The Curse of Weblebrity

GavDrew You know him. You have seen him across the crowded conference room floor. He looks just like he does online, except perhaps, more "real". Slightly older. Shorter. Younger than you expected. Taller. His voice is familiar, comfortable. After all, you have heard it a thousand times. And his smile, well, it’s just like the photo. But his laugh surprises.

As you walk across the room, you wonder how his family are settling back into city life after the recent holiday away … whether the goldfish survived … if the pitch for new work succeeded … together with a thousand  other thoughts. After all, there is much that you have shared.

You move closer, smiling, nodding, "nice to see you". And then it hits. A blank. "Your name?". You fumble around and manage to jam the two words of your name together in an intelligible jumble.

If this sounds familiar, then you have been hit with the curse of the weblebrity. This happens when you read someone’s blog and their Twitter stream — and perhaps a whole series of other "lifestreams" that are available via Flickr, FriendFeed, Plaxo, Plurk or Pownce — and become invested in their life, feeling like there is some connection between you.

But sometimes this connection is not reciprocated. The reader, or follower, does not necessarily comment, or comment regularly. They do not converse via Twitter or other conversational platform. This makes it difficult to connect reader with author, person with person. How can this be changed?

For readers — take some time to comment on your favourite blogs. Even a line or two can get you started. Connect professionally through LinkedIn. Check out Twitter and join the conversation.

But maybe you, yourself are a weblebrity. David Armano has a tongue-in-cheek checklist that helps you determine your weblebrity status. Point 1 is the wearing of a signature piece of clothing. In this photo above, with Drew McLellan, I am wearing David’s famous hat. I think that is about as close as I am going to get 😉


  1. Lovely post. A nice reminder that people are people: weblebrity (easy for you to say) or not.
    : P

  2. Hi Gavin, you look really great with the hat. Another blogging friend of mine looks distinctive as you do – Robert Hruzek.

  3. That’s a hell of a hat Gav.

  4. Jemma Enright says:

    This is spooky!!! I’ve just spent a while this morning reading some great blog content. About 10mins ago the concept dawned on me that I am reading more than I am contributing. This led to a few minutes of self-loathing. You know, “take, take, take and no give”. Then I came around to checking this out and whammo, a friendly reprimand. I call this “webkarma”. So here I post… and tomorrow I may post more and twitter more frequently. Thanks for the reflection.

  5. I WILL kidnap that hat.

  6. We certainly are two dashing fellows, if I do say so myself!
    And have you noticed that Armano has gone from cowboy to 007?

  7. Brilliant blog and so very true… hmmm as I’m trying to think what my distinctive grin would be? Does a cheesy grin count?

Read previous post:
Friday Folly: August 29, 2008

Now, I love the audacity of this, but I wonder who signed off on it ... and who the ad...