Spiky-haired meme-promoter Rex Sorgatz of Fimoculous has established himself as the media's favorite expert on microcelebrity. So he ought to know better.
The blogger's latest project-for Condé Nast's Men's Style website-is a directory mainly of women who've achieved some modicum of fame or notoriety on the web. The verdict on Gawker alumna Emily Gould-"That she actually isn't much of a writer has, so far, mostly escaped attention"-is rather bold for Sorgatz, himself such a recent arrival to the Manhattan media world.
But Sorgatz is far too modest in leaving himself out of the micro-celebrity rankings. Since arriving less than a year ago in New York, the dorky Fimoculous founder has cut an unlikely swathe through the geek-loving women of the city. (Yes, that's the Huffington Post's Rachel Sklar in the photograph above.)
In a feature for New York magazine on this "new class" of celebrity-only really new in the paucity of fans, if the truth were told-Sorgatz outlined eight steps to microfame. One key move is to associate with other bloggers. "From anonymous blog comments to frothy bar conversations, confidantes are needed to tout your reputation at every opportunity... The posse-or as media theoreticians call it, the network-creates influence that grows exponentially with its size."
That's advice that Sorgatz himself lives by. His latest romance-with the delightful Sklar-is on display on the media writer's Facebook page, where she's posted photographs of a recent weekend at Lockhart Steele's blogger-only shared house in the Hamptons. How did the geeky Sorgatz become such a seducer? "I wish I knew!" says a jealous rival. "I've seen him in action and it amazes me. Maybe they are wowed by his charm, media sound bites and shiny shoes? He's a good talker. I'm sure he plays up his dual outsider/insider angle too." Of course, there's a simpler explanation: he's micro-famous.
But such public exposure has its price as Sorgatz, an authority on internet culture, should know all too well. Leonora Epstein, one of Sklar's predecessors, has written up an account of her hook-ups with a man called Phil-whose fondness for shiny objects, spiky hairdos and the color red suggests she's referring instead to Sorgatz. The liaison ended when Phil, about to leave for a week in the Hamptons without Leonora, left his packing list on the desk. "Tent. Video camera. Condoms." That embarrassing list is now her screen saver.
"The lines between empowerment and self-promotion, between sharing and oversharing, between community and cliques, can be blurry," wrote Sorgatz for New York, presciently. "Nano-celebrity is there for the taking, if you really want it." Yes, but only if you really want it.
Rachel Sklar: Rex at the sea thinking "Oh my God how am I going to last an entire weekend with this girl?" Me thinking "When are we going to eat again?"