Everyone’s looking for that 15 minutes of fame life owes them. And now the internet seems to have made it within the grasp of everyone, even this guy.
But just how easy is it be famous on the internet? Have you tried it and failed miserably, possibly punching yourself in the baby maker because you couldn’t understand how you could fail at something so obviously easy?
Don’t sweat it. There are good reasons why you’re not famous on the internet, and it’s not just because that chicken tea-towel party trick is actually really boring.
Formula for getting famous online
Back in the day your options for getting famous were pretty limited. You had to be shaking hands with the queen, the president or both and have married into celebrity-ness. Or you did the hard slog of crafting your art for years at obscure pubs, bars and lonely street corners. Then you might be invited on the Johnny Carson show or something and apparently fame was yours for the taking.
When Al Gore invented the internet, everything changed. Now there was a convenient shortcut to fame. Everyone had access to everyone else using HTTP, a cheap camera and a little imagination (or none in the case of Charlie’s parents). So let’s talk about the different portals the internet offers to get famous and using a mathematical scale of ten, rate how easy it is to use the medium to springboard you from the depressing anonymity you currently possess sitting here reading this blog post to stardom so powerful you’ll be getting begging letters from Paris Hilton, Chuck Norris and Lonely Girl 15 to be besties (in cyberworld of course – these people don’t exist in real life).
|Ease of access||7/10||Grab a camera or use the built-in webcam on your laptop and start lip-synching to your favourite Milli Vanilli song – hang on it’s been done already.|
|Audience||8/10||With over two billion views every day, and each visitor spending on average 15 minutes a day watching YouTube clips, you have a massive audience just waiting for your masterpiece. Just don’t stuff it up, otherwise you’ll be torn to shreds by the rabid trolling that YouTube is so famous for.|
|Share-ability||6/10||YouTube share-ability has improved hugely over the years with your video able to be pushed out to friend networks with great ease, embedding on Facebook pages and websites in a couple of clicks.|
|Chance of being discovered||3/10||Just because you’re on YouTube is no guarantee you’ll be famous, or even viewed by someone other than your mum. With 24 hours of videos being uploaded every minute, you’ll need to be a 24/7 video recording production team to fight for reasonable viewing numbers. Or making videos of roller-skating babies. And backed by a billion dollar marketing budget.|
|Ease of access||9/10||Setting up a Twitter account is too easy. In fact, many people go nuts and create at least 3 or four (usually multiple personality types).|
|Audience||5/10||Ok sure there are 105 million (and counting at 300,000 new accounts every day) registered Twitter users (possibly less if you count all the egomaniacs with multiple accounts) but the percentage of them looking at your 140 characters of pure genius is about three, not counting your mum or the duke with multiple accounts. With twits shooting out an average of 55 million tweets a day, you’ll be lucky if even one person reads yours before it gets drowned in the never-ending tweet avalanche.|
|Share-ability||8/10||The ease with how tweets can be shared, and passed around like a dirty pathogenic bacteria, is one of those proverbial two-edged swords. It’s fantastic your tweets can be retweeted by a dozen people in the blink of an eye but it also means it’s just adding to the total noise on the tweet stream and increasing the chance of it getting buried. Your only hope is it gets retweeted so much it becomes a trending topic or it gets picked up by Justin Bieber or Ashton K.|
|Chance of being discovered||2/10||As mentioned before competing with 55 million tweets means your 140 characters of ‘make me famous’ desperation are likely to be left exactly where you dropped them.|
|Ease of access||8/10||If you’re one of the three people on this planet who doesn’t already have a Facebook account (hey even the queens got with the program) then gaining access will be mildly challenging – you sign-up, waiver any kind of privacy rights, promise to let all your details be used by nefarious advertising executives and addictive online game makers and you’re in. Simple. Ease of exit is a whole different story.|
|Audience||3/10||This all depends on you. Tap into a stream of open friend communities where everyone believes in free Friendface love and you’ll have the maximum 5,000 friends in record quick time. Or you might be like the rest of us and struggle to get 50. This can seriously limit your chances of fame, particularly when 43 of them are blood-related, none of them work in the movie or music industry and live in the South Island of New Zealand.|
|Share-ability||6/10||Facebook has worked really hard to make EVERYTHING shareable – because that’s how this beast grows. Invite your nanna and her knitting party to view the photos of your imbibed work party and she’ll be signed up in no time.|
|Chance of being discovered||2/10||Unless you have a gazillion friends (and friends who haven’t hidden your posts because you believe in over-sharing) then posts made on your page, no matter how talented, witty or world-changing they are, will not extend beyond your limited friend-o-sphere. Sorry.|
|Ease of access||3/10||Setting up your own website can be a mission but getting into a Blogspot or WordPress personal sharing device is nowhere near as difficult. Of course, figuring out what to add to it will be a constant chore for most people.|
|Audience||8/10||With over two billion active internet users, you have a ready-made audience. Unfortunately they’re not looking for you. They don’t even know you exist. And unless you’re prepared to expose yourself (or someone else), do something incredibly stupid, painful or criminal and post it to your blog, then there’s not a lot of motivation for them to search you out.|
|Share-ability||6/10||The days of cutting and pasting a link into an email to forward to your friends is thankfully over. Most savvy blogs and websites have convenient share buttons that make it a cinch for them to pass the web page on to their fellow Facebookers or Twits, either in a ‘check out this loser’ kind of way or a ‘i was so bored at work today i actually read this guys blog’ mocking.|
|Chance of being discovered||1/10||Unless you get linked directly by an internet superstar, have an army of Digg fans or know the elders of the internet, then expect your razor-sharp wit will continue undiscovered, buried under the 180 million or so other websites out there competing for attention and fighting against the several billion web pages being added every day. Your blog will probably lie around for years to come, occupying that dusty shelf in cyberspace in a lost room down some dark corridor that no one ever visits, or even knew existed.|
Hopefully I haven’t completely demoralised you, and dissuaded you from shooting for the bright lights of internet fame. While statistically I calculate it to be a 0.0001% chance, that means there’s still a chance. And if a guy singing along to Numa Numa while sitting at his computer can get 12 million people to watch his video then surely it can happen to you? And when it does make sure you don’t forget me – I want at least a retweet ok?