The Internet and the Celebrity Population Explosion

Twitter, blogs, social networks, and other online communications technologies make it easier to become a celebrity, as a result, celebrity becomes less and less valuable.

Folksonomies: social networking technology society celebrity twitter

Twitter, Celebrity, Asymmetric and Symmetric Social Connections

Asymmetric attention is the key to another important concept, celebrity. Being famous means that a lot of people pay attention to you--after all, by definition it is famous people who appear on the cover of magazines, which are purchased because lots of people want to know what\'s happening with their favorite celebrities. But the celebrity doesn\'t, for the the most part, pay any attention to the fans (at least, not individually). Asymmetric attention ties in Twitter allows people like Oprah Winfrey to have millions of fans, just like she does on television, without needing to pay attention to all or even any of them. In short, asymmetric attention allows Twitter to be an extension of other forms of mass media as well as a conversational medium.

Likewise, the existence of symmetry is informative as well. If two people follow each other, then they are each paying attention to one another, and each is receiving information from the other. This is powerful stuff, even more so if each has sent @replies to the other, because this is better evidence of a strong social tie between them. Note that the exchange of @replies makes a symmetric connection out of two asymmetric ties.


Twitter provides for asymmetric connections, where individuals follow others, making the people who don\'t follow back are celebrities; however, the system has been hacked with @replies, which make asymmetric connections symmetrical.

Folksonomies: web science social networking

Cause and Effect

The Population Explosion of Celebrities are Cancelling Each Other Out

The Internet has made me very casual with a level of omniscience that was unthinkable a decade ago. I now wonder if God gets bored knowing the answer to everything.

The Internet forces me, as a creator, to figure out who I really am and what is unique to me — or to anyone else, for that matter — I like this.


The Internet forces me to renegotiate my relationship to the celebrity dimension of pop culture. There are too many celebrities now, and they all cancel each other out (15 minutes!) so there aren’t megastars like there used to be. You might as well be eccentric yourself.

The Internet gives me hope that in the future everyone will wear Halloween costumes 365 days a year.


With the increasing number of celebrities in the world, the value of each celebrity is reduced, when everyone is a celebrity, we should all fee free to be eccentric ourselves.

Folksonomies: internet technology society celebrity