15mgs of Fame

15mgs of fame. A few thousand people out of hundreds of millions watch some random video on YouTube and media pundits who lambast books; movies; theater; music and other endeavors, read/watched or listened to by the real masses, wax eloquent to the point of embarrassment.
Lee Siegel, author of “Against the Machine” writes: “People need to write critically about this thing (Internet). It’s just one pandering hymn after another…”

Andy Warhol once made himself famous by philosophizing the 15 minute of fame prediction that all of us would one day “enjoy”. Pre-Internet Warhol understood the deep motivation that exists for public exhibitionism in most people but that has been limited by channel of distribution; means of production and need for distance – meaning some protection from being too “real” – too close.

In his day it was about the paparazzi and the growing (still) culture of celebrity – and celebrity defined not by their actions but rather as people we watch – even doing nothing.

So here is the question: what is it all worth?

What is the real value of 50,000 people watching WOWOW Girls on YouTube vs. watching (and by watching I mean any which way – traditional; time-shifted; on a video I-Pod) whatever local version of Star is Born plays in your country?

What is the true worth of the Super Bowl (as a Global event) vs. the self-produced; self-promotional videos that way too many mass marketers have embraced as means of their own self promotion – look at the relative numbers.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not bashing the so called social media and its effect. To the contrary, I am looking for its true value and a better understanding of its motivation.

James Gleick, in the Sunday, January 6 issue of The New York Times Magazine asked: “Why in the age of free information, would anyone pay millions for a document?”

Read his answer…worth the click…
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/06/magazine/06wwln-lede-t.html?scp=2&sq=keeping+it+real

For our clients – I think this is a must read.

His conclusion (not to let you off the hook for the effort) is: “The extreme of scarcity is intensified by the extreme of ubiquity.”

Meaning that what we really value is valuable information. We might laugh at dancing chickens but outside of the download and the quick pass to a friend will we still treasure it in a week; a month; a year?

Reading his article reminded me of a quote from one of my favorite radical revolutionaries;

“What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.”
— Thomas Paine

Think of that next time you plan a program or an idea from their advertising and expect people to post their own experiences to a web site they have created. The Ad Agency declared victory with a few paltry postings.

15mgs of fame…

Or posterity…

What’s your view?

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