Earlier today, we were tickled to come across a cheeky online petition aiming to rally MySpace users and purchase the ailing social network from News Corp. We reached out to the site’s shadowy executive committee, and just got a response from “Adam,” who linked us to the Twitter profile of 140adam, which purports to belong to Adam Noakes, head of strategy at online marketing firm 140 Digital. From his LinkedIn profile:
Head of Strategy at 140 Digital, Search, Social and Online marketing agency, working from a base located in East Anglia. A modern agency, modern ideas, modern technologies, exemplary service and outstanding results. There is nothing ‘traditional’ about 140 Digital.
Developing comprehensive online marketing strategies, analysing website stats, user journey’s and audience needs to provide creative online marketing solutions using search and social media.
Adam Noakes’s Specialties:
SEO, PPC, Social Media, Viral Marketing, Strategy development, Display Advertising, Google Analytics Reporting and Interpretation, Information Architecture planning.
Judging from his profile, it seems highly likely that the Let’s Buy MySpace campaign is actually some kind of viral marketing stunt/test piece. We’ve emailed Mr. Noakes with a series of questions about what his plans are should he succeed in acquiring the social network, and of course whether or not his intentions are entirely sincere. We’ll update when we hear back from him.
Update: Here’s The Observer’s email Q&A with Mr. Noakes.
The Observer: Do you have any specific plans for MySpace, should you be able to raise
enough money to buy it?
Adam Noakes: Yes, there is an initial set of plans that have been formulated, these will form the start of the strategy that everyone gets to vote on. MySpace is obviously well known (was well known) for breaking new music artists and providing a place for free (sometimes too free) expression and design, that’s a hint towards the plans for it, should we succeed.
TO: Can you tell me a little more about yourself and the other people who
are working on this project?
AN: It’s my brainchild but the executive committee is quickly growing and some very reputable names and minds are on board with the project, we are soon to unveil more detail and BIOs but includes successful start up founders and a high profile ex MySpace UK employee.
TO: Why would you want to buy MySpace?
AN: MySpace simply shouldn’t be in the position it is, it’s too good a site (in terms of traffic and registered) users to not be making money, News Corp haven’t ever had a clear strategy for the site and therefore it has lost its way. I want to buy MySpace to give a social network back to its users and to turn the business around.
TO: How much do you think MySpace is worth?
AN: How much I think it’s worth and how much News Corp will want for it are no doubt two very different things. Bebo sold for around $10m in a similar situation, albeit with less monthly visits. I would expect that News Corp will be looking at around $70 – $100m for it.
TO: Can MySpace be saved?
AN: In short, yes. By putting the sites direction back in the users hands it ultimately becomes more useful. A ‘no fuss’ approach to revenue will also allow the focus to be on development and user experience, it’s really obvious to me that MySpace still has a slot in the social networking landscape.
TO: Finally, I’m interested in your LinkedIn bio, which says you’re employed by an online marketing company. Is this initiative a stunt to generate publicity or a test piece to show off your ability to generate viral buzz?
AN: That would have been a good plan! Honestly, it’s something I feel passionate about, I love social media, online marketing and also I have an understanding and passion for internet businesses. My day job is creating online marketing campaigns for businesses/brands and social media plays a big part.
mtaylor [at] observer.com | @mbro okstaylor