The Internet has provided fertile ground for Madison's creative class for more than a decade. No longer limited by geography or traditional gatekeepers, local people are cultivating opportunities that simply didn't exist in the pre-digital world, especially opportunities to become celebrities of sorts.
- The podcaster: Mike Duncan
- The blogger: Gabrielle Pedriani
- The actor: J.D. Walsh
- The impressionist: Jason Stephens
- The retailer: Natalie Bass
Shooting for stardom: Tips from Chad Vader's creators
Matt Sloan and Aaron Yonda, founders of Madison's Blame Society Productions, teamed up to play Darth Vader's less successful brother in their Star Wars-inspired web series Chad Vader: Day Shift Manager. (Sloan provided the voice while Yonda appeared onscreen.) Since 2006, the show has received more 100 million views on YouTube, making it one of Madison's best-known web projects.
I've appeared on Chad Vader, and I've contributed to Blame Society projects like Beer and Board Games, but I've never asked Yonda and Sloan for advice on becoming an Internet star -- until now. Here are three tips from each of them.
1. Do something you love.
2. Seek out feedback, especially from your most engaged fans.
3. Stick with it. Consistency is the key to building an audience and improving your content.
1. Don't get hung up on page views.
2. People like fresh ideas, but they also like familiar things. Give 'em both.
3. The Internet is ultimately driven by personalities. When someone subscribes to your YouTube channel, they're subscribing to you, which is pretty rewarding.