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IFDP – Internet Famous, Dirt Poor

I had a chance last week to chat with Mac McIntosh last week, I first met him a few years back when he was speaking at a MarketingSherpa event, he came away as the highest ranked speaker of the event and stood ahead of the rest of the crowd. I stole one of his techniques immediately – he was on the second day of the event and he kept notes of the previous presenters and integrated some of their points into his slide deck on the fly. By building on the presenters before him he had a distinct advantage over a presenter who just showed up for their time slot.

The reason I bring this up is that Mac has been doing consulting for years and doing it for a living.  A sharp contrast from “social media experts” who sheepishly admit that there is not enough going around yet to “quit your day job”. This ties into two things that I’ve seen bouncing around lately – one is the idea of Internet Famous, Dirt Poor. There’s a growing number of people who have thousands of followers and are well know worldwide, yet have no way to monetize this. Unless you are famous for a reason that is going to bring you some money all you are left with is an overflowing inbox and maybe even some stalkers.

On the other hand, there is some karma at work. If you have a network of thousands, there’s some benefits that indirectly can help you out. The next time you are looking for a job you won’t have to wade through a bunch of Monster Postings or spend a lot of time digging. You can also get most questions answered quickly by tapping into the shared wisdom around you. But again – nothing concrete to pay the mortgage and bring the box of Yodels home for the kids.

The other thing rattling around in my brain lately is the idea of things that are boring, or incredible difficult (better yet, both) as things that generate value. The theory is that the more challenging or terrible the task, the better you can be paid for it. Anyone who’s had to call a plumber on a holiday after 10pm knows what I am talking about.

So here’s something to think about – are celebrities only walking and talking media products? Now that the amount of media that can be created has been expanded to everyone and the cost of transmitting it near zero, will celebrities be devalued the same way music has?

It’s all about boring. Talking with Mac