One of the themes that has been more widely discussed in this blog has been Web 2.0 and its consequences and side-effects. Seen as microblogging and microfilm are themes that have already been discussed here, I thought this would be a good time to talk about "microcelebrity". However, before I get into that subject on another entry, I'd like to introduce it here.
When television first started creeping into our living rooms, its purpose was purely to entertain, it was still of a sheer entertainment nature, that is, the other side of the tv screen was reserved for a precious few, those who were famous enough, and that could either end up in a dream wedding with a prince or in a car accident at high speed. Television was just another way of entertaining ourselves. However, once it started crawling into our homes, this new device started to change, albeit slowly, entertainment's own nature.
Yet, we had to wait until the end of the 20th century for the widespread of technologic and electronic developments to start revolutionizing television. Up until then, apart from the introduction of colour tv and of a better sound and image quality, little had changed in television's technology. The last twenty-five years of the 20th century have widespread the use of the video camera, the video game, the personal computer and VCRs. All these gadgets are, in one way or another, connected to the tv and have, therefore, contributed to two main changes: the number of television sets per household has increased and being on tv is easier and easier.
At this point, the television goes from being an electronic fireplace (able to gather the entire family around it) to multiplying itself throughout the household, in a formidable number of tv sets. But, more than that, this globalization process has been promptly incomporated by the television industry in the form of the ever-present reality show, a mainstream form of entertainment that gives everyone the opportunity of going from obscurity to celebrity through public humiliation or overcoming. In spite of some obvious leaps of logic, we could say that 'celebrity' has left the realm of the untouchable semi-gods for a place among the 'chosen'. It has been democratized.
And thus we prepare for a next stage, the digital revolution. If the last century saw the widespread of the tv set, the beginning of this century has seen the globalization of our 'interaction with the screen' and the Web 2.0 has definately given us the tools for us to step into the other side of the screen and start a new era in the 'history of celebrity' - the era of 'microcelebrity'.
More about this subject in a future post...