by Gord Hotchkiss
“In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”
Andy Warhol, 1968
When Warhol made his oft-quoted prediction, he was referring to the ability of media to push anyone into the bright glare of the spotlight for a fleeting brush with celebrity. What he couldn’t have anticipated was the strange twist the web would throw on that. The web democratized media and accelerated Warhol’s prediction. Viral fame doesn’t depend on tightly controlled channels like newspapers and TV networks, it seeps, oozes and sometimes gushes, propelled by users. All of us, including middle aged guys from New Jersey lip syncing to pop songs, kung fu fighting bears and teen age Star Wars obsessed wannabes, can now be famous.