Friday, September 7, 2007

Internet People

Since the dawn of YouTube, there has been a steadily growing population of online celebrities who would not have achieved any level of recognition a mere five years ago. All the rules have changed. Warhol's 15 minutes of fame theory has been rewritten and today's fleeting Internet celebrity gets 1.5 million views on YouTube or 1,500 Diggs.

The denizens of these videos are achieving fame in the Real World as well. I've lost count of the number of times I've seen local newscasts play the latest video to sweep YouTube as if it were newsworthy, or seen one of these online superstars appear as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel or read a story in a national newspaper about their fame. I hesitate to classify these people as celebrities in the traditional sense of the word, because they often don't seek this fame on their own and the (search) results are usually organic. The public has chosen to be amused by them and the Internet takes them to newfound heights of notoriety.

A viral video poking fun at this phenomenon was released a few days ago and it serves as a fairly comprehensive encyclopedia of online characters that are worth looking into (assuming you haven't already met them). I was surprised by how few of these "Internet People" I had actually seen and you can definitely spend more time than you should going on a Google/YouTube hunt to catch up. For example, my favorite Internet Person is now the Little Superstar, who apparently has been around for more than a year. If you' haven't already seen him, check out his moves. Then watch the video below to see what else you might have missed.


Katie Fee said...

Is my life pathetic if I recognize a great majority of these internet characters? Scary! I only hope my 15 minutes materializes in a manner that has a tad more substance.

Kelly Mahoney said...

Man, where have I been all year?
Oh, right, grad school ...

Martin said...

on behalf of "my people," I am a little ashamed by the little dancer, but mostly proud. =)