Ok, so the comments on their profiles look a bit like billboards due to all the advertisements, but using third party services in this way is an interesting experiment. Micro-managing user generated content, and providing platforms for it, is horrendously expensive and is rapidly becoming unsustainable for many media organisations.
Using third party services, like myspace, or simply linking to groups created by users of services, could allow media organisations to continue to engage with their audiences without the cost and risks of moderation, discussion hosting, development time, bandwidth, etc.
But, as the screenshot of a comment from Jo Whiley’s myspace profile demonstrates, there are risks too. The user who commented is joking but what if she wasn’t? Who, if anyone, would owe her a duty of care? How would they discharge that duty of care? There are other problems too – who, for example, owns the myspace profiles above? Who is ultimately responsible for them? These are just some of the issues that any organisation seeking to offload their user communities onto third party services will need to figure out.
(Update: A page purporting to be that of Chris Moyles, which was set up by a unknown person or persons, was redirected earlier today to a porn site. Oops!)