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View Full Version : Forums and fame/success don't mix?



Lunatique
01-25-2012, 08:36 AM
I was just thinking about something odd.

I visit a bunch of forums for passionate, creative people--composers, musicians, photographers, artists, filmmakers, writers...etc. And there are two things I noticed:

1) I have never seen a member of a forum who started in the forum as an unknown, then later on become really famous/successful.

Those forum members who are famous/successful, were already that way (or almost there) when they joined the forums.

The only exception to this is commercial artists. I've seen plenty of forums members who started in the forums as aspiring visual artists, and then later on became very famous/successful, working on big Hollywood movies, AAA games, illustrating covers for well-known books...etc, and still participated in the forums. I have never seen the same thing happen in photography, filmmaking, music, and writing forums.

2) Those who are truly famous/successful (celebrity level) don't really participate in forums. This is easier to understand because at that level of fame, they usually have publicists and agents and whatnot, and they only focus on their own personal communication platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, or Blog. Openly participating in public forums would invite too much unwanted attention.

So what does all this mean? If you participate a lot in forums, you'll never make it big? (Oh Noes! We're all doomed!)

And all the big selling new authors in the last ten years--did any of them ever participate in forums before they made it big?

Anyway, just something that popped into my head. :Shrug:

Sarashay
01-25-2012, 08:41 AM
My back-of-the-envelope calculation would be that the more time you spend on forums, the less time you spend on your work, and success requires that you do a hell of a lot of work.

Kitty Pryde
01-25-2012, 08:46 AM
There are several members here who I would call famous (well known, big national tours, interviews, movie deals, uber-bloggers, midlist heroes). If'n you stick around I'm sure you will meet them and they shall inspire you!

AbielleRose
01-25-2012, 08:52 AM
I was just thinking about something odd.

I visit a bunch of forums for passionate, creative people--composers, musicians, photographers, artists, filmmakers, writers...etc. And there are two things I noticed:

1) I have never seen a member of a forum who started in the forum as an unknown, then later on become really famous/successful.

Those forum members who are famous/successful, were already that way (or almost there) when they joined the forums.

The only exception to this is commercial artists. I've seen plenty of forums members who started in the forums as aspiring visual artists, and then later on became very famous/successful, working on big Hollywood movies, AAA games, illustrating covers for well-known books...etc, and still participated in the forums. I have never seen the same thing happen in photography, filmmaking, music, and writing forums.

2) Those who are truly famous/successful (celebrity level) don't really participate in forums. This is easier to understand because at that level of fame, they usually have publicists and agents and whatnot, and they only focus on their own personal communication platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, or Blog. Openly participating in public forums would invite too much unwanted attention.

So what does all this mean? If you participate a lot in forums, you'll never make it big? (Oh Noes! We're all doomed!)

And all the big selling new authors in the last ten years--did any of them ever participate in forums before they made it big?

Anyway, just something that popped into my head. :Shrug:

I don't agree with this at all. Before Twilight made it big I was a member of a forum along with Stephenie Meyer. She was a very active member until her fame made it impossible for her to participate anymore due to the fans who stalked the hell out of her on there.

This place is a garden for authors and agents. A few days ago I came across a woman who's books I'm a fan of and who I follow on Twitter- had no idea she was an AW member.

Lunatique
01-25-2012, 09:01 AM
I don't agree with this at all. Before Twilight made it big I was a member of a forum along with Stephenie Meyer. She was a very active member until her fame made it impossible for her to participate anymore due to the fans who stalked the hell out of her on there.

This place is a garden for authors and agents. A few days ago I came across a woman who's books I'm a fan of and who I follow on Twitter- had no idea she was an AW member.

Oh wow, really? What forum was Meyer a member of?

AbielleRose
01-25-2012, 09:09 AM
I'm not going to give out the name, but it was a form that had nothing to do with writing. Forums are great tools to help writers connect with other people who understand their dreams and goals. Forums that don't center on writing also have nice communities for writers to connect.

Some people on the internet savor their anonimity, whether they're famous or not. It should be respected and not speculated on.

Cliff Face
01-25-2012, 02:49 PM
It's also possible that very famous people just don't identify themselves on forums...

I mean, if I ever became a huge success in something, I wouldn't give out my name on a forum in all probability. I'd still hang out on AW, I think... But I wouldn't be all, "Oh, yeah, that famous author on TV last week was me."

Just a thought.

KellyAssauer
01-25-2012, 03:37 PM
It's also possible that very famous people just don't identify themselves on forums...


Let me put this to bed once and for all.
I'm not really Stephen King.
There, I said it.

;)

Cliff Face
01-25-2012, 03:56 PM
So that autograph you sent me for my birthday isn't authentic?

Boy, that collector in Tokyo is going to be PISSED!

swachski
01-25-2012, 05:38 PM
I can't speak for anyone else, but my primary goal isn't seeking fame and fortune. Sure, it would be nice to get something published, but I became a member of AW to learn, and offer advice when I can, and meet people with a similar interest in writing.

So I wouldn't say any of us are doomed. I certainly don't feel doomed.

That Myan issue does still concern me a bit though.

shaldna
01-25-2012, 05:43 PM
Look at it this way, could you imagine what this place would be like if, for example, JK Rowling was a known member?

KellyAssauer
01-25-2012, 05:59 PM
If Meyer, King or Rowling were members (and who's to say they aren't) and identified as such... sure the traffic in here might go crazy, but it wouldn't change what I do or how I write. I don't read them or aspire to be them.

Archerbird
01-25-2012, 06:04 PM
I was just thinking about something odd.

:Shrug:

There was a couple of people I used to chat with on a music forum when I was a teenager. One of them ended up getting a record deal and another is a "celebrity-ish" person where I live. Then I know about some artists on another forum that managed to land themselves a great deal there.

I know about an actor (among other things) who comes around here every now and then, but...


It's also possible that very famous people just don't identify themselves on forums...

I mean, if I ever became a huge success in something, I wouldn't give out my name on a forum in all probability. I'd still hang out on AW, I think... But I wouldn't be all, "Oh, yeah, that famous author on TV last week was me."

Just a thought.

I don't think being on a forum or not makes any difference.

And becoming successfull usually takes a long time and a lot of work. No wonder if someone who have spent their whole day at a forum for two years haven't managed to get success yet.

BeatrixKiddo
01-26-2012, 01:42 AM
Let me put this to bed once and for all.
I'm not really Stephen King.
There, I said it.

;)

Liar. :D


Look at it this way, could you imagine what this place would be like if, for example, JK Rowling was a known member?

I'd just put her on "ignore". :D

Lucas
01-26-2012, 02:08 AM
This is a very dark and unrevelead secret which I am about to tell you. It is very possible that they could take me away to some sub-water underground base in Antarctica or something. :chair

Successful people don't exist. We have all been fooled.

Our reptilian rulers are knowing that we are up to them, and since we stopped believe in organised religion, they used their advanced inter-dimensional alien computer technology to create advanced nano-holograms depicting celebrities and successful people.

It is true that successful people once have existed as real individuals. Then they were kidnapped by our alien overlords, and screened. Out from their DNA, holographic nano-machines were assembled and put into motion to give an image of success. Then the originals are destroyed by being incinerated alive.

They did that so they would distract us and give us false dreams of attaining success, while they continue their nefarious plot to establish the satanic communist New World Order ruled from Jerusalem by the seven Pleiadian exarchs of Babylon.

Now when I have leaked this information, I expect a black car to park outside my tenement building and two men dressed in black trench-coats with fedoras to walk through my door.

They will insert an invisible metal tube into my rectum through which they will suck out parts of my brain, making me unable to control my speech, bowels and body movements, so that I will walk around embarrassed and appear as an idiot for the world so no one would believe my revelation.

:tongue

Priene
01-26-2012, 02:47 PM
Many famous people now were around before the internet and forums, and it could well be that they've never gone on one and wouldn't be interested. But the majority of people now coming up in any field will be on forums. If you develop an interest in something, you go looking for people with that in common. That's the modern way.

Oh yeah, and I once came across that Roger Daltrey on a forum.

seun
01-26-2012, 04:30 PM
It's true. I am Dan Brown.

Sophia
01-26-2012, 04:33 PM
No, I'm Spartacus!

zahra
01-26-2012, 06:32 PM
Lionel Shriver was on here, but flounced when we rubbished 'Kevin' on SYW.

Anne Lyle
01-26-2012, 06:48 PM
I'll let y'all know, when I become famous :)

jjdebenedictis
01-27-2012, 06:07 AM
I've talked to established (I don't know about famous, but recognizable) authors on Twitter.

It would be a little different on a forum. On Twitter, you have to essentially petition for someone's attention. On a forum, it's assumed that person will listen to you because you're all part of the same community.

I can imagine a writer remaining on a forum while they become famous, but joining a forum once famous...? I think that would be an unpleasant experience for anyone who wasn't narcissistic.

There would be at least some people who would fawn over you due to your reputation, rather than your contributions. There would be others who would snipe at you for roughly the same reason.

Anonymity would just remove the elephant from the room. If it were me, I'd definitely hide my identity.

PS - I'm Tolkien. And I look fabulous for my age.

backslashbaby
01-27-2012, 07:09 AM
I know somebody who is pretty famous (most US folks have seen or heard a show he's on) and he just doesn't tell that part about himself on forums. He doesn't use his real name, of course.

AAMOF, I don't know him through what he's famous for, either. My dad knew his dad, mainly (hard to explain, lol). It was before he got famous, too, so I'll just say Yay Him :D

Tedium
01-28-2012, 08:45 AM
I can imagine a writer remaining on a forum while they become famous, but joining a forum once famous...? I think that would be an unpleasant experience for anyone who wasn't narcissistic.

There would be at least some people who would fawn over you due to your reputation, rather than your contributions. There would be others who would snipe at you for roughly the same reason.

Anonymity would just remove the elephant from the room. If it were me, I'd definitely hide my identity.

That is the big issue. If someone who was a superstar in their field was a member of some forum or community, it's doubtful they would reveal their true identity.

I find that really sad, though. AW is set up as a community where we usually celebrate the success of others and give a pat on the back and sympathetic ear when things go down hill. Meyer or King wouldn't have that option. And it would be really hard for them to submit anything (not saying they would) to SYW. As soon as it was published everyone would know who they were. Either that or we would just spend all of our time chastising them for sounding too much like themselves.

It would be unrewarding and sad for any one who was super famous to be on these boards with any regularity. Sad, but unavoidable, I would think.

I think that is what those smaller groups, like Codex for example, are for. That way they can mingle and interact with people who are more on their level.

Anne Lyle
01-28-2012, 12:30 PM
There's also the issue that successful authors have probably made plenty of writer friends on their way to publication, so they don't need the support network provided by forums. I've certainly made lots of friends through conventions, many of whom are debut or fairly new authors like myself, and if I want beta readers, etc, that's where I'll tend to look first, not SYW :)

AW and its ilk are expressly designed to help new writers find out about how the business works so that they don't get scammed and to help them with knotty questions of grammar, etc. Established writers just don't need any of that.

The places I see published writers being most active is on the more fan-oriented forums, where they can answer questions about their own books rather than about writing in general. But most of my interaction with fellow authors happens one-to-one on places like Twitter, rather than in a group discussion like here.

backslashbaby
01-28-2012, 01:03 PM
They may not need the support, but experts often like to be the ones giving advice. Why wouldn't they stick around to answer questions and give advice to folks? A lot of people enjoy that without any reward :)

Cliff Face
01-28-2012, 01:24 PM
One problem that my egotistical brain has worried about a few times is, basically, that if I became Meyer/Rowling/King famous in the near future, and revealed my identity on AW, it could lead to the forum being flooded with people who shouldn't really be here - ie. they have no interest in writing, they just want to talk to me.

I don't think Mac would be happy if that happened.

/ego

Tedium
01-28-2012, 02:02 PM
Ha ha, I worry about stuff like that all the time. I think I might have a pathological fear of being famous, though. Something about always having the public eye on me freaks me out.

The upswing is, the more time I spend worrying about it instead of writing, the less likely it will be to happen. :P

Cliff Face
01-28-2012, 02:28 PM
I think I was born to be rich.

I wasn't born to be famous. Though I am working on changing that.

Sydneyd
01-28-2012, 03:09 PM
i joined this forum somewhat recently, but have discovered a number of authors whose books are on my bookshelf right now. True, many of them are no longer very active, but not all. That is one of the reasons why I love this place.

Cliff Face
01-29-2012, 04:50 AM
Yeah, I remember having been here for about 2 months when I noticed some books in the bookstore, promising to be as good as Stephenie Meyer (so probably very popular) and thought to myself, "Hey... That author is on AW!"

I was heaps impressed. :)

Cliff Face
01-29-2012, 04:50 AM
And the books were better than Meyer's, for what it's worth.