On Monday, Rojo will launch an interactive news service aimed at Myspace users (and additional social networks in the future). The new product, Nooz, will leverage technologies developed by Rojo but will not be under the Rojo brand.
When I spoke to Rojo CEO Chris Alden about Nooz, he stressed that it is designed specifically for the Myspace crowd, whereas Rojo is aimed at the geek/early adopter crowd.
There are three key features. First, Myspace users can set up an account at Nooz and link directly to their Myspace profile. At Nooz, users can review blog and other RSS feed news items by category and rate them (this leverages the Rojo Mojo Digg-Like functionality). The more votes a news item gets, the higher it appears within a particular category. New stories can also be submitted using a bookmark function.
Second, users can view what news items their Myspace friends submitted or voted for.
Third, users can create a Flash widget to include on their Myspace page (or any web page – see widget below) that lists news stories they’ve voted for. Alternatively, the widget can show a pure RSS feed, although clicking on a news item brings up the post in Nooz, not on the original site).
Myspace has certainly been consulted on the Nooz product, too. I checked out the Myspace page of Ross Levinsohn, the President of Fox Interactive (parent company to Myspace) and he has a Nooz widget displayed prominently on his page. This may or may not be an endorsement of Nooz – but it certainly indicates that the Fox team knows about the product and is testing it out. And I note that Ross doesn’t have any other third party widgets on his site.
A bevy of Myspace focused third party widgets have launched recently (see Tagworld Widgets and MyPickList, for example). I don’t see these services as a sign of over-infatuation with Myspace, but simply a realization that, with nearly 80 million members, Myspace is an entire economy unto itself. Companies are going to find a way to participate in that economy as deeply as possible, with ever-more-tailored products.