Can MySpace create media stars?

During all the discussion of the Long Tail that went on recently between Lee Gomes and Chris Anderson — with Nick Carr playing the part of the umpire — one of the things that got talked about was “hits” or “stars” and whether they can come from the tail or not. I was thinking of that when I read the recent Economist piece on a popular MySpace personality named Christine Dolce, who likes to go by the name ForBiddeN (if you have to ask why, then you are out of the loop and should go back to watching old Rockford Files episodes).

Ms. Dolce, who happens to be blonde and rather chesty, seems to like lots of mascara, Johnny Depp, people with piercings and a kind of S&M vibe with lots of denim and rippling muscles (not necessarily in that order), and she has created her own line of clothing called Destroyed Denim, as well as advertising a line of cologne — “the only cologne with REAL sex pheromones!” — and now she has a deal with Axe deodorant. Ms. Dolce apparently gets more than 800,000 hits a day and has been crowned the “Queen of MySpace.” Playboy pictorials are rumoured to be in the works, and she has been written about in Business 2.0 magazine and the Wall Street Journal.

Where did Ms. Dolce come from? Who knows. She’s a makeup artist who is busy creating her own brand, just like rock singer and MySpace hot property Tila Tequila, who reportedly has over a million MySpace “friends.” Are either of them any less real or any more fake than N-Sync or Dog the Bounty Hunter or anyone on just about any reality show or American Idol would-be star? Not really. But they are busy making themselves, rather than having others make them. How will MySpace handle this, Scott Karp wonders. Good question.

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