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Back in 1992 a national newspaper interview referred to me as being the first virtual celebrity, which wasn't really true. Sure, I had managed to build something of a high profile in the emerging world of the Internet courtesy of my Wavey Davey persona and a disregard for the traditional convention. However, that profile was helped along by my also writing some of the first books about the Internet to be published in the UK, helping launch such well respected (even at the time) magazines as .Net and PC Pro, and perhaps more than anything plentiful appearances on TV and Radio. Fleeting 'celebrity' status thanks to being on the tube is nothing new and presenting first a music programme and then a technology one played its part in my very fleeting indeed brush with fame.

Today it's a different type of tube that is helping create a culture of celebrity, and one where the virtual or online only tag is much more apt: YouTube. Who could forget the rise, and fall, of Gary Brolsma the Numa Numa man or the Sneezing Baby Panda for example? But every now and then someone finds virtual fame through YouTube for something perhaps a little more deserving than an ability to be stupid or finding themselves being filmed during an unintentionally funny incident. Someone like Justin Sandercoe, perhaps the first real virtual celebrity worthy of the moniker. Sure, many of you might now be saying 'Justin Sanderwho?' but if you have anything other than a passing interest in learning to play the guitar the name will be all too familiar.

Justin has tutored such famous musical artists as Katie Melua and Cathy Dennis to play guitar on tour, Brian May of Queen fame has invited him to jam in the afternoon, this is no wanabee guitar tutor just looking for publicity. Which makes the story all the more incredible. This man on a mission to teach the world to play has become a YouTube celebrity with fast approaching 60 million hits on his videos because he's giving something back. Justin is teaching people to play the guitar via YouTube for nothing, gratis, totally free of charge.

Of course, whether it was ever his intention or not when starting these free online video courses, the end result of those millions of hits and a devoted fan base with word of mouth about his rise to fame spreading so quickly is a waiting list as long as your arm for his paid for in-person services. Finding YouTube fame can, it seems, be a pretty guaranteed road to commercial success if you have a talent that people will pay good money for. Sorry, sneezing panda and fat naked dancing man, that probably does not apply to you.

From the first moment I decided that I wanted to be somebody, I knew that the only way to make it happen was to get personally involved and build a profile. For me that route involved the emerging world of the Internet combined with traditional media such as television and publishing. Today I'd probably just focus on the Internet part of the home-made-fame equation.

If you want to find fame online, although fortune is never guaranteed, YouTube would seem to be your starting point in 2010.

Edited by happygeek: n/a

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

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Last Post by gielea
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Yeah, viral videos, etc. are great but you're right, you have to be consistent. Having a concept that won't run out after a few episodes is important. And then, you have to run it like a business, build your popularity and then come up with clever ways of making money on it. Sell merchandise, sell advertising, etc. I think there are a whole lot of people who have earned themselves some flash-in-the-pan fame only to be swallowed up by all the other free stuff out there all the time. I love the idea of educating. Providing something unique and valuable and then making sure you get compensated. Easy, right ;)

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Promote yourself to the fullest. Treat the Web like your house: broadcast your IM screen names, URLs, and addresses always on the net, and give attention to everyone.
Construct a website site with personality if you want to build a buff.
Bring up to date with new audio and video clips. Images tell a story and some people are fond of looking at stories instead of reading them.
Get active interaction with those in forums and message board.
Additional option would be to get a job – an online job. Provided some cool ways to make money online, and take full advantage of them.

Edited by jusvie: n/a

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Pretty interesting, I think the web has given everyone a big chance to become celebrity. In 2007, I saw a guy from Sweden claiming to first person who went to Future and met himself as a 70 year old guy...

I don't know where is the limit.

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