A brief the `spirit-meets-the-digital-age’ note just in time for the holidays. Paidcontent.org reports that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. will acquire Beliefnet, a “multi-faith community site.” Beliefnet describes itself as the “largest spiritual website.” Its mission is “to help people like you find, and walk, a spiritual path that will bring comfort, hope, clarity, strength, and happiness. Whether you’re exploring your own faith or other spiritual traditions, we provide you inspiring devotional tools, access to the best spiritual teachers and clergy in the world, thought-provoking commentary, and a supportive community.”
As Paidcontent notes, the acquisition makes sense, given Murdoch’s corporate “faith-based efforts including Fox Faith, the 20th Century Fox line of movies aimed at the religious set and operating under Fox Home Entertainment, publishing houses HarperOne and Zondervan.”
But under the deal, those faith and spiritual seekers will be the focus of behavioral targeting and micro-marketing, courtesy of Fox Interactive Media (the Murdoch unit that operates MySpace, among other News Corp. digital properties). Beliefnet will “be using FIM’s targeted ad delivery platform.”
Now we will have to considering that in addition to the FTC, we will need to ask the Vatican, the National Council of Churches, and the Union for Reform Judaism to also launch investigations into behavioral targeting! That ‘old time’ religion meets the digital era.