My wife is a yarn geek. She knits beautiful garments, but she also dyes and sells her own yarn on her online shop. We often go to trade shows, with a literal truckload of hand-dyed yarns, to sell her products. And in those events I discovered that there are “microcelebrities” in the yarn world, just like there are in the software world.
A few weeks ago I wrote about my encounter with one of those microcelebrities:
I had once an interview with the creator of a very important system (yes, you’ve heard of it and probably also about the person) who was starting something in the mobile space and got my reference. He explained his idea to me for a while, and at the end I said, “yes, it’s interesting, my hourly rate is…” and then he interrupted me, saying, “oh no, I hoped you’d worked for free for me.” Befuddled, I asked, “why would I do that?” “Well,” he replied, “don’t you know who I am?”
My wife has had her share of “don’t you know who I am?” in the yarn world as well. In our world of social media and followers and podcasts, I guess all fields of human activity must have their fair share of microcelebrities nowadays.
I have been a microcelebrity in my own right, too. I remember going to conferences, back in the days of akosma software, and having people come to greet me, ask questions about some programming language, and even to be featured in interviews on TV and print and whatnot.
Having a few thousand followers in some network like TikTok or Instagram allows you to start charging for product promotions and more. There’s a lot of money to be made… and a lot of arrogance to be displayed.