Saturday, July 18, 2009

How to be a shameless, online self-promoter: Wired

Julia Allison from Wired: she's famous; she told Wired so herself.

Being "Internet famous" is a little like being "Canadian famous" in that it usually means that you're one step away from being in a witness relocation program.

Indeed, when one of my classes put together an online promotional plans for Breakfast Television last semester, we agreed that the thing that TV still offers people that the Internet does not is "fame."

Now, according to Wired, that might that be changing too. In this article, Wired profiles Julia Allison, who "can't act, can't sing, and isn't rich. But as a genius for self-promotion, she's become an Internet celebrity."

In advertising, we used to say that no amount of promotion or advertising will sell a product for very long if the product isn't any good. I think that might be what we're dealing with here. However, she seems to be making it work by being equally loved and loathed, which is something that a lot of successful products have in common.

Nonetheless, if you want to be an Internet celebrity, the article outlines the steps you must take, including:
  • Getting your picture taken next to famous people.
  • Dressing against type.
  • Being enigmatic.
  • Letting your minions fight your battles.
  • Being a hot exhibitionist.
They had me until I found out that I have to be hot as well. Sigh.

Are you Internet famous?

And here's the great thing: when it's all over, you can type your name into Wired's Vanity Validator to see how famous you are online in relation to others.

Created by Wired editor Chris Anderson, the gadget scans the Web to measure how famous you are on a scale of 1 (not at all) to 100 (crazy famous). I'm a 50 and my blog is a 49, which seems too famous to me, but I'll take it.

I can't import the gadget, so to use it, just click on this page, and scroll down to the middle. If you score low, just remember the immortal words of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard:


  1. I'm a 52. But it was strange. I put in my newspaper stuff and my band stuff, and got a 52. I tacked on "comedy" and got a 0.

    My name and comedy got a 37. Hmm...

  2. You guys are far more famous than that in my world.


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