When I first found this article, I thought, why would I care about this? But the subtitle caught my eye, “Why won’t Tom Anderson let go of this one photo?” So I started reading the article. I still did not expect to finish reading it; I intended to merely skim the first two or three paragraphs to get the gist and move on. I had a MySpace account years ago; I may still have it, which is probably terrible, because I probably should have deleted it almost as many years ago. It just wasn’t something I used and Facebook clearly won the space MySpace was designed for. But I didn’t and still don’t recognize Tom Anderson’s MySpace profile photo. But I read the whole article, and you might want to, too. Here’s a quick teaser:
Anderson’s profile picture is more brand logo than profile. Looking at it, you barely register the specifics, like how you don’t really take time to think about the hyphen in Coca-Cola. That image means “Tom from Myspace” more than the name Tom Anderson does. 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.
The rest of the article is full of interesting bits to throw in your personal hopper of 21st Century cultural artifacts.