Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 40.
- Review Date: 2008-10-27
- Reviewer: Staff
Angwin, an award-winning journalist for the Wall Street Journal, recounts the history of MySpace.com in this well-written, entertaining and drama-filled chronicle. From its founding by Chris DeWolfe to its surprising purchase for nearly $600 million by Rupert Murdoch and NewsCorp., Angwin takes the reader through the company’s tumultuous journey to the top. Readers will learn how Eliot Spitzer’s spyware lawsuit nearly devastated the company and how Richard Blumenthal’s investigation into the site’s lack of protection of minors resulted in a blindsiding public assault. An array of personalities populate the book, including Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone, Bill O’Reilly and Tila Tequila, who was one of the earliest to use her popularity on the site to generate a successful business. Angwin also describes the massive defection of MySpace users to Facebook and leaves the reader to wrestle with the issue of digital identity. Attesting to the depth of her research, Angwin also includes a lengthy notes section. This engrossing look at how MySpace became a media powerhouse will find a solid audience of business history, technology and entrepreneurship readers. (Mar.)
We're all friends here
MySpace has been in the news a lot these last few years, from unsigned musicians who found success via its pages to the rise of competitor Facebook. In Stealing MySpace: The Battle to Control the Most Popular Website in America, Pulitzer Prize-winning Wall Street Journal reporter Julia Angwin takes readers on a tour of the history and business battles behind the scenes of the cultural phenomenon. Founders Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson launched MySpace in 2003, and sold it to Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation in mid-2005 for almost $600 million. In the intervening years, the site's founders and employees alternately struggled and succeeded as they learned how to manage burgeoning popularity (41.8 billion page views per month) and legal issues (spyware, use of the site by minors, and more). Angwin skillfully blends personal sagas with business dramas, which makes for a fascinating, entertaining read.