Well, I’ve had an old goal reignited. I aspire to be an internet sensation for no reason other than being me. I recently had my “internet fame,” as my friends and I jokingly refer to it, when a Buzzfeed article (see here - 27 Problems Only Introverts Will Understand) was posted that utilized a forgettable meme a student made of me a couple years ago. Since then, I have attempted my own Buzzfeed articles (if they can really be called that) to success and come to some realizations about “making it” in the world.
It all started with that Introvert article. I had like, 20 friends repost it or contact me saying “OMG… is that YOU? #12?!” Well, the answer was yes. It was pretty awesome because it made me realize just how easily / lucky internet fame could be. How peculiar that the Buzzfeed editor who made that list stumbled on my neglected meme that was created two years ago and selected it for her list… and even odder that my friends all found that, randomly, before even knowing I’d be there. It’s like running into somebody in another state completely unexpectedly! I’m hardly famous. My face has been seen by 3.5 million people, but the meme isn’t being used elsewhere or spreading around the internet.
Nonetheless, seeing this has made me WANT to be a meme. I understand memes tend to be making fun of the person involved, but they can also lead to money. Monetizing a meme, once it goes viral, is not that difficult. If you’re really popular you might get book deals with huge advances, plenty of YouTube followers and thus ad revenue, and the ability to sell out and license yourself to television ads. I hear these people can often ride this to multiple year’s salaries. HA Talk about the “easy” way.
I located a bunch of my weird photos, because, being quirky and awkward, I have many, and posted them around to meme sites. Unfortunately, people don’t take kindly to “new content” so they mostly get ignored or down-voted or met by insult. I discovered Reddit can be a pretty mean place. However, there are more ways to get noticed.
I wrote my own Buzzfeed article / list inspired by the Introverts one – 31 INFJ Problems. It is certainly getting visited and my posts on Reddit and INFJ forums are met with more up-votes and positive comments than my meme ones. I’m not surprised. I think a lot of people who look at memes are rude and childish. Or, that could be a terrible assumption / generalization. Thankfully, my friends who are meme-obsessed like me are some of the good apples.
I also made a Buzzfeed article about Doctor Who – 29 Undeniable Reasons The Doctor And Clara Are In Love. I know that catering to these niche audiences like INFJs or Whovians is a good way to get leverage and they already have forums and places that posting the article proves to be a ticket to hits. Creating a positive online identity is important to finding ways to get yourself noticed or make money. As such, I need to have THIS blog be interesting. I need my profiles to be well-made and I need to be careful about how much personal information I put out there.
I don’t feel shame in wanting to exploit myself for money. I have no job and even if I did, this has always been something I aspired to. I won’t be working in a high paying field. I have medical bills and student loans, don’t own a car, and have yet to be able to take any vacations. Granted, I’m not keen on the idea of traveling without a companion anyway, but the money isn’t there if I wanted. If I can market myself or get lucky using the internet, it would be wrong not to try. Money doesn’t lead to fulfillment or companionship, but it can provide happiness that broken cellphones and debt don’t. I’m not musically or artistically talented. My talent may very well be in making fun of myself. Plus, writing short stories or articles and getting them published would help make me “hireable” and assist my future dreams of getting my passion project children’s books published. People are far more likely to publish a book written by “Bad Luck Brian” or “iJustine” than that guy down the block.
The nice thing about finding a level of internet notoriety is I could still work in a library and write books, but I would be able to make some money on the side and improve my name recognition. I’m not looking for a way to avoid working in life… that sounds unfulfilling and truly lazy. I want to work and make a difference, but I want to have time for friends, family, and, as an introvert, recharging. I think society expects FAR too much out of us for the hours we must work each week to survive. That’s another rant for another time, but for now, I just want a bit of internet fame because it would be the perfect kind for an introvert :) I am definitely going to try to get some more meaningful things published and use my obsession and passion for social media to my advantage.
EDIT: While writing this blog about 8 hours ago a stream of awesome things have occurred:
- I received an e-mail telling me I had received “Cat Power.” You can get up to 5 “cats” on your profile on Buzzfeed and I have already received my first. I expect my second shortly as my lists continue to be viewed.
- I received an e-mail that there were new comments on my post. I go to it and see the Associate Editor has replied comically to my Doctor Who post.
- A few minutes later I get another e-mail that my post has been promoted to the FRONT PAGE of the Buzzfeed Community section. Not quite BUZZFEED front page because that’s reserved for employees, but OMG. This is awesome. Encouragement goes a long way with making me realize I can do things, even petty, silly, pointless things like posting 29 Doctor Who gifs with captions.
- Not long after that I received an e-mail that my other post was also promoted to the front page. Now I have two front page posts.
As of now, the INFJ article has over 17,000 views and the Doctor Who one has a surprisingly low 5.4 thousand. With such an enormous fan base, I expected it to go further, but I will definitely work to promote it more. The INFJ article has been shared 19 times via e-mail and has 624 Facebook “shares.” I checked out the comments on Reddit and searched twitter and was astonished to see people sharing with friends and complimenting the work.
People I had never met and never will posting things like “31 INFJ Problems – that’s me!” “INFJ probs. #24, (OK #21 too), #17, #16, #12, OMG definitely #11 and #7 (cause I’m embarrassing).” “if you ever wondered what it is like to be me…”
Keep an eye out for me, because I’m going places.