(the) eye on the fame game: countersurveillance and the online social climber.

March 9, 2010

These days it seems that fame, talent, and hard work are all mutually exclusive. In the age of the internet, we are forever coming closer to a world that might resemble that of the new SyFy series, Caprica, where more people live their lives in a virtual world than in the real one. It used to be you could find fame through a brilliant combination of talent, hard work, and luck (for some, sleeping their way to the top worked as well), but these days, some people, lets call them online social climbers (OSC), think that all they need is plenty of online exposure, and the right combination of “friends” and “enemies” (for some, sleeping their way to the top works as well). So how can you spot these OSCs? Utilize your spy skills with some good old fashioned surveillance. Consider me your source in counterintelligence.


It is pretty easy to spot an OSC; you’ve heard their name and you don’t know why, you’ve seen their picture on someone’s social networking site, yet you can’t figure out what exactly it is they DO (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, there is a chance you are one of the few pure souls out there and I would implore you to not go looking for them, it won’t enhance your life in any way, shape, or form). Once you have acquired your target, google their name and I’m sure you will find links to their Virtual World (VW); twitter, facebook, myspace, formspring, buzznet, blog, website. Congratulations, you are ready to gather intelligence.


First off, be sure you have the OFFICIAL site belonging to the OSC in question. There are plenty of dummy sites out there, created by impersonators hoping that they might reap some of the beneficial ‘good feelings’ of faux fame. To make sure it is OFFICIAL, check for a banner that says OFFICIAL. If that isn’t available, you can always see if mobile uploads are available for the site you are perusing. Chances are that the real person is uploading directly from their phone (of course there are simple ways around this, but most people don’t get too in depth with their scams/frauds).

Once you have established that you do, in fact, have the “target in your site” (see what I did there?) it is time to analyze the data. Check for inconsistencies within their VW. Each social networking site caters to a different group of friends and/or ‘scene’ that the OSC is interested in obtaining fans from. Looking to grab that admiration of hipsters, creeps, and music fans? Create a VW within myspace and buzznet (and come on people, I’m not saying that everyone that uses these sites are the above mentioned, but you can’t deny there are a lot of them…). How about those artsy intellectuals? Photo/blogs! My point here being that sometimes you will find inconsistencies in their ‘favorites’ or ‘interests’ as the OSC is catering to a variety of people. This is just the world of online marketing. Of course the inconsistencies won’t be out of control;¬†they have to be careful not to alienate a fan that may fall within two categories. It needs to look authentic enough to make everyone believe they simply have a wide range of interests.


The point that I am making is this: if you are an online social climber, eventually your cover will get blown and you will be exposed. The world of online fame is short-lived, it is virtually a scam (did you see it? did you see what I did again?). There is still no replacement for talent and hard work. I am not trying to take anyone down, that isn’t my mission. I am not trying to say that the online community is evil or anything of the sort. Hell, I have sites on most social networks (I’m on a roll here…evil…hell…forget it). However, the difference between the everyday social networker and the OSC is intent and the end game. They believe that because of how many ‘followers’ or ‘friends’ they have, they are “famous” in today’s world (which, let’s face it, in some circles they are the new breed of fame) and are entitled to certain privileges in the “real world.” While the “perks” of fame (in general) is a whole other discussion, I would categorically say that anyone who is void of any real talent or profession, who relies solely on their virtual celebrity, should not be privy to any special treatments in the “real world.”


We may be getting closer to a Caprica world, but we aren’t there yet. Make sure your ‘idols’ actually contribute something and enhance your life; make sure the requirement for talent and hard work doesn’t disappear. This is your mission. Don’t let the “real world” die.

DISCLAIMER: Remember, this post is about people who take advantage of online celebrity, not celebrities who host sites online. This post is about people who feel entitled and better than everyone else in the “real world” because of their popularity in the VW. This post is about people who try to use their online celebrity to take down and slander the names of actual hard-working people. Feel free to comment.

Ps.com sorry, the names of anyone I may or may not consider OSC is EARS ONLY knowledge.