What [Kim] Kardashian does, very cleverly, is sell her ravenous audience to the highest bidder. She charges up to six figures to attend a party, and reportedly can get a million for a party overseas (hey, all that travel!).
How can someone charge for going to a party? Because, like that guy in the Verizon commercial, she brings all those curious people with her, in real and virtual life. Photographers, reporters, blog followers. The party gets publicized because she is attending, which is why the party pays for her to show.Same goes for Twitter. Kardashian reportedly charges $25,000 to endorse a product with a tweet. Simply by typing “I just used ____ hairspray!” her words go to 6.5 million people, presumably many who have so little imagination about their own lives, they just want to emulate hers. For the hairspray company, that means potential customers.
This, by the way, is no different than some of the biggest companies in the New New Economy. Look at Google. Look at Facebook. They don’t actually make anything. You can’t physically touch their product — can’t drive it or hammer with it. But what they deliver is audience. Hundreds of millions of people gathered in one place. And they earn billions by selling that audience to advertisers.
My worry is that instead of teaching our kids that skill, dedication and hard work are the path to success, we are teaching them that he-who-makes-the-biggest-jackass-video and she-who-pulls-her-skirt-up-highest can earn the most money.