Canadian Interview: Dave Stevens

MySpace recently named Dave Stevens as general manager for MySpace Canada. Stevens was most recently VP of product management and strategy at CanWest Digital Media, where he was responsible for canada.com and youth brand, dose.ca

MySpace recently named Dave Stevens as general manager for MySpace Canada. Stevens was most recently VP of product management and strategy at CanWest Digital Media, where he was responsible for canada.com and youth brand, dose.ca. His appointment reflects the social network's renewed commitment to grow its Canadian presence. MySpace, with its four million Canadian profiles, aims to catch up to Facebook, which has over 13 million Canadian users.

You've talked about moving MySpace from being a social networking tool to a traditional portal. How do you build brand awareness for MySpace as it makes this evolution?
More accurately, we are reinventing the portal and creating a social environment where users can communicate and interact with each other using our tools sparked by content. We build awareness by building strategic relations with media partners and through educating the audience on this new world.
But the world “portals” brings to mind a different user experience than one through a social networking site.

What communication challenge does MySpace Canada face as it makes this transition?
Reinventing the concept of the portal will introduce Canadians to a better way to get content and interact with friends. As long as the users get a more robust experience online, I think the world “portal” is just that, a word.

How will that shift impact your communications to potential advertisers?
We are going to use our social tools to allow advertisers to create relevant and focused dialogue with motivated users, which is the future of Internet advertising.

How do you forsee advertisers using MySpace Canada to create their own buzz moving forward?
Advertisers need to get involved in the users' online experience, allowing the user to interact with the brand and product. Advertisers need to bring a true benefit to online Canadians thus building brand loyalty and viral promotion.

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