Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Famous On the Internet

I see some are comparing the haves and have-nots of Wikipedia. Last time it was Google numbers. Yes, friends, the vanity of the web's super heroes is showing. Of course, being mammals and web geeks, we their fans, turn that into hierarchy:

"You aren't listed in WikiPedia? How CAN I be related to YOU???"

Tough life for sidekicks, too.

"Well, yeah, you sorta came up with the idea, but I WROTE THE CODE!!!"

There are two distinct forms of fame on the internet:

o Wikipedia famous: has a distinct wikipedia entry containing approved facts about the person of note. This is bounded fame. It's value proposition is location. In this sense, the fame is bounded within an ambient: typically, professional contributions establishing authority.

o Google famous: has no Wikipedia entries but many entries in various sites such that the person is often referenced in conversations. This fame confers no authority yet is unlimited. The fame cannot be bounded within an ambient as this form of fame has no operational boundary. This is folk fame, aka, legend.

Examples of either form of fame are easy to find. Since folk fame could become WikiPedia fame, the Wikipedia entry is a star on the walk of fame, not the restaurant at the end of the walk.

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