the horror the horror
Back when personal brands were just a twinkle in society’s collective eye, one social network ruled our lives: MySpace.
It was where you went to post passive aggressive comments on your high school frenemies’ walls. It was the source of anguish as you jockeyed for position in the Top Eights of your besties. It was something you accessed via Sidekick if your parents were cool enough to let you get one.
MySpace cofounder-turned-Internet jagoff Tom Anderson really wants your approval. On his Twitter account earlier today, Mr. Anderson broke the cardinal rule of social media: he asked for likes.
The man affectionately known as “MySpace Tom” asked his followers to double tap on an Instagram of a pair of Toms shoes (GET IT?) emblazoned with his infamous MySpace selfie in order to land it on the popular page.
Master of Your Own Content
Tom Anderson, a.k.a. “MySpace Tom,” is an American Internet icon responsible for creating what was once the world’s most influential social network before it devolved into pages upon pages of sparkly animated GIFs and tExT tHaT LoOkS lIkE tHiS. That picture of him mugging in a white tee before a white board is seared into our collective subconscious, perhaps representative of a time and a place when MySpace didn’t need Justin Timberlake to sell the concept.
The launch of Google+ has brought former MySpace president Tom Anderson–now one of its most popular beta users–out of the woodwork recently. (You’ll recognize the white t-shirt.) In a guest post on TechCrunch, Mr. Anderson reacts to Kevin Rose’s recent, seemingly-brash decision to migrate his entire blog over to Google+ by posing the ontological question: “What kind of content creator are you? Kevin Rose or Fred Wilson?”
In that equation, Mr. Rose would be the looser blogger, willing to jump in bed with a new technology to attract new readers and Mr. Wilson, who blogs at A VC, the more cautious Carrie, wanting readers to come to him. Even though Union Square Ventures has invested in Tumblr, for example, Mr. Wilson doesn’t use the platform for A VC. “Kevin abandoned his blog in an instant, whereas Fred built up his blog over years and years. What school do you belong to?” asks Mr. Anderson.
SocialStatistics.com, the website that measures the most popular Google+ users by their number of followers, has had a bang-up week. In just seven days, founder Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten, announced this morning that his site (built in 24 hours from concept to product) picked up 300,000 unique visitors, a million pageviews, “and the servers didn’t even go down”! It’s further proof of our thesis that early adopters are using Google+ as just another social media status symbol.
But when we checked out the top 20 users on SocialStatistics page this afternoon, we noticed a different–but familiar!– face up there with the ranks of Mark Zuckerberg, Larry, and Sergey. The grainy photo… the plain white t-shirt… the chicken scratch on the white board… the awkward head turn. Tom from MySpace, is that you??!