Pond-celebrity and the normal kind

Categories Career

Anyone loves celebrity gossip right? Wrong. But anyone likes to think/read/hear about people they see as celebrities!

With fame comes perks, but more so responsibility and the “right” for people to have an opinion about your personality. I’m not applauding either, I’m just calling it the way I see it.

Andy Warhol coined the “15 minutes of fame” expression, something that people tend to call “15 seconds” nowadays. Regardless, god knows we’re close to actually getting our 15 minutes. Not only because the entertainment industry is bigger than ever – but because we’re constantly creating small duck ponds where people can know and admire each other.

Twitter is one pond – given, it’s quickly being flooded – and there is actually people that are part of the “twitterati”. Some of them are famous for other reasons (and might even be seen as a twitterati for the wrong reasons), but many of them are a force to be reckoned with on Twitter, and much because of Twitter.

I’ll give you some examples from the areas were I move – SEO, SEM, web analytics, social media marketing etc. Avinash Kaushik is one of my “idols”. He’s has a lot of smart things to say, is very credible and in many ways a person to admire. Have you heard of him? (chance are you have, after all, you’re reading my blog 😉 ) And Peter Cashmore at Mashable? Or Anna Talerico? I dare say, none of these people are celebrities – but all of them are pond-celebrities. Known and reputable in their area of expertise, by people that want to be in their business, and people that want to make money of that business 😉 If you know them, that probably means they have a stake in your success. Either you want to employ them, be employed by them, learn something from them or sell something to them. It’s not a matter of me being cynical – it’s a matter of networking!

You’re nothing without a network, and through connected people you have a good chance of expanding your own.

Compare that to being a  a pop musician, TV personality, fashion blogger etc – you might have tens of thousands of readers/viewers every day – most of them with an opinion of you, all of them a part of your income, but non of them with a stake in your success. No reason for them to reveal their identity, and so easy for them to air their discontent with you (or more probably, themselves).

Personally, I think haters are a sign of celebrity status. And although to some it might be alluring to be know by “everyone”. Given the real perks (acknowledgment,  discussions, though leadership, job offers…) I would pick being a pond-celebrity any day! The only risk is, if you’re prone to drama – remember not to poop in you own pond 😉

So, what do you think?! Are there other important distinctions in celebrity status? Does the “normal” kind of celebrity trump the pond-celebrity in any way? Might there even be a reason to NOT strive for acknowledgment from “fans”?

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