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Blogebrities campaign for fair treatment

Want to have their cake and blog about it

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SXSW Professional bloggers have demanded to be taken still more seriously by mainstream media and have current measures of their blog-induced fame reassessed.

In a session at SXSW entitled "The Rise of Blogebrity", a panel including Valleywag's fired gossip funnel Nick Douglas and self-confessed "die hard feminist" and ex-Rocketboomer Amanda Congdon mused on what it is like to be mildly well known in the internet era.

Blog advertising broker Henry Copeland, who sells sponsorship for 100 million page impressions per month Hollywood gossip blog PerezHilton.com, complained the recent Forbes magazine Web Celeb 25 took less heed of audience figures, and more of who has access to friends in traditional media.

As Douglas sardonically pointed out though, fame in most forms is not necessarily related to achievements. He said: "How many people have actually seen any media involving Anna Nicole Smith and yet how many of us heard the news for a week when she died. If we're going to have fairness in the ranking of blogebrities then that would already be a one-up on normal celebrities."

Congdon, one of the few fortunates to have enjoyed extensive coverage of their ascent, railed against a persistant "stigma in Hollywood" surrounding online content, despite having signed on to produce online video for Disney-owned ABC.

Similarly, having parted company with the blog which made his name, Douglas set up his own geek lifestyle video show Look Shiny. He said: "[At ValleyWag] I could bore thousands of people a day. That's what I'm shooting for."

All four bloggers on the panel expressed resentment at being identified with one blog product, rather than as a public figure in their own right.

The question remains though as to why anyone should feel the need to deploy the abortion of a neologism that is "blogebrity". Actors aren't known as "pretendebrities", nor musicians as "tunebrities". In pushing for fair treatment in areas of legitimacy, top bloggers may also have to be willing to give up special treatment in terms of buzzwords and desperate-to-get-it magazine pieces from the likes of Time and Forbes. ®

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