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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Micro Celebrity

Pop17, a daily exploration to track, analyze and understand the new cultural phenomenon of online micro-celebrity launched today. It includes some Internet fame survey results from interviews in NYC asking people if they have heard of Robert Scoble, Homestar Runner, LisaNova, Tila Tequila, Rihanna, Perez Hilton, Tay Zonday, Chris Crocker, Smosh and Lauren Caitlin Upton.

Micro Celebrity status is a pretty funny thing. I've received many free drinks and dinners just because I have a popular online video but that only goes so far. Last year at MacWorld I hung out with Rocketboom's Andrew Baron one night and we went party hoping getting into parties and party VIP rooms until we came upon a MacWorld party where we were not on the list and they had never heard of Rocketboom or French Maid TV. We asked if it was a MacWorld party and they said. "Yes." We asked what company was sponsoring the party and they explained that it was a party for the people who put the booths together for MacWorld - They were the convention people who produced the MacWorld EXPO. Andrew and I didn't get in to that party.

Two years ago I was walking the trade show floor at the New Media EXPO with Robert Scoble and everyone was saying hello to him "left and right" until we got to a very crowded Nokia booth where they were showing a new camera phone that recorded video. Now I had met the guy from Nokia (who was from Finland) before at a Podcast Academy but Robert had not. I could tell that Robert really wanted to get his hands on that new camera phone and he introduced himself to the guy saying, "Hi, I'm Robert Scoble." The guy from Nokia introduced himself saying, "Nice to meet you." Then the Nokia guy went on to chat with other people who want to see the camera phone. Robert introduced himself again and I chimed in and explained who Robert was but it was kind of like explaining a joke to someone from another country. The Nokia guy had no idea who Robert was but he did take Robert's card and I wouldn't be surprised if Robert did end up getting one of those phones for free.

Last year at NAB I was hanging out with my best friend Ted who runs a camera company that's pretty popular in the motion picture industry and we went bar hopping in Vegas and the drinks were free because the bar tenders knew who Ted was but eventually we came to a bar where they had no idea and the drinks were pretty expensive.

Ted and I have been at the same conferences at the same time many times and in the old days when no one knew us we would go to parties together and have a blast. Now neither one of us wants to leave our circles of friends and go to the other one's parties because no one will know us there. Ted and I talk about it and how it's fun being a big fish in a little pond and how we are both having the most fun professionally that we have ever had we just wonder if the day will come when we can enjoy our "Micro Celebrity" status at the same party at the same time together.


schlomo rabinowitz said...

Maybe I'm the only one, but I feel "micro celebrity" is on the same plane as the crappy celebrity shows like I Like New York.

Except some of the internet ones are actually interesting.

1 Tim Street said...

I never saw that show.