Internet Famous

Dana Blankenhorn and Paula Rooney over at ZDNet hit it on the head. Bob Young, Eric Raymond, Bruce Perens, Linus Torvalds -- put these men in a line-up and most people wouldn't know who they were. Is celebrity contradictory to open source? The open source community as a whole does not lend itself to "look at me".

Here at SxSW Interactive we're learning about "Internet Famous". There was even an entire session dedicated to it. Internet Famous are those who have some degree of on-line fame or notoriety, most notably the latter of the two. Paparazzi sometimes follow them around. There are even gossip pages about them.

This Sunday at SxSW we witnessed the making of the newest member of the Internet Famous when a journalist became the story at the Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook) keynote. Many of us had never heard of Sarah Lacey, but when her interview with Zuckerberg bombed and the crowd revolted, suddenly she was the talk of the Internet. While I sat in the keynote, I watched the fame build first-hand via hundreds of Twitters , sms-es and blog posts. An Internet Star was born.

SxSW has been an interesting learning experience but we prefer to look up to our Bob Young, Eric Raymond, Bruce Perens and Linus Torvalds (and oh-so-many other open source contributors and leaders) any ol' day.


Carlie Fairchild is the publisher of Linux Journal.