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Top Ten Internet SuperStars of 2009

Marina Orlova is self-described as "too hot for words" and a "cunning linguist (puns intended)!" Born in 1980, she is a Russian-born etymologist who has become an Internet celebrity hosting one of the most popular channels online, entitled appropriately: "HotForWords." While Marina exploits her blonde-bombshell looks to the max, appearing scantily-clad in her video clips, she is far from being an "air head". To the contrary, while being attractive is certainly an asset on the Internet, many would be hard pressed to compete with Ms. Orlova on an intellectual level. As her bio indicates, she received degrees in philology from the Nizhny Novgorod State University in 2002, and taught English and world literature to high school students in Moscow, before moving to the US. And as testimony to her online popularity, her video on the derivation of the word "HOOKER" has received over 3 million pageviews on YouTube.

Matthew "Matt" Harding (born September 27, 1976) is an American video game designer and Internet celeb. Known worldwide as "Dancing Matt," his viral videos show him gyrating in front of landmarks and famous international street scenes in various locales around the globe. As the story goes, Harding was known by his friends for a particular dance, and while videotaping in Vietnam, his travel companion suggested he add the dance to the videos...and voila'... the rest is history. Harding has since received widespread coverage of his travel exploits in major print and broadcast media outlets,and was hired by Visa to star in their Travel Happy campaign, proving that becoming Internet famous can lead to a lucrative career! His second video has been viewed over 20,297,423 times on YouTube,and is the product of 14 months'of traveling throughout 42 countries.

The press has said that "it's easy to dismiss Julia Allison as little more than a rank narcissist" — and many of her vocal online critics have agreed. However, in Wired Magazine's August 2008 cover story entitled: "Internet Famous: Julia Allison and the Secrets of Self-Promotion." details how she managed to storm the Internet with publicity stunts that have received widespread attention. Recently she invited handbag designer Mary Rambin and Randi Zuckerberg, the sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to dance in Jazzercise outfits in Times Square to Martha and the Vandellas' '"Dancing in the Street," which was filmed and documented by cameramen. Her new web sites juliaallison.com, itsmejulia.com, and juliajuliajulia.com — are dedicated to sharing almost every waking moment of Allison's life. Internet fame similar to other forms of fame, doesn't come without an emotional price tag, however. Linked romantically with former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford, Jr., her relationship was used as an attack ad by the National Republican Senatorial Committee in Ford's unsuccessful run for United States Senate in 2006

Here, Julia Allison chats with Wired's Editor-in-Chief Chris Anderson about her recent magazine cover story, Reputation Economics 101 and her obsession of emulating Oprah Winfrey's business model for fame.



According to Wikipedia, Justine Ezarik, born March 20, 1984 is considered a viral video comedienne, freelance graphic/web designer and video editor. She is best known as iJustine, a lifecaster who communicates directly with her hundreds of viewers on her Internet tv channel, ijustine.tv. She has appeared in more than 200 videos, including satires on such subjects as Lost and Twitter. Her videos have received more than 25 million views, with 16 million on YouTube alone. Her popularity is such that a video about her wanting to order a cheeseburger got 600,000 YouTube views in a week. She was also featured as one of my Top Ten Twitter Song Singers of all time. Ezarik is most notably known for her "300-page iPhone bill" video which followed the first month of service after the introduction of the iPhone in 2007. The viral video earned her international attention and celebrity.The bad publicity resulting for AT&T actually led the phone company to change their billing procedures for iPhone users.



My number one pick for Top Internet SuperStar is Nick Thune. A Seattle-born comedian now residing in LA. Nick is purusing the American dream in the entertainment field, which started online. Internet Celebrity is not lost on Nick Thune. He appreciates what it has done to help mold his persona and allow him to appeal to a  sizeable and growing fan base. But when asked if he tracks his website traffic, Nick mockingly points out that he has “someone monitor his websites," as he doesn’t “wanna know numbers. I tell them to tell me if the numbers are low, and then I’ll put more work into it. Do you think Picasso knew how many people had or will have seen his work? Is anyone (really) keeping count?”

On his second appearance on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show in August 2007, Nick’s aptly named “Instant Messenger” stand up routine became an ‘instant’ success attracting millions of fans to this YouTube video clip...



More of Nick Thune's latest online exploits including his new webseries, "Nick"s Big Show" can be viewed in a recent zMogo feature and at his website.

While Internet Fame may be fleeting for some, these Top Ten SuperStars stand out from the pack. They have found new and innovative ways to go beyond the ordinary to intrigue, entertain and beguile us. They offer up content and perspectives that while off-center, strangely and astutely hit the mark! Internet fame is the new space for one to experiment and explore dreams, as long as you can come armed with ideas and just the right amount of imagination.

Take our survey and vote for your favorite Internet Celebrities. The final results will be revealed May 15, 2009.

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Ron Callari
Social Media Trends
InventorSpot.com
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Comments
Apr 14, 2009
by Anonymous

Julia Allison

No one knows who Julia Allison is outside of a few hundred media types in New York. She is seriously snooze worthy in every way and her blog is a content-free joke compared to iJustine. Julia posts pictures of her dog and one sentence captions. My 16 year old niece has a more interesting website than Julia's joke of a "lifecast."

Apr 14, 2009
by Anonymous

Huh?

Okay, Ron, what kind of crack are you smoking here?!

You're about a year late and a dollar too short on most of these entries---that youtube hack Magibon made the list? Really?? What, was were LonelyGirl 15 and the "Chocolate Rain" guy suddenly not available???
Obama Girl's 15 minutes are just about up already. Julia Allison(aka the Norma Desmond of online fame) is even older news.
The only person still of any rising relevance on that list is iJustine, and that girl actually deserves her fame: she's bright, talented, beautiful, WORKS HARD, and knows her stuff. She should've been #1 on this list.

Did anyone even do current research on some of these "celebrities"? Their most recent projects weren't even mentioned here!

Apr 14, 2009
by Ron Callari
Ron Callari's picture

Susan Boyle

Hi Anonymous...thanks for your feedback. But I have to differ with you on a couple of points,  For one, you can't get any more current than Susan Boyle hitting the world scene on April 11, 2009, and secondly, just because things move at the speed of light on the Internet doesn't mean all of my readers are aware of some of these folks, nor the accomplishments that originally made them famous!  Since you apparently favor iJustine, I would suggest you and your followers vote for her.The readers' poll will tally votes up until May 31, 2009. Thanks.

Ron Callari is a freelance journalist and editorial cartoonist. His slighlty off-center published work includes trends, social media, politics, travel, humor and political articles.

Follow Ron on the InventorSpot and Twitter.com/roncallari

Apr 14, 2009
by Anonymous

#1 & #6

Very nice. I agree, Nick and Alejandro are two great and influential individuals.
Congrats guys.

Apr 14, 2009
by Anonymous

I vote for Andy Bumatai

Love Andy's show. The live chats/excellent guests are awesome! I look forward to it every Tuesday and Thursday. Glad he made your list!

Apr 15, 2009
by Anonymous

Aww

Susan Boyle Should have been number one :-P

Apr 15, 2009
by Anonymous

Andy

I vote for Andy Bumatai. Love his show

Apr 15, 2009
by Anonymous

What about Paul Potts?

You should have mentioned the other BGT discovery Paul Potts, last I saw he had over 17 million hits on one of his Youtube videos.

Apr 15, 2009
by Anonymous

Internet Star iJustine

This is a great website and sure it took plenty of research to arrive at your choice of stars.

Thanks, Ron for the exposure on this site.

I vote for iJustine, I followed her since 1999, I know the work and worry she contributes to her craft and how she has the persistence it takes to keep editing, filming and the patience it takes to continually blog, upload and work with her peers and her fans. She is an artist and expresses herself in her work. She never forgets to mention her peers and give them a nod when she can.

Helen of Joy

Apr 15, 2009
by Anonymous

I vote for iJustine

No doubt, Justine is number 1, she's no fake and a really inspiring person

@wiibart

Apr 16, 2009
by Anonymous

What the...?

Where the hell's Brandon Hardesty?!
Definitely voting for iJustine. She's not fake and one of the few people who actually deserve to be on this list. She worked her ass off to get right where she wanted to be and never forgot her fans on Youtube. However, if Brandon was on this list, it would be a tough call as he has done the same and is hilarious! :)

Apr 16, 2009
by Anonymous

Hi iJustine

Justine, you really don't need to be blowing your own horn. ;-)

Apr 16, 2009
by Anonymous

totally agree

about number 1 choice.

-nick t

Apr 17, 2009
by Anonymous

Amber Lee Ettinger

Amber Lee Ettinger aka Obama Girl is not a web celebrity of 2009. She has jumped the shark and her videos have become annoying. This is what happens when youtube stars think that they are relevant beyond their 30 seconds of fame.

Pathetic.

Apr 17, 2009
by Anonymous

Andy

That guy is funny and witty. Keep it up!

Apr 20, 2009
by Anonymous

Really? Of '09?

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but 2009 is still relatively fresh and new, yeah?
Are we already trying to predict who's gonna be the big YouTube star 8 months before New Year's Eve?
I applaud anyone willing to put their neck out and make a list like this - knowing that there's gonna be backlash, shameless plugging, hateful vitriol and very little praise. Still, do it closer to the end of the year and most computer geeks will be too tired to type negativity yet one more time.

In the interim, lose "Obama Girl," "Magibon" (really? She's just kinda creepy...), and "Julia Allison."

Replace 'em with DEVEN GREEN, Jon Lajoie, and leave one spot open for someone that's bound to come along.
Then you got yourself a list!!

Kudos you.

Apr 21, 2009
by Anonymous

Justine is amazing!! :o)

Justine is amazing!! :o)

May 1, 2009
by Anonymous

Site Source 101

Really interesting videos!

May 11, 2009
by Anonymous

Justine

She must be number one..... she is amazing!! To all those who leave bad remarks, come on, you try doing it, let see what you got. Justine you rock girl.