His Space

In an online advertising market increasingly dependent on the Net’s ability to precision- target ads, MySpace offers no sure way to hit the bull’s-eye. Google decides which ads to show based on search terms and page content. By contrast, a typical MySpace pageview doesn’t offer much of a clue about anything. What conclusions can you draw when kid A bounces onto kid B’s profile and leaves the message “Wazzup”? That’s why a top-priced Google ad — say, one that appears with search results for the word “refinance” — is valued in dollars per click, while a MySpace ad clocks in around a hundredth of a cent per view. In theory, all those millions of lovingly, often exhaustively detailed personal profiles ought to make it possible to deduce a user’s interests. But no one knows how to do it, certainly not on an industrial scale. —Spencer ReissHis Space (Wired)

Rupert Murdoch, who purchased MySpace for $580 million dollars, is an old media mogul whose head is not in the sand. Should peer-to-peer idealists worry about the commercialization of “their” internet?