The Web makes interactivity technologically possible, but what technology giveth, social factors taketh away. In the case of the famous, any potential interactivity is squashed, because fame isn’t an attitude, and it isn’t technological artifact. Fame is simply an imbalance between inbound and outbound attention, more arrows pointing in than out. Two things have to happen for someone to be famous, neither of them related to technology. The first is scale: he or she has to have some minimum amount of attention, an audience in the thousands or more. (This is why the Internet version of the Warhol quote “In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people” – is appealing, but wrong.) Second, he or she has to be unable to reciprocate. We know this pattern from television; audiences for the most popular shows are huge, and reciprocal attention is technologically impossible. We believed (often because we wanted to believe) that technical limits caused this imbalance in attention. When weblogs and other forms of interactive media began to spread, they enabled direct, unfiltered conversation among all parties and removed the structural imbalances of fame. This removal of the technological limits has exposed a second set of social ones.
Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations (New York & London: Penguin Books, 2008), 91.