Internet Creating Web Celebs

March 14, 2006 -- -- The Internet is a vast expanse crammed with so much information, people and activities that it's hard for an individual to stand out.

But whether it's a result of being in the right place at the right time,or the wrong place at the wrong time, the Web has raised high its own crop of stars and starlets -- and the list is growing.

The already famous use it to sound off about their personal beliefs and to promote their already robust careers, the wannabes fight tooth and nail to turn themselves into Page Six headlines, and others gain fame and infamy for things that make them wish they had remained just another face in the crowd.

Self-Made Celebrity

Featured on the cover of Stuff magazine's April issue, Tila Tequila -- or Tila Nguyen -- is one of the bigger "Web celebs" with a MySpace page that boasts 800,000 members.

Known for her brash attitude, skimpy clothing, and killer good looks, Tequila has promoted her rock band, modeling career, and personal fan club through her MySpace site -- the largest in the network.

"I'm no girl next door, I'm the b-- down the street," she proclaims on her site.

That may be so, but the site has had more than 2.9 million visitors since its creation in September 2003.

Tequila is a master of marketing herself. She's been able to turn her success on MySpace into a career that keeps her on magazine covers, playing concerts and generating buzz.

Those That Don't Want to Be Famous

While Tequila capitalizes on her success in cyberspace, there are the less fortunate who become famous despite their best efforts to remain anonymous.

A few years ago, a video appeared on the Internet of a teenage boy doing something every geeky kid who's seen a "Star Wars" movie has probably done at one time or another.

Ghyslian Raza of Quebec videotaped himself twirling around and lashing out at the air while playing with a long pole as if it were a light saber.

When the tape made it onto the Web, Raza found instant notoriety as "Star Wars Kid." Dozens of remixes were made, some adding special effects and music.

Though a good laugh for some, Raza was devastated, and it was widely reported that the boy was forced to drop out of school and seek counseling for the trauma he said he suffered.

Raza's story was covered by both local and national media, and sparked numerous fan sites that have carved out a place for him in Internet lore.

The Heavy Hitters

In recent years, blogging has started to hit the mainstream, and celebrities -- and their publicists -- haven't missed the boat.

As the Internet has continued to become a better and better way to reach huge numbers of people -- and potential consumers -- celebrity blogs have appeared all over the Net.

Donald Trump, aka "The Donald," talks business and marketing on his blog, while Barbra Streisand dishes on her music, life and career on hers.

Readers will find documentary filmmaker Michael Moore blogging about politics on his page and Deepak Chopra chatting about spirituality and life on his Web page.

Some take it a step further, like columnist, author and political commentator Arianna Huffington.

Last year she started the, where she and her staff can collect and share news stories they believe are important, and where Huffington can blog about her opinions.

The site includes other celebrity bloggers like Bill Maher, standup comedian and host of HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher," for maximum firepower,

Where's the Virtual Rat Pack?

We've yet to see an Internet version of Tom and Nicole … or Penelope … or Katie, but it's possible that a celebrity will rise from the Web that has red-carpet appeal.

Already, many have parlayed their Web success into "real-world" success and made a name for themselves doing it.

But maybe, with time, success on the Web will mean you've arrived, rather than you're still getting there.

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