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ROFLCON: Fame! I'm Gonna Live for Seconds

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Ian Chillag/NPR

Back online at ROFL Con.

Most of the people here didn't set out to be famous. A few minutes ago I spoke with Ian Spector, who started Chuck Norris Facts. He's a 19-year-old pre-med student at Brown, and the origin of his meme? It was Saturday night and he didn't know where his friends were and didn't have anything else to do.

Now, I'm sitting in the day two keynote. Alice Marwick from NYU is on stage talking about fame, more specifically our desire for its trappings:

We think that fame means things will be perfect forever.

That's a key difference between traditional fame and internet fame. Most internet celebrities know that their meme will have painfully short lifespan. For some, it means cashing in while they can. For Ian Spector, it means defining himself as "pre-med," not as "that Chuck Norris guy."