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Joe Mandese

I recently met with Shawn Gold, the chief marketing officer of one of America's fastest-growing and most dynamic brands. It's a brand that has emerged as one of America's largest, virtually overnight. With a customer base of more than 75 million, many of whom interact with it for hours each day, it has also become one of the nation's most influential brands, challenging how others think about marketing their brands. The problem, says Gold, is that his brand, online social networking service, hasn't yet figured out how to capitalise on its incredible success. People – especially coveted younger ones – love using the site, which enables them to create personal web pages and to interact with others, but Gold and his team still don't understand how to profit from that. Conventional advertising sales doesn't work. Forcing advertising messages into the personal spaces of Myspace users would be anathema.