MySpace to hold an all-is-well meeting for staff

The struggling company is reportedly planning to hold a meeting Thursday to reassure staff that everything is fine. Here are five questions someone should ask.

MySpace has apparently scheduled an all-hands meeting Thursday, which one source noted was to talk about new order and rally the likely much dispirited troops at the struggling social-networking site.

With the sudden firing of relatively recently installed CEO Owen Van Natta last week by News Corp. digital head Jon Miller, it will be up to the two new co-presidents he installed, Jason Hirschhorn and Mike Jones, to give the MySpace employees a whole lot of reason to believe that they can reinvigorate a site that seems woefully resistant to revival so far.

While the one-time trio of Van Natta, Hirschhorn, and Jones did manage to staunch the traffic declines in their short and, in hindsight now, rocky tenure over the last year, and had also been working on fixing the shoddy plumbing, getting the water running regularly is nothing that will inspire anyone internally or externally.

But, they do seem to know that, at least.

In any case, if BoomTown were there--and don't assume I am not skulking around, boys--here are five basic questions I would want answered by the new leaders, including Miller, who is clearly the silent third partner here. (Bonus: I left out any Facebook-related questions, as that would be too painful):

  1. While it might be looking backwards, exactly why and how was the decision to fire Van Natta made? Was the direction he was leading MySpace in-related to the socialization of music and other entertainment content-the wrong one? And, should those staffer he brought in, such as advertising head Nada Stirratt and many others, be prepping resumes?

  2. What are the three top priorities for MySpace? A massive redesign? A re-branding? Perhaps spinning off as a kind of huge start-up from owner News Corp., so it can live or die on its own merits and have more of a chance of attracting talent and encouraging innovation? And, if MySpace stays part of the massive media empire, what are the benefits of that now?

  3. Is MySpace trying to keep its remaining users or bring in new ones? If it is trying to do the former, what will keep them? If the latter, what will get them to try the service (again)?

  4. Do you really believe that MySpace can once again be on a growth path it once was and can what has clearly become a tired brand be reborn? What are the precedents for such a situation-and you may not use Apple as the example, because there is no Steve Jobs present?

  5. And, perhaps most importantly: Who's really in charge? Of course, that might or might not be a very rhetorical question, to say the least.

Until it all is settled, you can add more question below in comments and also here's that famous video clip from the movie "Animal House" to enjoy, which is still incredibly funny after all these years:

(Full disclosure: News Corp. owns Dow Jones, which owns AllThingsD, the site where this article originally appeared.)

 

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