How to be popular on the Internet (by Anna-Lisa Gottwald)

If you read my Friday twitter posts (and who doesn’t?), then you have no doubt seen me RT a certain @asilannax. We first crossed paths way back on Stuff Chrisians Like. But unlike me, she doesn’t feel the need to comment when there’s nothing to add to the conversation. Like Travis, who guest blogged for me earlier in the summer, Anna-Lisa and I also share a birthday – August 5, in case anyone’s interested. As you will see from the following post, Anna-Lisa is like me, only much younger and funnier. So, enough of me, here’s Anna-Lisa:

When Kathy first asked me to write a blog post for her, my first thoughts were “Wait, write something longer than 140 characters? Is that even possible?” Needless to say, I’m a bit of a Twitter addict, but branching out is good, right?

Okay, now that the “What I First Thought Of When Bestowed With The Honor Of Guest Blogging For paragraph is out of the way, we can get on to the topic at hand! I have decided to write about How To Be Popular On The Internet. I realize this makes me sound arrogant and self-important, but then I thought about the movie Remember The Titans. Imagine if their chant was “We are the Titans, the kinda okay Titans! We are the Titans, the slightly talented Titans!” No one would have cared about that movie. That movie would have sucked.

This post will mainly focus on Twitter, since that is my area of expertise, but it can be applied to most areas of the internet as well.

Step One:
What level of popular do you prefer?

The first thing to discern is which level of popular you want to be. Do you want to be a famous individual on your own, by your own humor, efforts, talent, and hard work or play off the mistakes of others?

The answer is always the latter. If you chose the former, you have no business being on the internet. You probably already have a steady job and should be answering e-mail from your iPhone or something right now. Get off of here, the Internet doesn’t want you.

I’m obviously making a joke here, but seriously, internet popularity is easier if you just latch onto some kind of bandwagon and either support it or mock the daylights out of it. Observe American Idol, tons of people use Idol to makes lots of friends and set up websites and gossip about how they “can’t BELIEVE she chose that song last night. It didn’t fit her vocal ability at ALL.” Or, you can choose the road I travel, (AKA The Road Of Awesome!) and use the internet to make fun of Paula’s boobs and Randy’s less than eloquent vocabulary.

There’s also the youtube approach, in which you have one thing that makes you popular for a month or so, before you fade out of existence forever. Forever being until someone’s grandmother finds you by some hole in the internet and forwards around to everyone in her e-mail contact list. When your grandmother e-mails you something, understand that it has officially cycled the entire internet. Please, don’t forward it. (This includes: Charlie bit my finger, any video of a baby laughing, something disastrous and/or unexpected happening at a wedding, any video involving an animal falling off of, or into, an object, or a video with an animal and some sort of skateboard) Rule Of Thumb: If it looks like it could be on America’s Funniest Home Videos, the internet has already seen it. On America’s Funniest Home Videos. But I digress.

Step Two:
Gaining friends

The only way to gain friends is to make your ACTUAL friends join your latest obsession and feed off of them. It’s like luring a tiger into a box with a chicken wing and then eating the tiger. Oh, that might be too offensive for PETA members. It’s like luring a tiger into a box with some tofu burgers and then eating the tiger.

It’s actually nothing like that at all, I just wanted to find an excuse to throw a tiger in this blog post somewhere. *High fives self*

Step Three:
Participate in stupid actions

Have you ever considering setting yourself on fire while jumping off of a five story building onto a trampoline into a pool? Quick, grab a friend and a video camera and go do it!* Is your house on fire? QUICK, tweet about it first! Hopefully everyone will forward your stupidity around the internet until you are famous….for….being stupid. Well, no one said fame didn’t come with a price.

*Anna-Lisa and Katdish cannot be held accountable for any injuries sustained from following this advice. (Bonus tip: don’t do anything just because someone on the internet told you that their cousin’s best friend’s grandmother’s aunt’s dog did it and they TOTALLY turned out fine.)

Step Four:
Purchase an animal

Despite what you might thing, animals bring about the best entertainment on the internet. A dog chasing his tail or a cat falling into an aquarium, while overdone, is also incredibly amusing. Or suppose you find yourself alone on a Friday night, a simple tweet about “sitting alone. On a Friday night :(” will not gain you friends. You will be laughed at. However, if you buy a cute kitten and write about how you “have a smoking hot date, and the only thing he asks of you is that you change his litter box” BANG! You are suddenly funny and endearing in your loneliness. Now, hopefully your new kitten likes to snuggle, because you’ll probably still end up crying yourself to sleep each night.

Step Five:
Be famous before the internet

The best, most guaranteed way of being famous on the internet? Do something awesome before you make your appearance on the internet. Be hilarious like Ellen Degeneres. Be hot like Megan Fox. (Good luck!) Start a cult like Oprah. The possibilities are literally endless!
(Please also note that I am in no way famous online, I just enjoy stalking people that are.)

For more from Anna-Lisa in 140 characters or less, follow her on the twitter: @asilannax
For more from Anna-Lisa in blog form, you can find her at Not that You Care, But…

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