Life as an iCelebrity
A couple days ago I mentioned my encounter with Justine Ezarik at MacWorld, where she was preparing for a “workout” while I was waiting for the MacWorld Town Hall to start. After snapping a quick photo for my MacWorld Checklist I went back to the Town Hall where I fell into the “younger third” age bracket (which is sad when you’re 40).
Anyway, here’s what I missed…
So, let’s review. Instead of hanging with cool, gorgeous, and tech-savvy girls, I went over to hang out with old Mac geezers who pontificated about the “good old days” when the Mac launched in 1984 and demanded a “schwag” trading event be added at MacWorld next year so they could trade NeXT tshirts!
As bad as the decision might seem to be on the surface, I’ve got to imagine it would have been poor form to try to join Justine and company with their workout. I mean, what good would it have done except to make a fun YouTube game: “Which one of these is not like the other.” I mean this in the least self-loathing way possible that it was good I didn’t try to invite myself into the video and, let’s face it, ruin the aesthetic. Still, it might have been fun to watch.
Ezarik, or “iJustine” for those in the know, is the part of the first generation to grow up with “iCelebrity” as a career path. One part blogger, one part reporter, one part model, and one part sysadmin. There’s a ton of these people and while the trend is young and female it’s not exclusively women. They’re having a lot of fun and let’s face it using their youthful energy in generally positive ways. So, you’ve got to hand it to them for working hard and making a name for themselves. In fact, there’s a host of career opportunities or at least ways to make a quick buck online if you have the right look or the kind of content that can go “viral.” Remember “Chocolate Rain?”
I’d like to think that I played a tiny part in this burgeoning world with my exploits as Kevin C. from Lip Balm Anonymous. Jeeze, Justine might have been all of twelve years old when I appeared on The Internet Cafe way back in 1997 or on The Daily Show in ‘98. Of course, Kevin C. still comes out from time to time. I appeared twice on Sirius Radio in December and my interview with The Baltimore Sun got a lot of press last fall.
But LBA hasn’t made me any money. There are a lot of reasons, mostly due to lack of time and interest. Plus, it’s hard to run a lot of advertisements on a site that’s supposed to look like a non-profit organization.
Every year I say I’ll redo the LBA site. And this year I might actually do it. Maybe I’ll make some crazy YouTube videos talking about lip balm addiction. They’ll go viral and maybe I’ll get just as much attention as Justine does.
Okay. Maybe not…