Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How to be popular on the Internet (by Anna-Lisa Gottwald)

If you read my Friday twitter posts (and who doesn't?), then you have no doubt seen me RT a certain @asilannax. We first crossed paths way back on Stuff Chrisians Like. But unlike me, she doesn't feel the need to comment when there's nothing to add to the conversation. Like Travis, who guest blogged for me earlier in the summer, Anna-Lisa and I also share a birthday - August 5, in case anyone's interested. As you will see from the following post, Anna-Lisa is like me, only much younger and funnier. So, enough of me, here's Anna-Lisa:

When Kathy first asked me to write a blog post for her, my first thoughts were "Wait, write something longer than 140 characters? Is that even possible?" Needless to say, I'm a bit of a Twitter addict, but branching out is good, right?

Okay, now that the "What I First Thought Of When Bestowed With The Honor Of Guest Blogging For " paragraph is out of the way, we can get on to the topic at hand! I have decided to write about How To Be Popular On The Internet. I realize this makes me sound arrogant and self-important, but then I thought about the movie Remember The Titans. Imagine if their chant was "We are the Titans, the kinda okay Titans! We are the Titans, the slightly talented Titans!" No one would have cared about that movie. That movie would have sucked.

This post will mainly focus on Twitter, since that is my area of expertise, but it can be applied to most areas of the internet as well.

Step One:
What level of popular do you prefer?

The first thing to discern is which level of popular you want to be. Do you want to be a famous individual on your own, by your own humor, efforts, talent, and hard work or play off the mistakes of others?

The answer is always the latter. If you chose the former, you have no business being on the internet. You probably already have a steady job and should be answering e-mail from your iPhone or something right now. Get off of here, the Internet doesn’t want you.

I’m obviously making a joke here, but seriously, internet popularity is easier if you just latch onto some kind of bandwagon and either support it or mock the daylights out of it. Observe American Idol, tons of people use Idol to makes lots of friends and set up websites and gossip about how they “can’t BELIEVE she chose that song last night. It didn’t fit her vocal ability at ALL.” Or, you can choose the road I travel, (AKA The Road Of Awesome!) and use the internet to make fun of Paula’s boobs and Randy’s less than eloquent vocabulary.

There’s also the youtube approach, in which you have one thing that makes you popular for a month or so, before you fade out of existence forever. Forever being until someone’s grandmother finds you by some hole in the internet and forwards around to everyone in her e-mail contact list. When your grandmother e-mails you something, understand that it has officially cycled the entire internet. Please, don’t forward it. (This includes: Charlie bit my finger, any video of a baby laughing, something disastrous and/or unexpected happening at a wedding, any video involving an animal falling off of, or into, an object, or a video with an animal and some sort of skateboard) Rule Of Thumb: If it looks like it could be on America’s Funniest Home Videos, the internet has already seen it. On America’s Funniest Home Videos. But I digress.

Step Two:
Gaining friends

The only way to gain friends is to make your ACTUAL friends join your latest obsession and feed off of them. It’s like luring a tiger into a box with a chicken wing and then eating the tiger. Oh, that might be too offensive for PETA members. It’s like luring a tiger into a box with some tofu burgers and then eating the tiger.

It’s actually nothing like that at all, I just wanted to find an excuse to throw a tiger in this blog post somewhere. *High fives self*

Step Three:
Participate in stupid actions

Have you ever considering setting yourself on fire while jumping off of a five story building onto a trampoline into a pool? Quick, grab a friend and a video camera and go do it!* Is your house on fire? QUICK, tweet about it first! Hopefully everyone will forward your stupidity around the internet until you are famous….for….being stupid. Well, no one said fame didn’t come with a price.

*Anna-Lisa and Katdish cannot be held accountable for any injuries sustained from following this advice. (Bonus tip: don’t do anything just because someone on the internet told you that their cousin’s best friend’s grandmother’s aunt’s dog did it and they TOTALLY turned out fine.)

Step Four:
Purchase an animal

Despite what you might thing, animals bring about the best entertainment on the internet. A dog chasing his tail or a cat falling into an aquarium, while overdone, is also incredibly amusing. Or suppose you find yourself alone on a Friday night, a simple tweet about “sitting alone. On a Friday night :(” will not gain you friends. You will be laughed at. However, if you buy a cute kitten and write about how you “have a smoking hot date, and the only thing he asks of you is that you change his litter box” BANG! You are suddenly funny and endearing in your loneliness. Now, hopefully your new kitten likes to snuggle, because you’ll probably still end up crying yourself to sleep each night.

Step Five:
Be famous before the internet

The best, most guaranteed way of being famous on the internet? Do something awesome before you make your appearance on the internet. Be hilarious like Ellen Degeneres. Be hot like Megan Fox. (Good luck!) Start a cult like Oprah. The possibilities are literally endless!
(Please also note that I am in no way famous online, I just enjoy stalking people that are.)

For more from Anna-Lisa in 140 characters or less, follow her on the twitter: @asilannax
For more from Anna-Lisa in blog form, you can find her at Not that You Care, But...


Peter P said...

Great post.

You should have a regular spot here on HLAC!

I'm depessed now though.

I wanna be popular - and I want to look as hot as Megan Fox!

Candace Jean July 16 said...

Funny stuff, Anna-Lisa! Are you sure you weren't throwing tofu in there for my sake? Nah. But I do love the wrap on your twitter background. That's what initially endeared me to stalking, errr....following you.

Annie K said...

Well, I guess I'll go with #4. Although I think after the snow video Boz is more popular than me. I'll have to teach him some stupid dog tricks.

Oh wait...he already does those...

Anna-Lisa said...

You guys are great. I would comment further, except I am currently on a mission trip, so I should go do Jesus work, saving kittens and puppies and feeding orphans now. Or...y'know... Painting a wagon... :cough:

Nitewrit said...

And thus, I will never be famous as I twitter away into the cyber-sunset. But I do occasionally post a pet in my Blog or on Facebook and I do have a video of a cat doing something for YouTube. Oh, wait it isn't falling in or over anything. Maybe my problem is I don't have a space on MySpace. That must be it.

Larry E.

Nick the Geek said...

katdish, Anna-Lisa is being a bad influence on me. She just suggested I set myself on fire, jump from the 2nd story into a trampoline into a pool, and film it. Do you have any idea what kind of danger you have put my youth in now? I would never do that but I might film someone else doing it. You know I would.

You are going to have to start paying more attention to what you allow in your blogs.

Seriously though, although I am seriously trying to figure out the "safest" way to pull off that stunt, Anna-Lisa this was great and funny.

Jeanne Damoff said...

Ha! Awesome. 50 points to Anna-Lisa for making me laugh. 50 points to Katdish for hosting a post that made me laugh.

Anyone who high-fives herself is a kindred. Congratulations. Your popularity just got one person deeper.

Helen said...

This was really funny.

I could tweet about the Bunny in my yard. Then again, why bother. He has his own twitter account.

jasonS said...

Anna-Lisa- great stuff! I have promptly followed you and hope you'll return the favor so we can be popular together.

Also @Peter, you in drag as Megan Fox is going to give me nightmares...

Rebecca on The Homefront said...

Absolutely hilarious! Thanks for a great post, Anna-Lisa.

Annie, is it bad that as soon as I read the animal line I thought of Boz?

katdish said...

Who is Megan Fox? Am I that old?

Matt @ The Church of No People said...

Katdish, yes you are.

And an animal! That's what I've been missing. So much time wasted...

Billy Coffey said...

Oh no, a mini-katdish!

I cannot be popular individual on my own. I've tried that. I have no humor, make little effort, have negligible talent, and do not enjoy working hard. I always thought I was hopeless, but now I know I can find success by playing off the mistakes of others.

I think I'll start now, so:

Peter - if you want to be as hot as Megan Fox, we need to have a serious discussion.

Anna-Lisa said...

I love you all, if I could, I would hand every last one of you free kittens. If you don't like kittens, or are allergic to them, I'm sure there's some Chinese place nearby that would be more than happy to take them off of your hands.