story du jour interests MySpace users at the moment".
      That's a redundancy.
    • Quit your chirping. Remember the accuracy of lifelines in Who Wants To Be a Millionaire. When contestants called to phone a friend, a trusted credible expert, that expert was correct 65% of the time; however, when contestants instead opted to poll the audience, the audience was correct 91% of the time. What's that tell you? That when it comes to simple stuff like WWTBAM questions, or, say, News that's pertinent to the populous at large crowds kick the crap out of your so called "editors."
  • Not that I hold out hope that this will be the salvation of the world, but combine this stuff with e.g. fora.tv and you're halfway to a genuine "pull" technology mass media infrastructure
  • Anna Nicole Smith (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cyphercell ( 843398 ) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @03:42PM (#18803003) Homepage Journal
    Again, and again, and again...., American Idol a thousand weeks running. who cares?
    • by acidrain ( 35064 )

      Again, and again, and again...., American Idol a thousand weeks running. who cares?

      Sure, but if the rating system depends on reviewers that you have hand picked, as compared to middle age white men with jobs at newspapers or random internet fuck-tards, in theroy at least, you can get better reviews than what is out there right now. I'm just waiting for a movie review system that doesn't depend on a group of people who rate shit that makes them want to cry over anything else.

  • About time (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, 2007 @03:43PM (#18803023)
    Myspace will bring some much needed credibility to the mainstream media.
  • Rupert Murdoch (Score:5, Informative)

    by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday April 19, 2007 @03:44PM (#18803035) Journal
    I submitted this same story earlier this morning but it was voted down to black in the firehose almost instantly. Probably because of the negative spin I gave it. Well, I'm not afraid of losing karma so I'll spout my ramblings in a post instead.

    Rupert Murdoch owns News Corporation [newscorp.com], a conglomerate business that, among other things, owns many news sources. MySpace is a division of News Corp as well as Fox News, The Sun, The Australian, SmartSource, The Times, New York Post, News of the World, etc.

    Something interesting about Rupert Murdoch is his political leanings are often reflected in all of the divisions of his corporation [wikipedia.org]. Guess why 175 of his editors favored the Iraq war [guardian.co.uk].

    Call me a conspiracy theorist or whatever you need to call me in order to ignore one nagging issue--is it really that safe to have so many different news sources coming from really the same man? The worst part is that there is no perceived relation between the New York Post and Fox News yet they are basically one and the same in how they spin their news on partisan issues. It's the same in Great Britain & Australia. I don't even care that he's predominantly conservative in his views, I just care that if he decided to back any candidate (possibly even Hillary Clinton) that suddenly that candidate is favored in many news sources. He's making political decisions that impact the world and he's not an elected politician.

    I fear that if MySpace is edited at all by hand or by automation, it will favor articles that favor his candidates--in exactly the same way he has been running his newspapers and TV news. Beware your free and capitalist media, America because it looks as though a single man has a growing monopoly on it ...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Call me a conspiracy theorist

      Done and done.

      And that's not "ignoring a nagging issue".

      The allegations of a silent right wing conspiracy in media is just as ridiculous as the "liberal media" assertions.

      For every "editor" somewhere in the machinations of News Corp that has some political leaning, there are plenty of others in News Corp and other large news organizations elsewhere who have the opposite slant, constant rips on FOX News aside.

      But if it makes you feel better to think Rupert Murdoch is at the help
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cyphercell ( 843398 )
        You're quite right, usually both the left and the right take the same side in a conspiracy.
      • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday April 19, 2007 @03:56PM (#18803225) Journal

        The allegations of a silent right wing conspiracy in media is just as ridiculous as the "liberal media" assertions.
        Buddy, it doesn't have to be right or left, it just has to be obvious to me. I personally feel this is obvious to me and I really don't care if you don't see it the same way. More power to you if you don't and you can sleep at night.

        What worries me is the power one man is given without an election. Point me to a conglomerate of "liberal spouting news organizations" run by one man or even one company all spinning the news the same way and I'll be just as critical and upset.

        Please do reply to this with an example of 175 editors all working under the same man all coming to the same conclusion about a partisan issue and I'll add them to my list.

        As as for powerful people influencing things? Welcome to the real world.
        Fine, you sit back and take it. I'll bitch about it on Slashdot because I love my free speech.

        If you had read that Wikipedia link, you'd notice he has hosted fund raisers for Hillary Clinton. I don't give a rat's ass who the candidate is, if I like them or if I like their party. I just have a problem with him exerting influence through a news dominant stance.

        In my eyes, MySpace is just another growth of that iron grasp but apparently you don't agree or care with me about that ... enjoy your "elections."
        • I agree that one person having so much influence over so many without being an "elected official" is a problem regardless of that person's ideological leanings. But I disagree about the nature of Murdoch's influence. His publications are not successful because people read them and say, "I don't agree with any of this". They read them and are comforted that other people "out there" hold the same opinion. It doesn't matter if that opinion holds any water, it only matters that people think that way. So, i
          • Sales=Votes If we were talking about PBS or the BBC, it would be different, because those outlets are defined by their (theoretical) mandate of neutrality.

            Look. If you're going to claim to be a news outlet, you are automatically subject to a "theoretical mandate of neutrality." That's what news is, anything not neutral is supposed to be relegated to the Op-Ed page or equivalent thereof. And, if you paid any attention to some of Murdoch's programming - "fair and balanced" - he does claim to be under such a mandate. Yet he isn't. He (and most other news corporations) violate the public trust of the media by giving them what they want, rather than what they ne

            • If you're going to claim to be a news outlet, you are automatically subject to a "theoretical mandate of neutrality." That's what news is, anything not neutral is supposed to be relegated to the Op-Ed page or equivalent thereof. And, if you paid any attention to some of Murdoch's programming - "fair and balanced" - he does claim to be under such a mandate. Yet he isn't.

              I made no value judgments about whether Murdoch is right to be so one-sided, I am simply pointing out that Murdoch doesn't have any more power than his customers give to him. Yes, he claims neutrality but does not practice it. But if you remember, there was no such thing as "conservative" media before Murdoch. There were a few talk shows and The National Review, but beyond that all of the major networks and newspapers were at best moderate. Conservatives felt as though they had no voice, and as such

            • by Noexit ( 107629 )
              "Look. If you're going to claim to be a news outlet, ..."

              I'll invite you to check out this link.

              http://www.unitedmedia.com/comics/pearls/archive/i mages/pearls2006109570411.gif [unitedmedia.com]
      • The allegations of a silent right wing conspiracy in media is just as ridiculous as the "liberal media" assertions.

        the right wing media "conspiracy" is anything but silent.

        no, there is no "liberal media", but there sure as hell is a conservative one, and they spin like a pulsar.

        hell, they turned a petty issue over a border fence into "mexico is continually interfering with our national security".

        not to mention their whole smear campaign against gore taking credit for funding internet development, mocking it

      • As as for powerful people influencing things? Welcome to the real world.

        Hey, I'm a powerful person, want to bend over and be my bitch? Oh, you don't? Then STFU when others complain. Just because something is the way it is does not mean that's the way it should be.

        Do you really think that a small minority of powerful people should be in charge of all our news? You may be happy being spoon-fed all your information from a few biased sources, but the rest of us aren't.

        Damn, man, every time I start to think, "th
    • Yet there's no complaint about any other rich or influential who might throw politics by putting their endorsement behind a candidate. That's the whole point! People can and should share their political views if they're so inclined, they should try and influence people to their side. Isn't that the whole point of having an open democracy with freedom of speech, so that people can share their opinions and if other people think it's a compelling argument they'll change their own mind.

      Maybe the issue you

      • its not about him "trying to influence politics", it's about him owning half the sources of news on earth and poisoning it with right wing spin.

        its not about sheeple voting based on their own rationality, when all their bombarded with is right wing propaganda it's a case of garbage in garbage out.

        we're supposed to have libel and slander laws in this nation, and every side has an anti defamation arm, and yet i have yet to see, for example, kerry suing the swiftboat astroturfers for their outright fabrication
    • Saying "MySpace is going into the news business" is a bit like saying "YouTube is going into the search business" or "{Enron shell company} is going into the energy trading business." The corporation is already there, the division is just picking up on the parent's main business.

      It's easy to miss the corporation for the brands.
    • Who cares? If you dont like the view of a specific news org, then get your info from another one.

      And you use the word "monopoly" very loosely. Now that the Internet is in place there is very little barrier to entry to be a journalist. In other words competition for news outlets is at its peak!

      That would be like saying Linus T has a monopoly on Linux because he happens to be heavily involved in the distro market.
    • Considering how incredibly unpopular conservative and right wing views are, you have nothing to worry about.
    • by Sloppy ( 14984 )

      I submitted this same story earlier this morning but it was voted down
      I went to the firehose a few times. Whenever I click a story thinking, "Ok, what's this? I'll read this and decide," it instantly (so responsively!, no waiting for a pageload at all) tells me that I just voted the story down. Ah, the user-interface "technology" that AJAX programmers have given us! It's a computer revolution, I say.
  • by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @03:44PM (#18803037) Journal
    I thought the basic demographic of heavy MySpace users were the same group that never talk about the news unless its sponsored by a cosmetics company or MTV?
    • by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:24PM (#18803593) Homepage Journal
      That's why it's perfect for Rupert Murdoch. A locked-in audience of people who don't give a tin shit about the news unless it's pre-packaged and spoon-fed to them in a trendy way must have been an irresistable target to someone who is mainly known for pre-packaging the news as he sees it and making a pantload of money in the process. A step like this was pretty obvious from the moment News Corp. signed on the dotted line and bought MySpace.
    • by glwtta ( 532858 )
      unless it's sponsored by a cosmetics company or MTV?

      There's some kind of difference between those two options?
  • by casings ( 257363 ) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @03:44PM (#18803039)
    The day I want some 13 year old emo kid brigade to guide me with their "wisdom" will be a cold day in hell.
  • Tapping into the collective wisdom of the MySpace crowd might not be the most productive thing in the world...
  • by CompMD ( 522020 ) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @03:46PM (#18803073)
    "OMG I HAVE A MYSPACE ON TEH INTARWEB!"

    Do you really trust this person to help provide useful news?
  • by Mike Hicks ( 244 ) <hick0088@tc.umn.edu> on Thursday April 19, 2007 @03:46PM (#18803079) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, but how often will the news be this instead?

    Sorry! an unexpected error has occurred.
    This error has been forwarded to MySpace's technical group.
  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday April 19, 2007 @03:47PM (#18803083) Homepage Journal

    Not only will you be able to tap into the wisdom of the crowds, but ultimately your recommended stories could be influenced by the likes and dislikes of your friends/heroes."

    Wisdom of the crowds? When you get a crowd, wisdom is the opposite of what you have. To paraphrase an entertaining little movie, only because I'm too lazy go to look it up properly, a person is smart. People are dumb, panicky animals and you know it.

    Here on slashdot, supposedly the site for "news for nerds", the only way we reach anything like wisdom (or even correct information) is for a bunch of people to spout off foolishly and then be corrected incorrectly by people who think they're smart, who are finally properly corrected by someone who knows what they're talking about - usually by which time the story has left the front page.

    My first guess is that a myspace news will be far, far worse.

    I do think that community-developed media is the future of basically all types of media. But the above quote just makes me snicker.

    Do I really want the same news feed as my idol? I mean, since I'm a nerd, if I actually had an idol it would probably be someone whose news page would be interesting. But if I were a typical myspacecase, I'd be reading about basketball shoes and ferraris or something.

    • Was actually a quote, and it's from Men In Black.
    • wait wait, are you saying that myspace users don't have any "wisdom to tap into?" I mean, common, they're on myspace, that means they're super smart!

      *Breaths slowly to avoid death from laughing*

    • by samkass ( 174571 )
      This is pretty close to what Yahoo News [yahoo.com] has been doing for years. They have the Most Emailed, Most Read, and Most Recommended sections, with tooltips that show the first paragraph of the article. It seems to work pretty well, so I'm not surprised MySpace is copying it.
  • ultimately your recommended stories could be influenced by the likes and dislikes of your friends/heroes."
    As long as the recommendations are not automated. I don't want my friends to be "recommended" lotsa stories about Jenna Jameson.
  • by r_jensen11 ( 598210 ) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @03:53PM (#18803179)
    Britney Spears...
    Jessica Simpson...
    American Idol...
    OMG Ponies!

    Oddly enough, it's similar to /., only different topics.
    Most frequent stories on /.:
    Linux is ready for the Desktop!
    Ground-breaking new hard-drive capacity!
    New, ground-breaking graphics cards!
    OMFG Ponies!
  • Wonderful, I'll be seeing news on britney spears and true.com
  • How soon before kids trade their votes for favors?

    Jr. High newspaper with articles by two people running for class president.

    Candidate #1 promises if his article gets voted up on MySpace and he wins, he'll extend lunch hour.

    Candidate #2 promises if his article gets voted up on MySpace and he wins, he'll cancel finals.

    More seriously and more sinisterly, unscrupulous companies can use shill accounts or actual human shills to vote up articles favorable to the company and vote down articles unfavorable to the c
  • Inflated hopes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Aeron65432 ( 805385 ) <agiamba@gmaUUUil.com minus threevowels> on Thursday April 19, 2007 @03:59PM (#18803255) Homepage
    I think the very fact that we are all posting on Slashdot shows that user-driven-content isn't necessarily good, there needs to be some kind of editorial control. I read Digg for a while, it had some cool postings and seemed like a good idea. But it has just turn into pseudo-mob-rule now. Diggs trolling for advertising show up all too often (and while a similar story may appear on Slashdot we generally bitch it into obscurity) and it's news stories, IMHO, have watered down significantly. It's no longer a news site per se, I certainly wouldn't go there to read insightful comments. (Complain about /. moderation if you will, but Digg's comment system is awful and not worth reading)


    So not only is user-driven news sources inherently flawed, but as we all know, giving any sort of voice or power to Myspace users just screams OMG PONIES, "OMG NEW SHOES AT ABERCOMBIE" and "People- DO U ACTLY THINK IM HOT?" all over the front page, daily.

    • But it has just turn into pseudo-mob-rule now. Diggs trolling for advertising show up all too often
      Take a drink from the firehose at "black"/show-all and you'll see a fair share of obvious press releases and advertiorals.

      Back when you could tag firehose items, I routinely tagged them "pressrelease."

      Thankfully /. readers don't need tags to spot press releases.
      • by jez9999 ( 618189 )
        OK, I mostly get the Firehost, but as there's no official help or anything, what on Earth is that rainbow about, any why are different stories coloured differently?
    • by beef623 ( 998368 ) *

      People go to sites like digg and /. because they are looking for news, I wonder how many people go to myspace looking for news?

      If they want any kind of voting system to actually work don't they need to fix their little "this profile no longer exists" problems?

  • Knowledge: acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation; general erudition.

    Wisdom: the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.

    Knowledge is potential, wisdom is actually possessing the discernment to be able to apply knowledge. Crowds are not wise, some people in them are. You can load up a student with plenty of knowledge, but that won't make them a free thinking, wise per
  • It's not really surprising in the least. But, I can't really complain about it too much, because MySpace news really wouldn't attract the same crowd as Slashdot.

    Being irritated about myspace news would comparable to flaming over the menu at "The Blue Oyster" (Police acadamy fans, stand up), when you know damn well you're not going to step in the door, let alone eat there.

    The news will suit the kids who choose it, I guess.
  • We are talking Murdoch here? Of Faux News fame? Of tabloid ownership fame? Holy Grail of News?... Yeah, right...

    That would be NOT choosing wisely...
  • well... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Lxy ( 80823 ) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:16PM (#18803469) Journal
    I, for one, welcome our new Myspace over.... OMG PONIEZ!!!!!!
  • Whenever I look at a myspace page, it gives me seizures...
  • one of Nasa's experiments went wrong and a wide spread infection of wisdom is being reported in mass quantities among only the emo-teens who frequent myspace.
  • Post story with title "OMG LOLZ ... Check thiz out !" Story points to web page with IE hijack code. VXers use all the pre-pwned myspace PCs out there to vote it up to max and own the rest of the the audience. Then Mr Black Hat can seriously say, "This is MY Space"
  • One should be careful what they wish for ... the next school shooter will likely skip the Post Office and go post it on MySpace and YouTube ... how does one control that?

    Heck, some are predicting that the next school shooter(s) will utilize MySpace, YouTube, etc in real-time!

    My question is how people will vote ... the sad truth is that people, as a whole, may do no better than NBC did yesterday when they chose to air the shooter's videos, etc again and again for hours...

    Most people will likely rank such blo
  • What the hell kind of word is that? How about "launching", "offering", even "unveiling"?

    I detest stupid made-up marketing words. Literacy amongst the masses is bad enough as it is.

    -b
    • launching, offering, and even unveiling all imply products of substance, while premiering has always been associated with vapid theatrical drek.. i think they have it about right with that descriptive term.
  • by uhlume ( 597871 ) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @05:36PM (#18804639) Homepage
    On MySpace? Let me fix that for you...

    ultimately your recommended stories could be influenced by the likes and dislikes of a bunch of cretins.


    ...Hm. Now it reads like they're going into competition with Slashdot.
  • Spam (Score:2, Funny)

    by cliath ( 978599 )
    Finally! I have been waiting for a place to find all the information I ever wanted on free iPhones, ring tones, Target gift cards and penis enlargement supplements.
  • mob wisdom... how can it fail?
  • The layout and the design of myspace news is great. I like it. 10/10.
  • My "friends" (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Plutonite ( 999141 ) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @06:55PM (#18805821)

    ultimately your recommended stories could be influenced by the likes and dislikes of your friends/heroes
    I, for one, want to say that everybody on myspace is a "dislike" of my friends and heroes. What was the submitter thinking anyway? How could he possibly have the nerve to stride up here to slashdot and claim that 14 year old girls experimenting with their socks can somehow serve as a newsworthiness filter? Is it not enough that our dear uber-geek editors, who toil day and night, and who bring unquantifiable knowledge to use in their judgements, STILL consistently fail to satisfy our critical eyes and are slandered mercilessly by our hefty crowd?

  • I just can't place it. It sounds like a site I read daily... something about nerd news or whatever.
  • hey! geuss wat? i just got my FREE voucher for that handbag i was telling u about! You can get 1 to, just click this link [goatse.cz]. Be quick before they all run out!
  • by sahonen ( 680948 ) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @10:37PM (#18807787) Homepage Journal
    Shouldn't they worry about fixing the functionality they already (are supposed to) have instead of trying to add new functionality?
  • did someone just put 'wisdom of the crowds' and 'myspace' in the same sentence??
  • This is a terrible Idea. Its full of kids, hmmm need I say American Idol will be top news everyday...Dont let kids pick our news....
  • "We're Sorry, this news story is currently undergoing routine maintenance, and will be available again soon."
  • They want to find out what the MySpace demographic is interested in. Rather than attempt to construct surveys that cover all the things people on MySpace may or may not be interested in they'll just put up current events 'news' articles and see what they think about those. Then through categories and tagging of articles (users may never see the tags but their stats software will) they can do some reasonably accurate analysis of demographic interests.

    It's just more data collection... pretty good idea as far

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