Because there is so much work that goes into becoming a celebrity, there seemed to be only one level of stardom for many years. Success in the entertainment world was an all-or-nothing kind of thing, with their being the famous and the rest of us. Part of this was because, specifically in the world of film and recorded music and for the first few decades of television, publicity was a carefully constructed event. The producers and the studios controlled who spoke to whom, where and about what. The use of real-time commentary and online forums has changed how all of that works, and that has helped to create a much broader category and definition of what it means to be a celebrity.
Music has probably been the greatest beneficiary of these changes that social media has brought to the world, thanks to the number of file-sharing networks and internet radio stations. The traditional approach to becoming a successful musician was to play a lot of shows and create a demo tape in hopes that a scout from a major label would "discover" you. That label would produce an album, arrange a media tour and try to influence radio stations to play your record. It was (and is) a tedious process and somewhat akin to winning the lottery. The results could be fantastic (The Beatles), a flash in the pan (any one-hit wonder band) or nothing at all (every band that could never quit their day job).
Online discussion forums help to shatter that paradigm because they allow a musician to bring their music and their message directly to the listeners. Now all a person has to do is choose their online music radio provider and they can search for new music based on the styles they already like. Once they "discover" somebody they like, they can access them directly through their website or other open forums. This is when the musicians can really start to build a fan base.
As important as it is to make good music that people will like, success still comes from promoting yourself through celebrity interviews. The difference is that by hosting interactive discussions that offer real-time commentary, they can answer questions that come not from a magazine or news outlet, but directly from the fans. Plus, it gives the fans a chance to get to know the person behind the musician and get a sense of their personality, creativity and humor. This direct bonding between the musician and the fans creates an emotional investment. The fan now becomes a promoter of sources, talking about the musician through other forms of social media. No longer reliant on the traditional setup of the studio promotion, more musicians are able to create a market for themselves that allows them to continue to produce music directly for their fans.
Jack Terry is a freelance writer who watches and listens to entirely too many celebrity interviews, especially on http://www.tawkers.com