|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 Anderson (born 8 November 1970) is the American co-founder of the social networking website Myspace, which he founded in 2003 with Chris DeWolfe. He was later president of Myspace and a strategic adviser for the company until he left in 2009. He gained notoriety because, until 2010, new Myspace users would automatically have him as a friend, meaning that the vast majority of Myspace users were his "friend". As of September 2014, Anderson is popularly known as "Myspace Tom".
Early life and education
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), and prompted a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raid after he cracked the security of Chase Manhattan Bank. He was not arrested because of his young age.
Anderson studied English and Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley, prior to becoming the lead singer of a band called "Swank." Anderson then lived in Taiwan for some time, 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 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. After 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 its policy of blocking accounts that did not use real names. Intermix Media was then founded as the successor of eUniverse, and it was under Intermix that Myspace garnered the level of popularity that it is notable for. When Intermix Media and Myspace were sold to News Corp, Anderson became president of the company.
Myspace was sold to News Corp. in 2005 for $580 million (£361 million). 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." 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." He was replaced as president in April 2009 by News Corp. By 2010, Anderson was no longer the default "friend" on Myspace, being replaced by a profile called "Today On MySpace" or "T.O.M.".
In late May 2012, Anderson announced that he would be joining RocketFrog Interactive as an adviser to the 16-person, Los Angeles based company, which has created a Facebook app.
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- Tom Anderson on Myspace
- Tom Anderson's Guest DJ Project on KCRW
- Interview with Tom Anderson -- Founder of Myspace on The Hour