You don't have to cut off a body part to become "Internet Famous," but if you're desperately training your camera on your kid, pet, or friends in hope that they'll do something so compelling as to end up in the category that is viral, well, you can go to school for that. Internet Famous at Parsons New School for Design is a graduate-level class for students and declares itself the first class ever "where software will award each student a grade based on a quantitative measurement of their web fame."
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Sites like Digg, Del.icio.us, Flickr, YouTube, and Google will help measure each student's popularity, and grades are algorithmically determined — and they get an A through F grade, depending on their Internet popularity. People watching, commenting, and making reaction videos/responses to the class's projects add to the grade, as do people befriending them on MySpace and linking to them.
How postmodern. Although I'm guilty of enjoying and forwarding new and hilarious viral videos and posts to my friends, I can't help but think that for every Dramatic Chipmunk, there are 8,000 epic fails. And even though I still ask my boyfriend to not tase me, bro, the fame the Internet brings is more ephemeral and fleeting than the 15-minutes of fame cliche that used to exist in traditional media. Remember Tay Zonday? Me neither.