NEW YORK (Reuters) - Facebook is good for keeping up with high-flying buddies, MySpace is for teenage offspring and the BlackBerry is a full-time addiction, according to top media executives who were quizzed on their personal media habits at this week’s Reuters Media Summit.
“I may be the only human being on earth who’s on MySpace under his own name and I am on Facebook,” said Strauss Zelnick, chairman of Take-Two Interactive Software, the video game company behind Grand Theft Auto.
Peter Levinsohn, head of News Corp’s Fox Interactive Media, described such behavior as that of an “uber user” who is on both popular social network sites but uses them toward different ends.
Fox has found that 65 percent of Facebook users are also on its MySpace site, the world’s largest social network, Levinsohn said. Microsoft Corp announced last month it was paying $240 million for a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook.
Zelnick said he enjoyed Facebook applications like My Questions that lets a member poll friends on subjects close to the heart. He used it to ask his closest CEO pals whether they thought the U.S. economy was headed to a recession.
But he may not truly be an “uber user” of both, saying he finds Facebook more useful as he likes its applications.
Levinsohn, as you might expect, is also on both sites. So does he think Facebook is any good?
“Frankly I’ve found MySpace substantially more entertaining,” he said, adding that he used Facebook “more to communicate with people at work or people I’ve met through the course of my career.”
But just because a media executive regularly sends press releases to your e-mail doesn’t mean they’ll make you a “friend” online.
“I am on Facebook, but I don’t take media friends,” Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello told a room full of journalists. Riccitiello is not on MySpace, saying it is a “little too public for me”.
Of course, some media executives are more popular than others. MTV Networks’ digital chief Mika Salmi admitted to “lurking” with no friends on Facebook in the early days of the site’s launch, but he now has close to 250 friends.
Outside of social networks, the big winner of media time for these very busy people remains the e-mail fix provided by the BlackBerry from Research In Motion.
MTV Networks CEO Judy McGrath joked she has considered therapy after waking up in the morning to find she had slept on top of her BlackBerry.
FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, who has five other phones, said he left his “Crackberry” behind before attending the Summit so as to avoid being distracted.
Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes has an iPhone from Apple Inc, but he uses the BlackBerry for both work and even watching movie clips.
All the same, not every media honcho lives on social networking sites or is transfixed by a wireless gadget.
“I’m old school I guess. I am not on any social network,” said David Sanderson, head of the global media practice at Bain & Co. “In the physical world, I’m in lots of social networks.”
Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is proud he doesn’t even have a computer and gets by without a BlackBerry.
“Tom Werner of the Boston Red Sox, wonderfully bought me a BlackBerry a year ago, flew in from L.A., spent a day with me, tried to teach me about it, it’s still in the drawer, off to my right, at home where I left it.”
(Additional reporting by Michele Gershberg; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)
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