On Being Internet Famous: A Tip From Half Of Your Audience

I just unsubscribed from a popular tech feed on all platforms: Twitter, Facebook, G+ and Youtube. The person behind the brand produces quality content and I have enjoyed his videos, to the point that I endure his excessive self-promotion. It’s seriously a never ending cascade of Look at me! Subscribe! Watch my videos!

People gotta make a living, and if I appreciate your work I will submit to this neediness in order to be updated on your latest work. I prefer people who manage to self-promote without being annoying, like Wil Wheaton or Neil Gaiman. They both believe in an end goal of being awesome, rather than an end goal of being Internet Famous. And truly, that is the secret to being Internet Famous: just be awesome. Do awesome things. People will pay attention. If there is anything the internet loves, it’s AWESOMENESS!!!!!

So this tech guy, in an attempt to be humorous, decided to send out a fat girl joke. And there’s just one problem with this:

Half of the people on the internet, and on the planet,
are women.

I know, he’s a tech guy and a geek so he probably assumes his audience is only male, right? Well, after posting a misogynistic joke that may now be correct, but in general it’s wrong. Not only are there a lot of women in the tech fields, there are also a lot of women interested in tech. Also, women like to laugh. Regardless of our weight. So funny tech is right up our alley.

So women will subscribe. They will share your content with their friends, some of whom are female. They will tweet you. They will Like you on Facebook.

Until you post fat girl jokes. Then they will quietly unsubscribe and go catch up on XKCD. And you will be that much farther from being Internet Famous.

But hey, it’s a free country and you can broadcast whatever message you like via social media. You can even try little experiments. Try shooting out a racist joke and see how many people unfollow. Or make a joke at the expense of GLBT people and see how your metrics fall.

Sure, you can claim they don’t get your sense of humor, but then you’ll start noticing that your fan base is full of bigots. Then you will notice that people don’t like to hangout where there are bigots. And you’ll be frustrated because even though you produce great content, you’re not getting closer to being Internet Famous, and now you’re surrounded by people that are kind of gross.

Oh, and those women you offended? They’ll be following Violet Blue, Tara Tiger Brown, Felicia Day and Bonnie Burton, who all manage to be smart, funny and geeky without telling misogynistic jokes. Oh, yeah, and they’re Internet Famous. Some coincidence, huh?

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