Fame (Part 2)

After my cousin… whom I didn’t even know reads my blog… had some fascinating comments for me about my Fame, Popularity & Star Power post, I thought I’d try again to explain what I get and don’t get out of posting to the internet.

Revisiting the definitions I used for the article:

Fame = a lot of people have heard of you (clearly relative… “a lot”)
Popularity = a lot of people LIKE something about you
Star Power = a lot of people know what ADDED VALUE you bring to a production

Fame

Now… By those three distinctions, Fame, to me, is absolutely useless. People have heard of your name?… but have no particular interest in, care about or respect for anything you’ve ever done? hehehe No Thanks. 😀

There are lots of people that are famous for nothing. People know their names because their parents are rich or because they run around town making scenes or everybody thinks they’re jerks. Still, these people are famous. To many of them, that’s worth something. I’m sure it gets them in the door at some clubs they otherwise wouldn’t be allowed into or it gets them laid a couple of times with groupies that enjoy self-validation through being selected for sex by someone that people think is someone.

I think my lack of interest in fame comes from elementary / junior high school. Growing up in New York City, personalities develop really early. They have to, because you have to fit into your clique(s). It’s not like the sticks, where you can be just anybody, or NOBODY and have the exact same experience in life. In NYC, you like Rock or you don’t. You like Hip-Hop or you don’t. Your parents are rich, or they’re not. You dress cool, or you don’t. You drink and do drugs (yes, in JHS), or you don’t. You’re cool, or you’re not. You’re smart, or you’re not. You’re artistic, or you’re not. You play a cool instrument, or you don’t. You have to work, or you have an ‘allowance’.

I was fortunate that by going to specialized schools, all these kids were thrown in together, because their parents wanted them to be the best in the world. I got to mingle with future movie stars and future gas station attendants. Kids from Park Avenue and kids from the projects. Kids whose parents were already famous and kids whose parents weren’t even born in the USA (hehehe not that that’s a prerequisite for fame hahaha).

What I took away from that was that even if your family’s name rings bells or you throw the best parties or you have the most money or the best girlfriends, that doesn’t make you cooler or more interesting than somebody people haven’t heard of. Since I like cool and interesting people, fame isn’t something that’s important to me… my own, or someone else’s.

My cousin also snapped on the fact that I said I don’t care about this stuff, yet I posted my “recent visitor list”:

Bill Cammack - Recent Visitors March 27 2008

hahahaha 😀 Well… The thing about that is that people don’t hit my site looking for Bill Cammack. People come here looking for concepts that they were contemplating and searched for. Just because someone visited from Australia, looking for information on the dating scene in NYC doesn’t mean that they looked at the author’s name or even gave a damn who wrote the article. So, Yes… 😀 It’s congruent to say that I’m not interested in fame, and in the next breath mention how people visit my site from all over the world.

I thought of my cousin the other day when I was hanging out and someone I had never met before was raving about a video of mine (that he had no idea I created) that he had watched and enjoyed. I was happy that he enjoyed himself, haha but I never mentioned that *I* was the one that shot and edited that video. Had “fame” been an interest of mine, I would have made sure that he knew that he was speaking to, as well as hanging out having brews with the incredible content creator, Bill Cammack! HAHAHA… How ridiculous is that? Worthless. I was glad that he enjoyed it. I enjoyed that he enjoyed it, and the conversation changed topics without me requesting props from him and propagating my worthless “Fame”. 😀

Popularity

Popularity, OTOH, is extremely useful. I can see how I can be accused of using the internet to attempt to gain popularity. It makes sense, because it’s very tough to distinguish between popular people posting THE FACTS about what they do on a regular basis and unpopular people attempting to *become* popular by strategically crafting an internet persona. I can’t help it that I hang out with cool-ass-people ALL THE TIME! 😀

Renee Davide

It’s not my fault that this is NYC, and there’s ALWAYS something going on. 😀

Suzy, Oz, Brett, Alana, Adam, Gary & Bill

If I happen to get out my camera and document something that’s happening, that’s because….. it’s HAPPENING. 😀 It’s not something staged for the benefit of the internet population that stumbles onto my site from Google.

Popularity’s built in the trenches… Person to Person. You can be as internet famous as you like, but if you’re a Herb in person, your props go right down the drain. Popularity’s an aura you carry with you… Your ability to make friends on the fly and enjoy people’s company. It’s about the interpersonal relationship you have with the person you’re spending time with right now.

Having said that, the internet affords us all the opportunity to get to know each other asynchronously, and in most cases, anonymously. What people post to the internet is an expression of their own interests, intelligence, fantasies, desires, skills… Where that becomes useful is when someone’s aware of you because of your internet presence and then gets to meet you IRL and find out how close your real life persona is to how you portray yourself through text, images and video.

Annie, Patty, Joe, Roxanne & Christine

So… For people that ARE popular, and especially those that have always BEEN popular, the internet isn’t an extremely efficient way to increase that, because the real relationships are built when people actually spend time together… NOT when they’re reading something someone wrote or watching a video they made on the internet.

Star Power

Increasing one’s Star Power via creating and posting content to the internet is really the most valuable takeaway of the three, IMO… other than one’s own satisfaction in creating and being an artist. Since you can create stuff but never post it, we’ll take that out of the running. 🙂 The ability to demonstrate what you do and how well you do it to people around the world, watching it asynchronously, on their own time schedules and when they seek it out themselves via search engines is both immensely powerful and addictive. I had a conversation with Phil Campbell in England and Liz Burr in California about a post I wrote the other day, and I haven’t discussed that post with anyone, IRL. The ability to express one’s self without the limitation of territorial boundaries is exhilarating… even in a text post like this. I also understand that it’s hard to explain to people that aren’t involved in it because *I* didn’t understand it until *I* got involved.

Since Star Power’s based on the added value that *YOU* bring to a project, it’s built regardless of the projects you work on… assuming you’re branding yourself correctly. If you’re the host of the show, you want people to know what your name is, so that if/when you branch off to do another project, people understand the quality you’re going to bring to it. At this point, both Veronica Belmont and Lindsay Campbell have parlayed this concept perfectly, IMO. People are aware of the value that they bring to the table, regardless of which shows they’re fronting. Is it useful and valuable for people in Japan to be aware of the work one does in the USA? Most definitely! 😀

So… Out of the three, Fame does nothing for me personally, because it never really touches your life. Popularity’s fun and useful, but it’s something generated AUTHENTICALLY in close quarters, not across the wires and screens of the internet. When you know, feel and understand what REAL popularity is, internet popularity’s relatively worthless, mentally and emotionally. Star Power is great when you want to work with someone else on a project. They know the quality you’re bringing to the table, and can decide whether they want to collaborate with you based on their honest perception of you as a person and your qualifications as an expert in your chosen field.

I post because I enjoy it. If I meet great people IRL because of it, Great! 😀 If it makes it easier for me to work on video projects that I think are cool and interesting, Great! 😀 The only other benefit I can think of right now to Internet Fame is that I never carry business cards… I just tell people to Google “Bill“. 😀

6 thoughts on “Fame (Part 2)”

  1. Great blog and great post! There is one more “sub-category” I think fits a little in all 3 of your major categories….Notorious. There’s the famous version…he robs/she’s a gold digger, the famous version …he gets a lot of girls/she drives and has a great job and the star power version….they are always on point, never get involved in drama, they have the power to employ people, and they are respected professionally and in the streets. Just my observation …lol

    1. Thanks for the comment, Joe! 😀

      I’ll make sure to add notoriety when I write the next article.

      It’s clearly a force all its own, whether used for evil or good and whether it leads to the ascension of the person or his/her demise.

  2. This is an intrresting breakdown! Not being sure where i stand, how to use the buzz which develops around me in isolated pockets, it can get a bit overwhelming.

    defining what i want to accomplish is probably equally important to defining who i am to other people. 🙂

    1. That’s absolutely right, Rebecca. 🙂

      That’s partially what the next article is going to be about.

      At this point, people are becoming famous for nothing. Literally NOTHING! 😀

      When that happens, they don’t know how to handle it or what to do with it, so they emulate what they’ve seen other people do, which normally doesn’t work out for them so well.

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