ROFLCON: Opening Keynote : The Bryant Park Project ROFL Con: Is internet fame like other fame?
NPR logo ROFLCON: Opening Keynote

ROFLCON: Opening Keynote

David Weinberger, so smart he's pixelated. Ian Chillag/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Ian Chillag/NPR

The ROFL Con opening keynote is now going on. David Weinberger, Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, is at the mic deconstructing what fame on the internet means, and why we take things on the internet and make them famous.

Part of what he's saying is that we feel like we know people on the internet, and we trust bloggers precisely because they do not seem expert. If what they're saying isn't polished, how could it be spin? In his words, "we pre-emptively forgive bloggers," and "perfection is the enemy of credibility." To paraphrase, internet consumers believe if it was made by a human being it should smell like a human being.

He goes on: "fame, in the broadcast world, is binary. You're famous, or you're not." In internet fame, it's a continuum. There are people here who are wildly famous in this room, but wouldn't be recognized right outside. I have to say, everyone seems to treasure that fact. There's a sense in this room that these aren't distant celebrities, they're family.