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Main > Archives > 2008 > July > Julia Allison: A Lesson on Internet Fame

Monday, July 28, 2008

Julia Allison: A Lesson on Internet Fame

Most of you don't know who Julia Allison is. That's not entirely a bad thing; however, the idea of Allison has turned the blogosphere upside down after Wired magazine editor Chris Anderson -- who continues to make baffling decisions -- commissioned a profile of her.

Allison is "Internet famous", which is just south of being the Center Square in terms of the real world. Her shtick: pout around boys until they write about her or inject herself into situations where people begin to assume she belongs.

I witnessed her childish behavior at this year's SXSW Interactive conference where an audience member, she made such a ruckus that moderator Heather Gold finally had to call her up on the panel just to keep her quiet (and Gold then rather smartly dismantled Allison to the point where, growing uncomfortable, I had to leave).

Anderson's poor decision and Allison's vacuous fame (she is once again claiming that she wants to get back to writing, the very claim she made four months ago before this profile, at SXSW) has many in the social media sphere scratching their heads about this new "Internet-fame" monster. Some are perplexed by the weirdness of someone who would continually bully her way into situations and then complain about it, while others hope that nobody takes Wired's take to heart and actually tries to use this type of marketing to promote anything of consequence.

All of which begs one question: is the promotion of a non-brand (Allison) a business model in the 2.0 world?

My gut says no. There isn't a person in the technology world that I know (and the world is way too big to know everyone) who takes anything she does seriously. It's more side-show than sensible.  Those people tend to hang on but my sense is it gets much more difficult for them as time goes by.

Then again, the Web has opened up new opportunities -- a reality-television type experience we haven't seen before.

By Brad at 12:31 PM | Comments (0)

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