Commercializing Online Communities

Marketers have aggressively moved into MySpace and other social networking sites, taking advantage of their large, highly detailed user profiles and expanding lists of "friends." "The targeting we can do is phenomenal," explained a marketer.1 Social networks are also "breaking down that wall between what is marketing and what isn't." "[S]ometimes the marketing is so embedded in the social network sphere," observed a recent trade article, "that it draws users to interact with the brand as if they were emailing friends."2


1 Quoted in Annette Bourdeau, "The Kids are Online," Strategy, May 2005, (viewed 28 Mar. 2007).

2 Michelle Halpern, "Mass Connection," Marketing, 23 Jan. 2006, %3fcontent=20060123_73700_73700 (subscription required).

3 "Welcome to the King's Court," MySpace,
(viewed 29 Mar. 2007).

4 Jack Box,, (viewed 16 Apr. 2007).