The YouTube Celebrity in You

Jan 11, 2012

In 2007, Tay Zonday uploaded his video, “Chocolate Rain” to YouTube.  Before the rain soaked the ground, it became a viral sensation. Unlike many VH1 one-hit-wonders, Zonda’s career continues to thrive more than five years after the chocolate storm ran its course.  For musicians, finding a label was been traditionally been the way to stardom. For aspiring actors, heading to Hollywood has been the well-trod, yet equally unreliable gateway. Would-be YouTube celebrities can come from anywhere. While becoming a viral sensation is still a crap shoot, there are some best practices and emerging on how to best make, and then sustain, a DIY online brand.  Ben Austen, contributing editor for Harper’s Magazine, explores how YouTube users are recreating the studio concept in the January issue of Wired magazine. Produced by Chris Cuffe