The 2010 World Cup has been pretty interesting so far and I think that - BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
Okay, I don't actually care about the World Cup. I've never been good at soccer, and whenever I watch it, I tend to pick out players who look like they have happier lives than I do. But I AM fond of Internet memes, and one meme that's come to light recently is based on the vuvuzela, a horn played at the World Cup that sounds a lot like me whenever I try to whistle.
Seriously, this horn drives people nuts. It's long, it's loud, and the only way to adjust the pitch is to move to England. The Internet has ran with it, creating GIF animations and banners that escelate the horn's sheer murder power. Remember DOOM? Someone put a vuvuzela in the game that murders enemies from yards away. YouTube even went and added a vuvuzela button on their videos to block out whatever you're watching with the sound of the apocalypse. This might be the most devastating instrument ever created, except for that Air Force tuba that shoots stinger missiles during a terrorist attack.
One of the quickest ways to gain Internet fame is to piss people off, and the vuvuzela reminds us that it's easier than you'd think. Freelance writers can easily do the same. I mean, we're already despised by the normal working public. Why not rub it in a little? Here's a couple of ways you can browbeat others for the attention you deserve. It'll just be like winning a beauty pageant...if there was a three knockdown rule in effect.
- Constantly talk about yourself. What you're doing, what your projects are, what you offer...any moment not filled with an advertisement about you is a wasted one. But these days you have to be creative. Anyone can fill their social media profiles with links, but it takes a truly special jerk to get in the reader's face. A great way to do this is with banners that slide down while people browse your webpage. Nothing says "please listen to me" more than a Flash advertisement that slows Firefox while it chugs on-screen. Your readers will be amazed that they've been caught in bingo games faster than your website.
- Act like you've no clue to what the hell you're talking about. As long as you pander to the correct market and make the right relationships, fame is a shoo-in. Then again, a healthy expertise on your ignorance gets people talking about you. My favorite example is The Irate Gamer, a video game reviewer who gets paid by YouTube to make unfunny and incorrect videos. The fact that this guy gets work while better reviewers languish proves that the system works. Don't worry, it works for freelance writers as well. How do you think I got hired for this column?
- Be controversial about popular opinions and rules. There are many customary rules in the world of freelance writing. But these rules are socially agreed on, not set in stone. They're clamoring to be broken by a renegade who forges his own path. You should be that renegade. Sure, it's defiant, but why do you think they make movies about renegades? They're interesting to watch and talk about. Achieve success your own way and wait for the accolades to roll in. They may be only for peers who play by the rules, but hey - praise by assosciation is my favorite kind of silver medal.
Of course, I don't need to remind you that being extremely annoying to get popular is risky. Just be careful and watch your back. Make the right moves, and you'll win this popularity contest for sure. Only then will the vuvuzela trumpet your name, assuming that saying your name and listening to a constipated elephant are interchangeable.