Updating myspace background
that the Mona Lisa is also available to view online.
But sure, from 2003 to 2017, it’s probable that more people saw Tom Anderson’s profile picture online than saw the Mona Lisa in person.
Tom has 238,000 followers on Instagram and 237,000 followers on Twitter. Then there’s Myspace, which was reportedly still drawing 50 million users per month in 2015. So even if you account for the fact that Anderson deleted his profile when he left the company, maybe he is right. This equation is assuming that none of those Myspace views are from the same person.
And it ignores the fact that the Mona Lisa is centuries old.
And his face, well, his face is slightly pixelated. You’re thinking of a photo — one particular photo, which is the same photo I’m thinking of, which is the same photo that everybody thinks of when they hear “Myspace Tom.” This is because Tom Anderson might have the most consistent, recognizable profile picture of anyone on the internet. Since founding the site in 2003, Tom was the first person to appear on every user’s friends list, guaranteeing that somebody would appear in your Top 8.
A man, 20-something, with short hair, looking over the shoulder of his white T-shirt.
Though Myspace has changed owners and designs, Anderson’s profile picture has remained the same.
But that photo was taken before Myspace, so it’s at least 14 years old.
Assuming everyone who goes to the Louvre also looks at the Mona Lisa, that’s 8.6 million views in one year.
Because every new user was forced to be friends with Tom, and have his image added to their page, the picture became as ubiquitous as the Myspace logo itself.
Maybe this is a result of Myspace’s social media monopoly in the early 2000s, but it’s also indicative of the weight profile pictures had at the time.
Like a biologist over a petri dish, I pulled out my copy of Xyle Scope and began observing the organisms at play within the My Space profile page. If Dave Shea built the CSS Zen Garden, this was going to be the CSS Weed Patch; a block of code so semantically twisted that it would turn Joe Clark straight.
It was upon thinking of this analogy, however, that I really started to get psyched about this project.
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Unlike modern Facebook, early Myspace didn’t offer a news feed or the option to share photo albums with friends. Internet connections were unpredictable, most laptops didn’t have built-in web cams, and underpowered “camera phones” barely captured fuzzy interpretations of one’s face.