What does that say about the new digital world that the biggest macher is one of the oldest media moguls we've got? Well, for one, it underscores just what a crock the whole one-to-one niche future is turning out to be. Those with power online are turning out to be the same as those with power offline, the ones who manage to grab the biggest numbers of consumers.
The one truth that is parroted again and again about MySpace is that is has gobs and gobs of members. What is less clear is how anyone can leverage all those members into something that will result in cash to the bottom line. Will advertising do it? And if so, how do you place ads that don't anger the members? Whatever. At the moment Rupert is sitting atop a network that reaches gobs of people, and surely that means money somehow.
And speaking of size, the list itself has grown. In the past, only 50 players were chosen. This year, it's expanded to 100. Vanity Fair uses a number of factors to determine the list, including wealth, influence, vision and the "footprint they will leave after they are gone."
Let's look at the rest of the top five: Google's Sergey Brin and Larry Page; Apple's Steve Jobs; Wal-Mart's Lee Scott; and Microsoft's Bill Gates. Not exactly poster children for niche marketing.