How Celebrity is Celebrity

What really makes a celebrity a true celebrity? Is it the news coverage? The pursuit of tabloids? Perhaps sheer popularity is what drives us to call movie stars, musicians, and politicians celebrities. If that is the case, are the non-traditional stars celebrities as well?

In order to find a satisfactory answer to this dilemma, one must look for a celebrity index. has developed an algorithm to assign a value to a celebrity, much as stocks are assigned a monetary value in order for site visitors or members to build celebrity portfolio. The algorithm takes into consideration the amount and timing of news items pertaining to celebrities as well as the popularity of the celebrity as a portion of online portfolios. But does this adequately measure the amount of celebrity status an individual has achieved?


To determine this, we need to consider what celebrity actually means. The American Heritage Dictionary defines celebrity as “a famous person,” or “renown, fame.” That definition is very broad indeed. To be renown is to simply be well-known. Osama Bin Laden is well-known, but does not necessarily have the same following as Jessica Alba. By this definition, however, they are both celebrities.

Thus, to be a celebrity, one must be either famous or infamous, and the distinction is not relevant. By this same token, individuals who have developed a following in unconventional ways such as the internet or reality programming are certainly celebrities as well – albeit some have more global coverage than others. So to measure the amount of celebrity an individual has obtained, one would simply need to measure his or her popularity.

Measuring Popularity

Before the information age, to measure popularity would involve countless newspaper and magazine searches. Print resources as well as television and radio contained any and all celebrity news and gossip. With the advent of the internet, this changed, of course. In present times, the internet has not only opened countless doors to those aspiring to stardom, but has developed a multitude of news and gossip outlets as well.

Most of the conventional media outlets – magazines, newspapers, radio, and television have developed an online presence. Often these websites contain more information pertaining to celebrities than the original medium. Those interested in entertainment news now have almost countless methods to find the information they seek.

The fastest way to find information online, however, is through the search engines. Major search engines index all web pages and online news items as they are developed, and offer users a chance to hone in on the desired material. Searching for celebrities will pull up thousands, if not millions, of relevant results. It follows that by simply counting the number of searches and articles for each celebrity, one could understand the popularity of that individual.

Celebrity Contest

It seems the algorithm developed by holds true. The algorithm assigns value to a celebrity based on the number and age of news items and searches, which is the best indicator of popularity. Of course, the algorithm also includes results from, which are a valid indicator as well.

If a celebrity is popular, he or she will be included in many portfolios. If he is becoming blasé, he will be dropped from portfolios in favor of more popular individuals. If a celebrity is looking for a gauge of her own value, she can perform a complicated web analysis, or simply track her price changes on to understand how her fan base is feeling. Of course, fans can search for the value of their favorite celebrity, and even cash in on the details only devoted fans are privy to – insider trading if you will.

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