Yes, we're talking about Redstone, the guy who still loses sleep over missing out on the purchase of MySpace - and to Rupert Murdoch, no less. It turns out that Viacom, which of course is Redstone's company, has quietly rolled out its own social networking site. Called Flux, the idea is to allow registered users on one of MTV's Web sites to personalize pages with blogs, video, photos and online friends for all the other Web sites in the MTV galaxy. Here's more from Fortune, which posted the story last night:
The hope here is that Flux will expedite the tedious registration process at each new micro-site, boost the amount of time visitors spend there, and provide TV tie-ins across MTV's lineup of on-air channels for fans and advertisers. What Flux is not, Viacom executives insist, is a long awaited response to MySpace being scooped up by the rival News Corporation. Rather, they portray it as part of a bet that the Web will increasingly be less about big destinations like portals and social networks, and more about people spending time on sites catering to ever-smaller niche interests.
Flux's technology comes from Social Project, a Santa Monica company that is 40 percent owned by Viacom (it bought in last year for $40 million, which is less than it costs to maintain Redstone's fish tank in Beverly Park). Social Project, formerly known as TagWorld, is also backed by VC firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson. The first sites to incorporate Flux are http://www.subterraneanblog.com/ and http://www.happiestgaycouple.com/.