Burlington Free Press on MySpace | 802 Online

Burlington Free Press on MySpace

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Today's front page, above the fold story is about MySpace. Headline on the web: 

"Computer social sites are attracting tons of teens but is it a good thing?"
Subhead: "MySpace hooks the teen demographic, worries some parents and principals."

I guess it's good that the daily is covering MySpace, though it really bugs me how the story plays up the dangers of internet predators and completely ignores whatever redeeming qualities social networking sites possess.

If parents are so concerned about their kids using MySpace, they ought to hop online, create their own accounts, and figure out how the hell it works so they can talk to their kids about it. Same goes for employers and professors. I think this fear-mongering discourages adults from trying to understand the sites' appeal. Which they should absolutely try to do.

UPDATE: One newspaper is trying a different approach. Spokane's daily Spokesman-Review created a profile for its paper months ago and has been using the site to network ever since. That's frickin' smart. Why didn't we think of that?

Publisher Ken Sands:

"The worst thing about journalism is that we'reall so risk-averse that we're too damn afraid to try anything untilit's proven because it might fail and we might look bad to our peersand our bosses," he told journalism.co.uk.

"That whole ideablows. We need to innovate the way hi-tech firms do. Google allowseveryone to spend 20 per cent of their work week working on somethingexperimental - some of their products are launched in beta, sometimesfor years. We need to adopt this 'ready-fire-aim' approach instead ofthe ponderous 'ready-steady-aim-aim-aim... fire?' approach."

Amen, brother.
 

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