Fame: The Fifteen Minutes Has Changed

I'm not a big fan of fame for fame's sake.  Fame is vastly overrated if you ask me – and if you don't want to ask me, spend ten minutes online searching for celebrity meltdowns, famous scandals, and the like.  You'll quickly realize fame really is kind of overrated, and is too often transformed into infamy.

On the other hand, fame is a very useful tool – if you pursue it with the intent of actually using it.  Being known gets you jobs, gets you contracts, gets you roles, and so on.  Fame as a tool, where you are it's master not the other way around is quite useful.

So frankly, you're going to have to confront the issue of fame in your life and career – can you use it, how do you want to use it, how do you get the right kind, etc.

You'll also have to confront the fact that fame is changing in this age of high-speed culture and high-powered technology.  If being known is important to you (and in most geeky jobs it can be useful), you'll need to deal with these changes.

Andy Warhol really didn't know how things would change.

Getting famous on some level is really not hard if you put some effort into it – between Social Media, easy printing and print on demand, YouTube, HARO, and everything else you can easily develop something of a reputation and a following.

The problem?  Everyone else can do this too.

Fame has always been fickle, but as I noted above, anyone can use the modern tools available to them to get some level of fame.  This means any effort you make has to be persistent or self-perpetuating to make sure your public image is on message.

Of course there are times this fickleness could be an advantage, such as if you wanted to drop out of site.  The problem is . . .


In the internet age, in the age of digital media, you never know when you'll be in the spotlight.  If you leave the spotlight, then you'll have left an online trail of electronic records and a cultural trail of influence on people.  Your fame may follow you like it or not.

You're going to have to remember that if you want your time in the spotlight it might just follow you.

Fame is an ambiguous creature, stranger today than it's ever been.  The tools are there to make it, the fickleness means you have to keep it, and the trails you leave can have their own problems. 

If any of your work is going to put you in the public eye or require some level of recognition – and as noted, many geeky jobs are this way – you'll need a fame strategy.  Because fame is fast, easy, unpredictable, and at times persistent when you don't want it to be.

– Steven Savage