|Born||November 8, 1970|
|Alma mater||University of California, Berkeley University of California, Los Angeles|
|Known for||Co-founder of Myspace|
|Home town||Escondido, California|
Thomas "Tom" Anderson (born 8 November 1970) is an American internet entrepreneur. He co-founded the social networking website Myspace in 2003 with Chris DeWolfe, and was later president of Myspace and a strategic adviser for the company until he left in 2009. Because newly created Myspace accounts initially included Tom as a default "friend", his face became known as the default picture of Myspace, and he is often referred to as "Tom from Myspace" or "Myspace Tom".
Anderson's father was an entrepreneur. As a teenager at San Pasqual High in Escondido, California, Anderson was a computer hacker under the pseudonym Lord Flathead (friends with Bill Landreth) who cracked the security of Chase Manhattan Bank, prompting an FBI raid. He was not arrested because of his age. Anderson studied English and Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley, after which he was lead singer in a band called Swank and spent some time in Taiwan, before returning to the U.S. to study for a degree in Critical Film Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Anderson was a product tester and copywriter at XDrive, a digital storage company in 2000, where he first met Chris DeWolfe. He initially joined XDrive as a product tester after answering a flyer advertisement while still at film school and looking to earn extra money. When XDrive went bankrupt in 2001, he and DeWolfe founded direct marketing company ResponseBase. They sold ResponseBase to Brad Greenspan's eUniverse in late 2002.
With other eUniverse employees, Anderson set up the first pages of Myspace in August 2003. He founded the site partly as a reaction to Friendster and that social network's policy of blocking accounts that did not use real names. An early success was persuading Tila Tequila to switch from Friendster to Myspace in September 2003. Anderson was in charge of product development. Myspace became one of the most popular social networking websites in the United States (ranked as number 129 of Alexa Top 500 Global Sites as of November 2011[update]). Fortune reported in 2006 that "Anderson is automatically the first friend of anyone who joins MySpace, and as the public face of the operation, he's photographed with celebrities at company bashes, approached for autographs on the street, and deluged with e-mails from users." Journalist Julia Angwin, author of Stealing MySpace, wrote that "I think Tom is sort of the soul of the site". In September 2008, he had 237,991,950 "friends".
Anderson became president of Intermix Media, the successor of eUniverse, when it was sold to News Corp. Anderson sold Myspace to News Corp. for millions. Anderson said of working for News Corp that "Before, I could do whatever I wanted. Now it takes more time to get people to agree on things. All the budget reviews and processes. That can be a pain. But it's not stopping us." His workaholic nature at Myspace was noted by several journalists. He made tens of millions of dollars from the company. Reuters quoted an unnamed News Corp executive as saying that "Tom was responsible for the product but ended up being a complete bottleneck on getting things done", but Business Week reported that "Under Anderson's leadership, the products division introduced a dizzying number of features". He was replaced as president in April 2009 by News Corp; Business Insider reported in June 2009 that he was staying with Myspace and would take on an "ambassador" role, while FT Magazine reported that he appeared to have left the company by December 2009. By 2010, Anderson was no longer the default "friend" on Myspace, being replaced by a profile called "Today On MySpace" or "T.O.M.".
Anderson is active on other social networks, including Facebook, Twitter (with nearly 200,000 followers in December 2012), and Google+ (ranking 10th by number of followers in December 2011). He has also since invested in real estate.
In late May 2012, Anderson announced that he would be joining RocketFrog Interactive as an adviser to the 16-person, Los Angeles based company. RocketFrog has created a Facebook app that allows users to play poker, blackjack and a variety of other games with friends, and win prizes such as movie tickets, music, food and other real items from participating advertisers.
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- Tom Anderson on Myspace
- Tom Anderson on Google+
- Tom Anderson's Guest DJ Project on KCRW
- Tom Anderson on Twitter
- Tom Anderson on Facebook
- Interview with Tom Anderson -- Founder of Myspace on The Hour