Monday, January 09, 2006

A Mini Revolt

Angry members of MySpace, the personal file-sharing website for young adults, are accusing Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation of censoring their postings and blocking their access to rival sites. The 38 million subscribers to MySpace...discovered that when they wrote to each other about rival video-swapping site YouTube, the words were automatically deleted, and attempts to download video images from YouTube led to blank screens. The intervention by News Corp in the traditionally open-access world of the web - in particular the alteration of personal user profiles - provoked a storm of angry posts...The protests gathered pace, and when 600 MySpace customers complained and a campaign began to boycott the site and relocate to rival sites such as Friendster, Linkedin, and, News Corp relented and restored the links

Such an important lesson in market economies that will be completely lost to the youngsters that typically use MySpace.  When a company doesn’t provide a service that its customers want they go elsewhere (or at least threaten to do so).  When such a threat is substantial enough then said company will change their practices.

This particular example was compressed into a very short timeframe, but it happens every day on a global scale all across the free world when people walk into a shop to purchase any other service.  They are telling one proprietor that they like what they are doing and tell every other proprietor to listen up because they are failing to provide what is desired.

Each transaction is a mini-revolt against the status quo that happens without government regulation, intervention or coercion.  Those that listen will succeed, those that don’t will fail.

Isn’t it grand?

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