January 11, 2011
The Internet has clearly set a new standard for celebrity. Fame is no longer about getting "15 minutes"; it's about becoming famous to 15 people.
The Internet allows the masses to wrest control of fame from traditional media, creating micro-celebrities with the click of a mouse, says David Weinberger of the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
Weinberger focused on the Internet celebrity in his keynote address at ROFLCon (pronounced roffle-con), a conference on Internet culture held at MIT.
"We're covering people that even five years ago we wouldn't be covering in our gossip section", says Haley Byrnes, a gossip writer for several online magazines and newspapers, "It is revolutionary for writers and for the people being covered. It's also saying lots about how interesting people can be that aren't covered by the mainstream media".
"We are seeing a trend", says sebastian Garcia, editor an online newspaper, "Traditional media has been challenged by the Internet and, well, it lost".
Byrnes says she's constantly following up on leads of "unknowns my readers find interesting. After we do some homework some of these people are just amazing copy. It has really redefined gossip and news for us".
Byrnes says the recent sex scandals involving the security personnel of companies like Blackwater-Xe, ArmorGroup, DefenseTech Systems and Dyncorp International have become steady stories as the players come forward.
"The security business is one place we just wouldn't think to find good gossip", says Byrnes, "We really dig up the dirt because so many of these guys are contractors having sex parties and using hookers on the taxpayer's dime. When you get beneath the headlines and start reaching the personalities of the players it becomes soap opera stuff. The security industry has been a goldmine for sex gossip".
Sex does sell. That's for sure. As a lesbian editor I've always believed too much sex is marketed. But in the entertainment world is still makes news and here at The Bianchi Cafe', we aim to please our readers.
By Dallas Bianchi