50 Cent has more than 1 million friends on MySpace, but if he ever decides to leave the social network, he'll be leaving behind those friends, too. So like a growing number of artists, he's started his own social networking site, Thisis50.com, where fans can create profiles and friend lists just like on MySpace, but where he has direct access to his users and their e-mail addresses.

More and more acts, from Kylie Minogue to Ludacris to the Pussycat Dolls, are launching their own social networks, which are becoming a sort of next-generation version of artist Web sites.

The social networking component gives fans a reason to hang out on a site and continually visit more often than they would a standard Web site. And unlike MySpace or Facebook, artists can sell advertisements on their site and let users buy downloads and merchandise. Plus, they own the content and data on how fans use their site, which they don't get on other social networks.

"The thing that separates Thisis50 from MySpace is we control...

Click here for the entire magazine article, which reveals the key to getting users back to the sites, details on inexpensive social networking solutions, and more.