Cultivating Online Personas

In New York Magazine, Rex Sorgatz lays out a few simple steps for finding internet fame, The Microfame Game and The New Rules of Internet Celebrity — New York Magazine: “It’s easy to be cynical about this new class of celebrity. The lines between empowerment and self-promotion, between sharing and oversharing, between community and cliques, can be blurry. You can judge for yourself whether the following microcelebs represent naked ambition, talent justly discovered, or genius marketing. The point is that renown is no longer the exclusive province of a select few. Nano-celebrity is there for the taking, if you really want it.”
While some personalities seek out internet fame, others have it unwittingly thrust upon them.
At Concurring Opinions, Deven Desai asks, Do We Need an Internet Ed. Class?
“Internet Ed. at an early stage might address the possible generation gap in understanding what is privacy and how the Internet works. Like driving, using the Internet can open up tremendous possibilities for fun and for work. Like driving, irresponsible or uninformed Internet use can lead to undesired consequences. Like driving, horror stories of how a picture from a drunken party ruined someone’s job prospects may not deter irresponsible Internet behaviors across the board. Still, by setting out the way in which irresponsible or immature behaviors such as sharing too much information about one’s personal life, not checking about how a site uses personal financial information, and childish rants can affect one’s life, people would have some sense of the possible repercussions of their acts.”
I agree that education about how to avoid undesired online notoriety (or maintaining personal privacy) is important, but only half of an “internet ed” class– the other half is on information literacy– the skills of finding reputable sources of information and assessing the quality of sources and channels. This includes not only sources of academic research, but also e-commerce sites and social networking sites.