Dropping out of college can actually make you rich and famous. That is if you become a successful YouTube entertainer, posting online videos of yourself playing computer games. The same goes for sharing your experience unpacking new toys and gadgets. If you're not into gaming or consumer goods, the World Wide Web also has plenty of opportunities for activists and whistleblowers. Find out about the new VIPs who don't need TV or gossip columns to be recognized. Learn more from our special series "Celebrities of the Digital Age: How The Internet Can Make You Famous".
Becoming a celebrity on the Internet is easy. Some online personas prefer to shock their fans with their appearance or actions, others don’t do anything special, but try to keep in touch with their fanbase, making people literally addicted to seeing their faces.
They call themselves “legion,” but, at the same time, they claim that they are an idea rather than a group of people. It’s hard to say how large this decentralized community is, and who, exactly, are its members. But as their actions and messages always make headlines, people wearing Guy Fawkes masks are clearly becoming a new type of celebrity.
Back in the 1980’s pop stars, were asking their fans to “demand more MTV”. After the Internet revolution of the 2000s things changed so drastically, that modern celebrities didn't need MTV, or any TV for that matter, to get exposure. Now, literally anyone with a video gaming console, can become a star – all thanks to the “Let’s play” phenomenon.
In the late 80’s the “digital realm” consisted mostly of government and corporate networks, with only a few private enthusiasts trying to explore this hidden terrain. In a few decades, the Web changed the way people all over the world communicate giving enormous power to those, who used the Internet as a platform for advocating basic freedoms.