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We had an interesting chat the other day about being ‘Internet-famous’. Two of my favourite B5 bloggers, Colleen Coplick and Tris Hussey, were trying to list off people they thought were truly famous based on their web impact alone.Guy Kawasaki didn’t count (because he was biz-famous and book-famous well before he became everyone’s go-to guy on Twitter) but Dooce did, and so did iJustine and Jeremiah Owyang. (Tris voted for himself, but Colleen and I both vetoed that idea; I told him he was more in the realm of Internet-popular than Internet-famous.)But I digress. Does microfame on the Internet actually make an impact? Or are we just playing with microtrends that will evaporate into nothing? Is a meme a blip or a profound social construct that will matter in a historical sense?Recently, New York Magazine published an article on microfame, detailing the rise and rise of Internet personalities and how to mack on their game. Focussing on the more raucous, self-styling iconoclasts like Tila Tequila, Ze Frank and Perez Hilton, Rex Sorgatz argues to make noise, make it loud and make it often.I’m not really sure that Sorgatz clearly identifies the difference between traditional PR and social media promotion in that respect, but his article demonstrates something I’ve been thinking about for a while. It may be easier to build a connection with an increasingly diversified global culture through the Internet, but I’m not certain working social media alone can make people famous. Perez Hilton swung into the big time when he started getting picked up in the glossies, and Elaine Lui only started selling massive ad space on her site when she got her TV gig alongside Ben Mulroney on eTalk. Folks like Tila and Ze who up the ante on frantic and silly behaviour (Sorgatz calls it “oversharing”) will get attention no matter what the medium.I guess it all depends on what your definition of ‘famous’ is. In the 80s, we called it having a ‘household name’. Nowadays, Lui calls it reaching the ‘Minivan Majority’. I wonder if microfame is actually more akin to Andy Warhol’s 15 minutes than true celebrity.What social media can do, however, is level the playing field, allowing more entrants into the game. We all know it increases transparency as more conversations are opened to criticism, but that in itself provides balance for oversharing and our bombastic social id through a reactionary community ego. And those who truly have something profound to say transcend the idea of meme and create a longstanding philosophical connection with societal ideas, drawing connections between multiple media and communicating across socio-cultural boundaries.