The Future Is 15 Minutes of Fame

andy-warhol-portraitIn the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes. Does that phrase sound familiar? The above is a well-known phrase coined by Andy Warhol. It is an expression which refers to the fleeting condition of celebrity status that grabs into an object of media attention, which then passes to some new object as soon as people’s attention spans are exhausted. The term is often used in reference to figures in the entertainment industry and other areas of popular culture.

The relevance of this phrase stands up to today, well beyond 20 years from when Andy Warhol first coined that phrase. From how I see it, the phrase exactly encompasses the rise on online social networking, blogging and other online phenomena such as Twitter and YouTube.

Case Studies

1. Gary Vaynerchuk

Video blogging, sometimes shortened to vlogging is a form of blogging for which the medium is video, and it is a form of Internet television. Vlogging saw a strong increase in popularity beginning 2005 which is on par with the introduction of YouTube in the same year.

Gary Vaynerchuk saw this opportunity to market his wine business on the web through a daily video podcasts of wine reviews. In each episode, Gary does a ‘live’ wine tasting and describes the wine’s taste using his own unique set of words which is understood by many. Also, in the video, Gary discusses about related wine topics and answering questions submitted via his Facebook application Ask Gary. At the end of every episode, Gary rates the wines tasted using the 100 point scale.

His WineLibraryTV, won him the People’s Choice Vloggie in the categories of “Cooking” and “Instructional/Educational” in 2006 and American Wine Blog Awards, Best Wine Podcast or Videoblog in 2007.

Gary Vaynerchuk is one of the first few people who embraced social media and made money out of something they love. His $4 million wine business soon erupted into a $45 million business through the use of social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

2. Susan Boyle

I am very sure that a lot of people have heard of her. For the benefit of those who hasn’t, Susan Boyle is Scottish singer who came to international public attention when she appeared as a contestant on reality TV programme Britain’s Got Talent on April 2009, singing “I Dreamed A Dream”.

However, the bulk of her success appearance on the media was largely dependent on a video posted on YouTube. The video which was first posted on April 2009, has been viewed a whopping 120 million times worldwide at the end of 2009.

With that amount of viewership, Susan Boyle gained international recognition on most media fronts, including those in China, Brazil and the Middle East. During the 2010 Grammy Awards, its host Stephen Colbert paid tribute to Susan Boyle by telling the audience “you may be the coolest people in the world, but this year your industry was saved by a 48-year-old Scottish cat lady in sensible shoes.”

3. American Cannibal

With all the talk about utilizing media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to achieve recognition, there are people on the extreme ends of the spectrum. These people are willing to do anything, including eating another human being up to achieve the illusive fame status.

“There’s a shocking ambition among people to be on television,” notes Perry Grebin, director of the documentary American Cannibal. “They believe that the reality show is the easiest route. American Cannibal is a documentary about the appetite that we have for watching ourselves becomes entertainment.”

Initially, the contestants were baited to a show called Starvation Island but it was then changed to American Cannibal when they arrived on the island. The surprising factor was that, nobody wanted to leave, none of them were afraid. Every single one of them still wanted to do it.

During the making of American Cannibal, Michael and Perry were amazed by the lengths some people were willing to go to for stardom. I, myself am too.


In 2010, we now have a whole slew of media and networking tools for everyday users to utilize; in hope to achieve those 15 minutes of fame. Sure you can go make a video and post it up on the Net or bare it all to be the next reality show contestant, but never forget that everyone’s watching. Slip up, and you’ll probably live a life of regret thereafter.

That phrase may be about two decades old but I believe that it’ll still be relevant, if not evolved into something better, in the future. This is what the future beckons for everyone; anybody can be somebody if given the space.

What do you think? Do drop us a comment, we’ll love to hear your opinion on this article.

This blog post is part of HP’s Future is campaign, “Blog A Trend”.

Online Media Gazette

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Autor: Gabriel Catalano - human being | (#IN).perfección®

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