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The Microfame Game


Step No. 3: Overshare.

A (probably not) private moment with Julia Allison, which was then posted to her blog.  

Now you've got a vision and an audience—you're getting noticed! The next step is to create a thorough archive.

Thankfully, a new set of online tools has emerged to document the minutiae of life even more intensely than traditional blogging platforms. Extremely simple and fast to use, sites like Twitter and Tumblr have enabled the nano-broadcast: clever observations and ripostes targeted at dozens of adoring fans/friends. The dirty little conceit of so many social-media and -networking sites, including Facebook and Flickr and FriendFeed, is that they disguise self-publicity and oversharing as chatting with friends and uploading for storage. By turning private information into public fodder, these sites eliminate the difference between communication and publishing.

The Jedi Knight of the oversharing craft is Julia Allison. A small part of her genius is looking famous without being famous (a touchstone of microfame) by constantly telling her audience what she might be doing at any given moment. If you can admit to perusing her Tumblr or Twitter, you'll see round-the-clock social updates and photos documenting her diurnal travails.

Allison is a master of a genre I'll call fauxparazzi—taking photos of non-famous people staged to look famous. The gifted microfamer borrows from the paparazzo's handbook by choreographing photos that look accidental but are actually snapped from the perfect angle and with the perfect company. Allison's acts of assisted self-portraiture include Julia in pink taffeta on her disheveled floor, Julia en route to dining with Emily Gould, and Julia at a bachelorette party—all normal events shot with fauxparazzi flair. These photos help "prove" the existence of her stardom.

If all this sounds narcissistic, there are alternatives, the best of which is simply having friends post and tag photos of you on Flickr and Facebook.

This step can be outsourced.


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