Fame per clicks

Andy Warhol is well known for, saying, among other things, that, “in the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” I guess he meant that everyone could be world-famous.

With the advent of widespread and freely available user-generated and -distributed content, the notion of news worthiness is now in the user/consumers’ hands, not solely in those of business interests. In that regard, in order to potentially be seen or talked about by Burkinabés, Peruvians, Icelanders or Chinese folks alike, you only need to get yourself on the Web, preferably via a video camera lens. Great thing is, you don’t even need to own it or to be aware you are the subject.

Anything, and I mean anyone, has become either potential conversation fodder or filler. Just like torrent technology, the speed at which events (including non-events) are broadcast and to what extent depends solely on the willingness of users—the more users, the merrier—to share this information.Examples abound (Don’t tase me, Bro!, Mahir, Arctic Monkeys…). We might ponder and speculate about the reasons why, in this day and age, such a phenomenon can occur. But isn’t it simply because it can?

We now have this means of spreading information—this weapon of mass distribution, if you will—and no way of containing it.
This overflow of communication isn’t limited to the Web. Of course not. It wasn’t even started there. There have been for a long time many types of print, radio, and TV (mostly cable) channels that convey whatever people fancy. It’s just that the means to spread our name have become so readily available that only opposition, material circumstances or lack of interest can prevent us from being world-famous. Even more so, people’s fame is fueled by fame scavengers who themselves become famous by parasitizing others who are famous partly or entirely because of them. Chicken or egg?
The Web has become so central in the data exchange world that there are TV shows and magazines devoted to inform us of “what’s on” it. Which is weird: TV and magazines have given in to the success of their natural enemy, Internet. Today, if you get on the Web, you might bounce back on the small screen or the page without even trying. Great, huh! I guess it can be. Well, unless you’re the Star Wars Kid or a teenage girl that puts too much faith in the words “C’mon, Babe, trust me. I won’t show it to anyone, I promise”.

Once again, for your viewing pleasure…


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