Bloggers are the new celebrities. And new social media is the way to stardom.
I remember reading this about two years ago and back then it seemed like a fearless prediction. But now, with the advent of new social media incorporating itself into our routines, checking someone’s page (i.e. blog, facebook account,twitter account and other new social media accounts) has been converted from a To-Do to an instinctive reaction to the glare of the monitor.
As for me, I have been addicted to a lot of blogs. And is currently on rehab due to an acute stalking addiction.
Most cyber pages I visit are about fashion and arts and crafts. And oh!photography. And books. And quotes. And writing. And movies. Yes, the list is never ending, thanks to my tumblr dashboard which serves as a portal to new, unexplored kingdoms in cyberspace. My blogs-to-visit list is also continually revised that I now think it is dynamic. I can be hooked with one blog now and forget all about it after months. But some blogs, never quite lose that first time charm that I cannot give them up.
So how does visiting a blog and/or other social media accounts become an addiction? And more importantly, how do these people become irresistible, you follow their every move(in this case, every post) and forget the time when they were unknown to you.
This has been a rather intriguing thought I’ve been having lately and to tell you the truth, this blog post’s objective is to unravel this mystery and is fueled by the hope of discovering a page’s trail towards stardom. Here are some of my observations.
Are you user-friendly?
Although you can never control the people who might come upon your cyber page, it is important to make your page as friendly as possible. With this vague term I mean you must write as though you were talking to the reader yourself. Write as though you’ve known the reader since grade school. I know. Cliché. Trash talk. But admit it, this works. Most people visit cyber pages to take a break from their highly formal, rule-governed realities.
They do not want to talk about your financial report or the new law in verbatim. They want to know what you ate, what made your day special, what made you scream in frustration. People need to know they are not alone in their miseries and inspite of their day’s malfunctions, there could always be tomorrow. Yes, cyber pages are full of trivialities like photos of ordinary things, of ego-centered realizations, and nonsensical status updates. But this is the charm of these pages. They do not talk about cancer and recession. They are introducing you to details that are intended to make you feel that you are welcomed to another person’s mental space , into another world,introduced to another way of looking at things.
Way past reader-friendly
If you’ve read my previous posts you’ll know how much the internet is a very dangerous place, in fact it can be a battlefield. As much as I advice the importance of being cautious, I noticed that one important move mastered by cyber celebrities is that they take the reader-blogger relationship to a higher level. To that of friends. (Or cyber friends if you only allow computer-mediated conversations, which by the way are oftentimes more practical). When one has established (cyber)friendship with another person, the possibility of more regular and frequent page visits will be stronger since you already see the blogger/page owner beyond the content of his/her page. After all, the main goal of new social media is to create relationships through conversations. So engage in conversations with your page visitors. Reply to their comments. Acknowledge their presence. And watch as word of mouth unleashes its power.
Be different but not too different
Variety. Uniqueness. Witty posts. Obviously, people use the internet for an almost infinite number of reasons and they have come upon your page for an almost infinite number of reasons too. It is a given that as the cyber universe continues to mimic the growth of our ‘real’ Universe, your cyber page (If you have one) has millions of competitors out there, so it is very very important that you engage your audience at first contact. There’s no single formula and evaluating your success in engaging your audience can be subjective. In the end, holding their attention will eventually depend on the commonalities of your interests and preferences. Some of my favorite blogs and the blogs I do not tire of, offer a variety of alternatives to their ‘regular programming’ like give-away promos and interviews of other bloggers.
Don’t keep ‘em waiting for too long
I guess this is the rule of cyber stardom, you have to keep them updated. Yes, even if you just had your nails painted a new shade of rainbow. This is the charm of twitter, it can make you feel as close as possible to the person since you know his/her thoughts, what he/she did for the day and all of these information in real time. You need not wait anymore for E!News or in case of non-showbiz celebrities, you need not hire paparazzi anymore.
This is very very convenient for stalking. A disclaimer though, more information does not mean better communication and computer-mediated relationships cannot replace ‘real’ relationships in a ‘real’ world where no glaring monitor can block your facial expression.
Another disclaimer, this is not a formula for winning the Most-Number-of-Hits Award or for establishing a cyber page religion(if there is such thing as that).
New Social Media has indeed changed our way of looking at and ‘creating’ celebrities. Once upon a time, they were usually actors and socialites who live in Mt.Olympus. We have no direct access to them. We are limited in the temples of cinemas and were always waiting for them to appear on our televisions. Now we can talk to them, read some of their thoughts, know what they plan to eat for dinner and sometimes, be the much needed 1 millionth follower for them to be catapulted to celebrity status.