Peter G (sinetimore) wrote,
Peter G

Natural Selection -- Don't You Miss It?

It's one of those little things just made of stupid.

Charlie Sheen created a web show, Sheen's Korner, that debuted on Ustream on Saturday night.  Sheen is saying, if the show is popular enough, he will do it daily.  Don't you threaten me, you son of a bitch.  The format was basically cable access with more money for the set.  Segments included "Wish They Were Me," "Weighing In With Rick" (a segment featuring Rick Calamaro, Sheen's assistant), and people Sheen would like to be for ten minutes.  He continued to force his "winning!" meme, even showing he has it tattooed on his wrist.

Sheen, however, is making a critical mistake that a lot of attention whores on the Intertubes make.  He is assuming e-fame is the same as real fame.

The hit counter fluctuated through the broadcast, but it peaked at 113,251.

To put that in perspective, Two And A Half Men has averaged 14.2 million viewers this season.

Sheen's own Twitter account has about two million followers.

Does this sound like "winning" to anyone out there?

A lot of people assumed that the instant attention the Internet gave them was some measure of success.  Just ask Tay Zonday, who thought the following Chocolate Rain garnered would translate into record sales.  It didn't.  Sonicrocksmysocks is the most viewed "artist" on deviantART with 1.5 million.  If she ever released a comic book with her static Mary Sue, it would never sell.  Meanwhile, my friend Franchesco has done work for the bigs and doesn't have anywhere near the following she does.

Here's the thing to understand about your Internet presence -- you are ultimately not a real person there.  You are just a bunch of words on a display, like a web page or something.  There's a reason there are so many trolls and atrocity tours and such.  From people adopting personas that are nothing like they are in real life to potentially living down the street from you but because we don't really know our neighbors we'd never know it was them, the Internet reduces everybody something to simply react to.

At one convention where I was selling my comics, a guy looked over Sound Waves and raved about how great the comic was.  The art was engaging.  The characters were interesting.  The jokes were actually funny.  "Why aren't comic shops carrying your book?" he asked in exasperation.  Then he left without buying a single issue.  I thought, This is why they aren't stocking it.  It's one thing to hope for something to do well.  It's a whole other thing for that to actually happen.

Sheen somehow thinks that he has billions of fans.  And yet less than 1% of his Two And A Half Men viewership checked out his web show.  Sheen is too full of himself to parse the numbers and realize Tubgirl has more viewers than he did.  He better realize soon that the more he acts like this, the more the general public that actually pays to watch his "magic" is going to go away.  All he'll have left is 'Netizens who are going to forget about him when the next celebrity publicly self-destructs.  Do not assume your audience will follow you anywhere and will buy anything you do.  It's what killed prog rock.  It's what killed Mel Gibson.  And its axe is aiming right for Sheen next.
Tags: art, comic books, comics, did not do the research, don't try this at home, haven't we suffered enough, important life lessons, self reflection, sound waves, stupidity, technology is a beautiful thing, this ought to be interesting

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