Yesterday I went to a baseball game. We were talking about how the stats are posted on the board - "0 for 2" for the game, and then the overall batting average. Ryan remarked that "some baseball players must hate that...imagine if your CS stats were posted like that...like, number of times failed to compile or hours spent debugging". We laughed, but at the same time baseball players are know for their stats. It's part of their sports player personality. They sign jerseys, and do promotions (think "Andino at the Movies", Orioles fans). They are, in a particular way, celebrities.
Of course, when you think of celebrity you think of Kiera Knightly, Johnny Depp, and the other people who get their faces plastered all over the "most beautiful people" covers (or sometimes the look-how-they-ruined-their-lives covers) of magazines in the grocery store. And they're celebrities too - the TV personalities from Glee, the Bachelor, etc. and the movie stars who have faces you can't mistake. Then there are the music icons - Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, (can you tell I'm a country music gal), Rihanna. Also famous, but for the voices more than the faces.
Then there are politicians - Martin O'Malley has one of those faces you recognize. Bill Clinton, Ronald Regan - you wouldn't mistake them for anyone other than who they are. They're up there because of what they do for the country, or the state.
Then there's this new class of fame - the people who are internet famous. Rhett and Link, Sam Tsui, Will Wheaton - we all have our favorite web personalities. Then there are the famous bloggers - Julie Powell, who got her blog turned into a movie, for example. (You should read the back issues of the Julie/Julia project blog instead of relying on movie/book, blog is more foodie).
What do all of these people have in common, if anything? Why do we recognize and follow them?