I had a nice convo with some fellow bloggers in the Samsung Blogger Lounge. On people. I admit, it was none too pretty. See, bloggers hate people with augmented egos. The Austin Convention center is packed with everyone that has a say in interactive, digital and social media. Guy Kawasaki, Brian Solis, Jeremiah Owyang, Gary Vaynerchuk,… they are all here, sharing their knowledge and experience passionately with the #SXSW audience. That is what makes #SXSW so special, and different from other conferences: The people that are on panels and keynotes mingle with the audience like bourbon in martini. No gap, no distance… there might be some ego, but it is cute and manageable.
Unfortunately, swarming this year through the hallways, hunting for fame like the undead people hunt for blood, is a whole army of wannabees. People who are on panels, or trying to sell me their book, and forcing upon me their business cards. People I’ve never heard of. People who are not showing up on Google. People with fewer followers on Twitter than my neighbor’s dog. People with no hard-wired verifiable results in any business or consulting endeavor. People who ask me to do an interview with them. People with strange titles and strange behavior: Ninjas. An Online Merlin (kidding you not), some Gurus, Social Rainmakers, a Connection engineer (!), an EVP social connectivity: you name it.
When you engage with them, you notice immediately the empty shell, and the self-promotional complex. A girl with a video blog introduced herself at my blogger table with: “Hi, I am Alicia, and I am kinda famous”. Dear Alicia. You cannot be a bit pregnant; you cannot be a bit famous. You are famous, or you are not. And… we will be the judge of that.
Honestly, the social space is not that big. If you were good, influential, remotely brilliant, thought provoking, funny or even vaguely interesting, we would have found you by now. Becoming famous first starts with becoming good in something. Good luck, Alicia, maybe next year.