MySpace has bagged itself some more professionally-produced online video content, to "air" exclusively on the social networking site. "Quarterlife", a production developed by Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, creators of the TV shows "My So-Called Life" and "Thirtysomething", will debut on MySpaceTV on November 11.
"Quarterlife" will follow the lives of six twenty-somethings and "chart the sometimes excruciating, sometimes comic, often emotional experiences that comprise coming of age as a part of the digital generation." In classic post-modernist fashion, the lead character, Dylan, is a video blogger (in the trailer she coughs on camera, as if to demonstrate her authenticity).
"Quarterlife" provides yet more evidence of News Corp.'s strategy to make MySpace a home where user-generated and professionally-produced content can live side-by-side and with both benefiting from the online communities that blossom as a result.
paidContent, however, picks up on one curious aspect of the "Quarterlife" partnership. A separate social network will exist for the show, away from MySpace.
Herskovotz and Zwick are creating a closed social net for quarterlife... Members of quarterlife the social net (not live yet) will have the chance to participate in writing the creating the show through writing and video submissions. That in turn puts MySpace in the business of helping a potential rival.
There will of course also be a MySpace page for the show.
It's interesting to see the balance of power between the show's producers and MySpaceTV as the exclusive "broadcaster". Perhaps the right to run their own social networking site, which ties directly to the show, was the compromise needed to give MySpaceTV exclusivity. Otherwise MySpace would have a monopoly on the show's relationship with its fans.
Having said that, quarterlife.com isn't just a social network for people wishing to interact with the show -- but goes quite a bit further.
quarterlife.com is a social networking site for creative people. Whatever your interest - photography, writing, music, filmmaking, dance, design - quarterlife.com will help you go to the next level. Connect with like-minded people, gather information about schools, grants, and internships. It's a place to explore the issues in your life, where changing the world is as real as the friends you meet.
Come back to quarterlife.com when we launch and participate in the ongoing creation of the series, be discovered as a writer, director, composer, photographer - find your next step as an artist and as a person.
Doesn't sound too far from MySpace itself.