As technology and social media becomes more and more widespread, a new breed of celebrities has begun popping up all across the interwebs. Internet celebrities are drawing upon key understandings of performance, ordinariness, and authenticity. As a social networking junkie, I will unashamedly admit that I have a Tumblr addiction. When I finally broke over a thousand followers on Tumblr, the prospects of becoming “Tumblr Famous” started to cross my mind. The idea of becoming a leading part of a beautiful micro-world where I could be recognized and liked multiple times a day for posting geekery has enticed me to try and reach internet fame.
While surfing the net, I came across a website called tumblring.net, a website for all things Tumblr related. After some digging, I found a short article with a list of steps for achieving Tumblr fame. The steps seemed to coincide with Bennett’s tips for becoming an internet celebrity. Step 1 and 2 for becoming Tumblr famous is to blog about a hot topic and tag it like there’s no tomorrow. Some hot Tumblr topics and tags include things such as One Direction, Grumpy Cat, Supernatural, Benedict Cumberbatch, and so forth. By posting information about a popular topic and attaching popular tags, the users draw attention to their participation in an online community/fandom, affirming the user and follower’s shared interest in a popular fan culture. Step 3 is to post regularly, but don’t get crazy, because no one likes a spammer. Internet fame is a constant construction that needs to be maintained, whether its through frequent twitter updates, endless blog comments and posts, or regular publicity stunts aimed at getting the user seen in the right company at the right venue.
Skip down to steps 7 and 8, and users are directed to create a theme and use original material. Since users have a greater control over their image and fame largely comes from self-publicity, users have to work at posting original material in order to stand out from the crowd. This type of self-surveillance and highly constructed image promises a level of intimacy and authenticity for internet celebs distinct from that of television or film stars. Step 10 on the list, and probably one of the most important for becoming Tumblr famous, is to allow followers to submit content. Internet celebrity status is an interactive process; involving direct audience participation and making followers feel part of a tight-knit community. Fans can post, view, read messages and communicate directly with “celebs” via comment sections, creating a closer sense of intimacy. Youtubers Des and Nate, known for making hilarious, thought-provoking, and often foul-mouthed videos, have mastered the technique of fan involvement. Des and Nate allow fans to comment back to their vids or message them on Facebook well, as well as highlight fan video responses in their own videos. On Des’s personal channel, he even allows his fans to comment with the title for his next video and chooses the one with the most likes. Des and Nate reach out to their fans by updating them with vlogs of their whereabouts, and linking their Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other Youtube accounts so fans can get to know them from every angle.
So, my next plan of action in my quest to reach Tumblr stardom is try out a few of these tips…because who knows, maybe I’ll be the next internet celeb. Now for some shameless self-promotion: If you like ska/punk music, comic books, awesome movies, and pop culture geekery, check out my Tumblr page at aquabatgirl.tumblr.com!