Why We Should All Be Jealous Of “MySpace Tom”
Remember MySpace? No, not Myspace (lowercase s). MySpace, the social network kingpin of the early 2000s that took down Friendster.
Well, after MySpace rose to the tip top of Internet stardom, (at one point it even had more traffic than Google, probably because everyone under the age of 25 had made it their browser’s default home page), even major online brands like Instant Checkmate, and Seventeen Magazine had active profiles.
The thing about being “the new cool thing on the web” is that once everyone finds out about you, you start to lose your “edge.” What started out as a fun way to interact with your friends online, quickly devolved into a cheap, awkward, and mostly illegal hook up scene.
High school girls were bombarded with messages from older men. Worse, novice coders had figured out how to hack Myspace’s themes and customize their home pages with crowded, glittery, epilepsy-inducing backgrounds that made you want to tear your eyeballs out. Towards the end, MySpace was even facing several lawsuits from underage girls claiming the site was not doing enough to protect its underage users, including one case where a 15-year-old committed suicide after being raped by a 27-year-old she met through the site.
So, yeah, it wasn’t looking great for MySpace. To make matters even worse, there was a new cool kid on the block that was pulling millions of users away from MySpace—Facebook.
Tom Is Laughing All the Way to the Bank
How could the founder of a social media site that crashed and burned so hard, be livin’ the good life? Because good old Tom jumped ship before it sank. In 2003, Tom Anderson and fellow co-founder, Chris DeWolf, sold MySpace to News Corp for $580 MILLION. Just a few short years later, in 2001 the sh*% hit the proverbial fan, and News Corps sold MySpace to Specific Media and Justin Timberlake for a measly $35 Million—an epic loss.
Tom Scores Yet Again
After News Corps bought MySpace, Tom Anderson stayed on board with the company. However, in 2009, MySpace’s new owners apparently decided they wanted more autonomy, so they offered Tom a “new position” as some sort of ambassador with an annual salary of $500,000, and an agreement that he would “stop coming into the office.” Seriously Tom, how do you do it?
So What’s Tom Up To Now?
Hmm, let’s see. What would you do if you were young, hot, had more money than you knew what to do with, and were being paid not to work? If you answered travel, hang at the beach, buy some cool houses, and start taking pictures of beautiful sunsets, then you and Tom are kindred spirits because that’s exactly what he does.
If his Twitter account is any indication of his “everyday life” then his days are filled with Hawaiian beaches, surfing, camping, photography, and getting into adventures. Here’s a typical tweet from Tom, “Another Oahu sunset; “the most romantic sunsets in the world” – Thomas Magnum (PI).”
A typical comment on one of Tom’s tweets sounds like this, “@myspacetom You’re one hell of a photographer Tom!” and “@myspacetom you have the very best instagram shots ever.” Surrounded by thousands of fans ready and willing to stroke his ego every time he updates his Twitter, or posts an Instagram shot of a sunset, I think it’s safe to say that Tom doesn’t need MySpace to be the king of social media.