Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Era of the E-Celebrity

The most interesting aspect in the whole Jessi Slaughter/4chan/Stickydrama saga is Stickydrama itself. It's further proof of the trend towards user-generated content, encroaching on yet another Old Media phenomenon.

Stickydrama is a gossip site about internet celebrities. It's about people who don't have agents and aren't "famous" in the traditional media sense. But they're objects of fascination and notoriety to thousands, even millions, of internet users.

From the Star Wars Kid to Justin Bieber, internet celebrities can and do make the mainstream media, and plenty of them stay there. A day after eleven-year-old Jessica Leonhardt became the victim of cyber-bullying for her expletive-strewn online video rants, the only Google News hits for her were blog-style sites such as Gawker. A couple of days later, and her web name "Jessi Slaughter" generates hundreds of news hits from Fox to the New Delhi Chronicle.

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