January 13, 2012, 1:35 PM — Maybe this particular 1 percenter has learned something from digitally mingling with the unwashed masses.
Or maybe he's just getting around to publicly acknowledging what the rest of the world already knew.
Whatever his reasons, News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, the newest billionaire on the Twitter block, has tweeted his true feelings about the fiasco known as Myspace:
Many questions and jokes about My Space. Simple answer - we screwed up in every way possible, learned lots of valuable expensive lessons.
It's hard to tell if Rupe means there were many questions and jokes about Myspace at the recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas or in the "public square" in general.
I'm guessing he means at CES, since he tweeted about the show several times before and after the Myspace tweet. From the sounds of things, Rupe was out and about in Vegas, walking the showroom floor and possibly fending off offers of "a date" from the many prostitutes who make Sin City the kind of place where what happens stays there.
Of course, Rupe is 100% correct. Myspace was an unmitigated disaster for News Corp., which bought the social networking site in the world for $580 million in 2005.
Once the top social networking site in the world, Myspace was eclipsed in late 2008 by Facebook and has never recovered.
News Corp. early last year announced it was exploring a sale of Myspace, but had a hard time finding buyers, despite subcontracting the sales effort to several Girl Scout troops knocking on neighborhood doors to push cookies. (You know you're in trouble when buyers are choosing boxes of Lemon Chalet Cremes over an identically priced social network.)
Finally, late last June, News Corp. unloaded Myspace on Specific Media for $35 million and a pallet of Tagalongs.
For the math-challenged, that means News Corp. got back 6 percent of its original investment in Myspace, less if you factor in the administrative costs of laying off the vast majority of employees, who sadly will miss out on the "exciting plans" that departing Myspace CEO Mike Jones promised Specific Media has for the social media site.
It's that kind of investing acumen by the 1 percent that Mitt Romney would allege makes the rest of us envious.
That's certainly true in my case. I'd love to screw up that badly and still be obscenely wealthy.