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Internet Celebrities: Recontextualizing Fame

Published

Since the early 90s Internet celebrities have been garnering increasing attention from global audiences on the Web. The majority of these digital media stars are just ordinary people who do bizarre things that often result in cult-like followings. Although there are plenty of skeptical Web users who don’t take these new celebs seriously, there’s no denying their ability to generate buzz for themselves, their beliefs, and even their favorite brands.

In much the same way that a new media star can create a Web-based network of captivated audience members, brands also have the power to create tight online communities based on core users’ lifestyles. Brands are taking a cue from Internet celebrities, and are working to organize passionate customers into strong, though still underground, groups that willingly share digital products whether they’re commercials, blogs, videos, or podcasts.

Some of our favorite Internet celebrities can be found at WeAreTheWeb.org, where childhood hero Peter Pan, Gem Sweater diva Leslie Hall, and the always wacky Tron Guy tackle the pressing issue of Net Neutrality in a way that only the Internet (and a quirky music video) can.