Where are our online celebrities????


Liam Walsh writes: Celebrities play a key role in acquiring audiences.

While most of them are dreadful they do pull audiences.

On the visually deficient media, commonly known as  radio, broadcasters can testify it is their DJ’s that pull audiences.

The same applies to television, and to some extent in magazines and newspapers (albeit to a lesser extent).

Fairfax are promoting some bloggers and News Limited have some photos of writers but how many pull an audience?

One of the few that actually has identifiable celebrities is BusinessSpectator.com.au with the ABC star Alan Kohler and Steve B (not ABC). I dont have the stats but all reports are that this site is only a year old and it’s reach is in the hundreds of thousands in only one year! That is amazing growth from zero.

Where are the celebrities online?

My colleague on this little blog, Ben,  is avalable for video opportunities and his fees quite reasonable.

Ben Shepherd writes: One thing that I was taken back by when I went to the US was the rise of the Internet Famous celebrity. Over there they have net celebrities by the suitcase.

Kevin Rose, Julia Allison, Gary V, Calcanis, Arrington, Sarah Lacy … and even Scoble (sigh) are intense self promoters that are always out there online flogging their wares.

Some I think have greater aspirations of mainstream media acceptance (Vaynerchuk, Lacy, Scoble) and some have mogul aspirations (Arrington and Calcanis) … and some are just popular with the web nerds (Rose).

Australia lacks these Internet Celebs … but it also lacks web content providers who have any sort of profile. Liam talks about Kohler and the Business Spectators – who are really the only example of online journalists who have a real following based on their by-line. This is also starting to happen across the Crikey/Private Network as well – with Eric Beecher building traffic and businesses based on strength of content. As a result they are making big inroads on Fairfax’s AB audience (if you buy Private Media and The Australian you are getting a real chunk of real ABs now, and you don’t even need to go near Fairfax …)

Do AU internet based journo’s have much pull with their audience? I’d argue not really. I’ve never heard a large  publisher even mention the name of one of their writers as a way of showing their connection to an audience. Most of Fairfax’s great writers are buried under a plethora of feeds from AAP and the like … News Limited will push their writers on a site such as The Australian, but news.com.au not so much.

Personally, eventually there will be a need for publishers to differentiate … and strength of content and the trust that generates with the users seems like a good place to start. Who’s going to get the ball rolling?

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5 responses to “Where are our online celebrities????

  1. Denise Shrivell

    Ben – I am going to start the ball rolling!

    Working with an online editor at the moment for a magazine site that is about to be relaunched.
    Our focus will be very much on making her the ‘face’ of the site/brand and a ‘thought leader’ in the market category – as well as a strongly integrated off/online platform for readers and advertisers.

    Interesting topic and confirms we are on the right track with this project!

  2. I completely agree, and think that with media fragmentation trust will move from media brands to individual voices. It just depends who provides the most value for the audience.

    I’ll also add that I think Eric Beecher’s approach is fantastic and a big one to watch. He is building up a powerful network of valuable content and audience, and can repeat the recipe with minimal overheads and, (unlike other established media companies), risk of cannibalising existing revenue streams.

    This is a shameless plug and incredibly niche, but Trish Power (author of numerous superannuation and investment guides such as Superannuation for Dummies) and I have just soft-launched http://www.superguide.com.au – a simple, independent superannuation guide.

    Of course she is not a ‘celebrity’ but it’s a similar approach because she is a trusted authority within the super world.

  3. Ben & Liam. I agree and would say a major reason that we’re not seeing online personalities in Australia is that the major online publishers are still looked apon as another platform for their traditional press, magazine and TV content.

    It is simply more ‘efficient’ to build cross platform properties rather than build online equity only.

  4. Fully agree with Tony,

    But couldn’t it simply be a case of size of market. If you segment it down to celebrities per category, the numbers are just to small to be truly sensational?

    If you talk business spectator it would be interesting to see what their cost per unique has been over the past 12 months. amount of uniques averaged out over the past 12 months divided by the dollar amount spent on advertising it. Although I agree the concept is probably one of the best executed setups I have seen, I assume it didn’t all happen virally…

  5. Dancing Matt profits from YouTube jig

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/technology/web/that-goofy-dance-is-now-generating-big-bucks/2008/12/01/1227979903083.html?page=fullpage

    you got to hand it to a guy that can turn a bad dance into a career

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