YouTube promises a chance at instant viral fame. But what's that worth in the real world? Ask the guy with 109 million views who can't get recognized at a nerdfest.

Judson Laipply's pop-choreography clip "Evolution of Dance" hasn't made a dime from his stardom. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, no one in the crowd could place him. His nine-figure viewcount has proven to be nothing more than the transitory flitter of eyeballs.

So he's been pursuing a career as an inspirational speaker, while Avril Lavigne dethroned him as YouTube's top attraction. A new version of "Evolution of Dance" is coming Monday, backed by awkwardly named self-help site PeopleJam. Laipply hopes to make a small amount of money after paying $80,000 for the music rights, he tells the Wall Street Journal

A depressing tale for anyone who sees YouTube as a vehicle for fame and fortune. If a genuine talent like Laipply, at the top of the charts, can't break through to the mainstream, what hope is there for the ability-free masses taking their turns in front of the webcam?