The social networking site MySpace has added a new feature that brings MySpace into the journalism world: MySpace News Beta. It has a system very similar to Digg, that is, it allows users to rate and promote content to the front page. With over 160 million users, a feature like this surely does not take long to use.
Seeing that MySpace is extremely popular with younger-type people, it seems that one thing that the MySpace designer(s) overlooked is the target audience. Of course, MySpace isn't expecting a huge percentage of users to be journalists, so they have set up a special crawler that pulls in articles from around the web. The very need to do this however, shows that perhaps this isn't the best plan. If you look on the front page, the articles that have gotten promoted to the front page have less than 5 votes apiece.
This isn't from lack of popularity; MySpace is too large to hide from this argument. The fact is, there aren't a whole ton of "cool people" that are willing to read them. The real readers, the journalists, bloggers, etc. all use professional sites such as Google News, Slashdot, Digg (although the quality of the content on Digg is debated). The problem isn't exactly quality, after all they're simply searching the web for news articles. The problem lies with the readers, of course.
Until MySpace attracts visitors who come with news in mind, the content promoted to the front page of MySpace is going to be, inevitably, quite lousy. (As of this writing, the "top story" is on Bell Peppers, and has exactly 1 vote.)