Fiat Lux

It's Latin for 'Let there be Light'

It’s not “Facebook Fatigue”, it’s the price of fame

on July 29, 2007

So in cruising through Techmeme recently, one issue that keeps popping up is “Facebook bankruptcy”. Jason Calcanis has had enough. Om Malik thinks he has a point (although Scoble doesn’t). I think they are asking the wrong questions.

It seems to me the issue is not so much whether or not Facebook sucks — for the record, I don’t think it does — but the nature of celebrity in a connected world, and more specifically, of celebrity in a realm where the downside of fame is less a part of the mental map.

It’s expected that for an actor or a singer or even a sports star, part of fame is that people want to know you, in any way they can. You’ll be accosted by fans looking to shake your hand, get an autograph, or pose for a photo. Your phone number and home address (not to mention your e-mail) will be a guarded secret. I could go on, but this stuff is so widely known and accepted that I really don’t need to belabor the point.

On the other hand, only a tiny number of people in the tech world have ever had to deal with the fame effect on a regular basis. Until social networks came along, that is. Now, people whose day to day lives were previously normal are experiencing the Internet version of the fame effect. And no surprise, they don’t like it.

I suppose I don’t blame them. I’ve only been recognized once, years ago, on Long Beach Island the summer I was doing stock theater there. It was a weird feeling.


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