Things aren’t looking up for MySpace these days, but the site remains one of the most popular online (50m people in the US visit it every month) and the people behind it are ready to experiment. Tonight we were sent a link to one experiment that looks great – a photo-heavy, curated celebrity and news portal to drive subscriptions to topic streams and liven up your MySpace news feed.
The project is clearly unfinished and it hasn’t been discussed anywhere we can find, but it’s publicly accessible at MySpace.com/Everything and it looks quite good. The code underneath says it’s powered by CrowdFusion, the dream-CMS (content management system) built by Brian Alvey, Jason Calacanis’s co-founder of the Weblogs Inc. network bought by AOL.
Above: A partial screen capture of MySpace/Everything
Crowd Fusion offers a feature-rich and intelligent content curation back-end that we first wrote about just under two years ago. It was built by a dream-team of early successful bloggers who decided to build their own blogging engine just the way they thought it ought to be done.
The company raised $3 million from investors including Netscape co-founder Marc Andreeson and Ross Levinsohn, one of the key players in the old Fox acquisition of MySpace.
The way the feature appears to work is that a MySpace editorial team, along with algorithms and business partnerships with trusted 3rd party content sources, will curate a stream of photos, videos and highlighted quotes. MySpace users can vote those bits of content up or down, comment on them, click through to the destination site (after an annoying interstitial page) to see the full content or most importantly subscribe to news topics (like Britney Spears) and get future updates delivered into the same news stream that their friends’ updates appear in.
Those streams of friends updates have been looking awfully quiet lately, as more and more people bail for Facebook and Twitter. This looks like it could be a great part of a solution to that problem. Facebook has not done a good job of helping people use its news feed as a personalized stream of information about topics of interest to them. Consumers do like to consume, after all, and celebrity news will probably always be hot.
This is also good news for the publishing startup Crowd Fusion. Founder Alvey has been posting very cheery messages about visiting “customers” in LA lately, presumably including MySpace.
We’ve contacted both MySpace and Crowd Fusion but neither company has responded yet.