When an ordinary person becomes temporarily famous, there is a short window in which to make as much cash as possible. Whether you’re Tonya Harding or Monica Lewinsky, you need to exploit the short time you have to generate revenue from books, TV movies, blue dresses, etc.
It used to be that you’d have to achieve a certain level of national renown before you could cash in. There was a Warholian event horizon to cross. After all, if you’re only famous in Oregon, literary agents are hardly going to come knocking. The Internet, however, has changed all that.
Now, you can seek reward based on an extremely brief spike in attention. Save Karyn, the woman who got herself out of credit card
date debt through effective PR, is a classic example. Sure, she got some media attention, but if I asked people on the street ‘who is this ‘Save Karyn’ woman, 9 out of 10 people wouldn’t know. Still, she enjoyed enough online woofie to make, whatever it was, US $20,000.
There are plenty of similar shallow schemes to make cash, but without some online fame, you’re not going to get very far. I was thinking about this phenomenon when I read about BC’s own Mike Rowe (you remember him, don’t you?) selling his Microsoft Cease-and-Desist Letters and WIPO book on eBay. Why not cash-in while you can? In two weeks, nobody will remember who Mike Rowe is. So, if he can net US $30,320.00 (which I heartily doubt is a legitimate bid), then all power to him.