Tuesday, February 20, 2007

"the tomster, the tommarinooooo. you are the friend i never Met! FABULOUS"

there are two bohemeths of the online social networking world, and they are myspace's tom and facebook's mark zuckerberg. alicia and i were going to present this as one of our point: counterpoints, but her myspace account is malfunctioning like a toaster in a bathtub. seems as though tom is already one in the hole. ANYWAY, the question: who would win in a fight? myspace tom or facebook mark zuckerberg?

this subject has been tackled before, in an inchoate discussion thread in the facebook group "all hail mark zuckerberg" and more prominently in the group " if 43902948.3 people join this group Mark Zuckerberg might fight Tom," but the majority of this group also belongs to the group "1,000,000,000 Browns Fans," so their ability to discuss the subject intelligently is immediately called into question.

as far as site success is concerned, myspace has more users, estimated at around 140 million. the facebook was created as a vehicle strictly for college student networking, not open to all, and was only recently expanded to workplace and regional networks, so it has less and is only the 7th busiest site on the internet. the most prominent feature of myspace is the blog, which facebook countered with the "notes" feature that i really think hasn't caught the wind like they wanted it to. facebook, however, trumps myspace in ease of use, site quality and security. myspace riddles computers with viruses, causes profiles to self-destruct, and routinely presents inexplicable error messages. it's allowance of non-uniform page layouts, music, photos on the comment wall, etc, makes it ugly and cluttered.

has anything about myspace changed since you joined? i can't even remember the original facebook because the current version is so different. facebook may have a team of five goons in an office in palo alto, california, but those kids are constantly working: they probably surf the facebook all day looking for things to improve. if you ever thought "boy, i wish facebook did this..." usually a few weeks later, it does.

last year, yahoo offered zuckerberg a cool billion to buy the company, but zukerberg declined, which leads me to my next point: zuckerberg is a badass. he comes into work in adidas sandals and turned down an 8am conference call because he said he'd still be in bed at that hour. he once had business cards that read "i'm ceo....bitch." do you want to mess with him? i thought so. tom is a more affable character: he extends friendship to every member and leaves his profile open for all to view. i immediately was able to learn that he loves battle-themed movies and his eclectic music taste ranges from guns n roses to the cardigans. he also declares himself "President of Myspace" which is kind of like saying you're the Mayor of America. zuckerberg, on the other hand, is cocooned by his site's own restrictions: i cannot view his profile because i'm not in the harvard or facebook networks. i suppose i could friend him, but would he accept? i can only learn about him by gleaning facts from articles written by outside sources.

one thing we do know about mark? despite his badass nature, he can admit when he's wrong. i submit to you the newsfeed riots of 2006. when millions of lameass facebook users flipped out because zuckerberg made stalking easier for them, he apologized. he stood by his improvements, but gave users the opt-out privacy controls. a badass who can admit when he's wrong? i can't even think of a pop culture icon to compare him to. zuckerberg is blazing his own trails.

but despite tom's openness, how well does he really know his 157271163 friends? has he read each of the 54769 comments? amy addiction says "tom, i love you lots" and someone with an indiscernable handle claims her husband is jealous of tom because she spends more time on myspace than she does with him. but is he really jealous of tom or of her keyboard? i point you to the introductory quote: he is the friend we don't know. mark doesn't extend faux friendship, you have to earn it. tom spreads himself too thin. he wants everyone to like him, and those people never get into fights, let alone win them. winner? mark zuckerberg, on site quality, sheer net worth and badassery.

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