Never underestimate the power of a star. Not the ones high in the sky, but the other ones, dimmer, out at night in Hollywood. It's been long-rumored that company's with "celebrity spokespeople" are so yesterday, but they still keep on popping up, getting endorsements then smokin' dope and losing endorsements. I guess we need someone to look up to...Madison Avenue says so. But, stars are important to products, to companys, and even to people. Stars can make us money, or totally ignore us. I asked for Lindsay Lohan to be my friend on Twitter. No reply. (bitch)
Enter Mario Armando Lavandeira, a man with stars in his eyes, as well. He's someone that we love to hate, or hate to love. He lives a life of relative ease in Los Angeles, hanging out with Hollywood's famous, or infamous, celebrities. He had a show on VH1 for a while, has been featured in the NYTimes at least twice, and has appeared on the Kathy Griffin Show, Nightline, The View, MTV, and others.
If you hadn't already guessed, our secretive Mario has an alter-ego that he got on the steets: Perez Hilton. Perez Hilton, the self-proclaimed "Queen of all Media," just celebrated his birthday on March 30th with some of his fave stars: Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, Tara Reid, Salman Rushdie (what is he doing there?), Kim Kardashian, The Jonas Brothers, and of course, Paris Hilton. I know this because I visited his website. I'm not sure why I was there....but as I leisurely scrolled through the gallery of star-studded birthday snaps, playing "Guess the Star " with myself (I went 4/82), all hell broke loose. At the bottom of the gallery, glowing as it gloated at me, was the number of unique visitors received in 9 days: 11,000,000 (EE-Lev-Un-Mil-Yun.) I rubbed my eyes. Squinted. It didn't change. Chagrined, my first thought was: "The friggin losers visiting this site have NOTHING to do (which I proved...)." The second thought burned my brain with a tinge of jealous awe: "Perez Hilton is a genius!"
In case you're "not in the know," Perezhilton.com is the online version of supermarket tabloids, but way-nastier. Perez berates the stars he seems to idolize, "outs" suspected homosexuals, refers to stars as "bitches" (and worse), and doodles degrading images on top of celebrity photos. Love him, hate him, or despise him, he does deserve some credit: The man has spent four years of his life blogging. For a living. Very successfully. This may be the greatest Social Media victory ever, not to mention that Perez is nearing "phenom stage."
Just a guy that writes about other people-other famous people- and is said to make some decent bank doing it... in the high six-figures for his "effort." Perez won't say how much he makes (How Rude!), but unconfirmed sources that sued him stated his take-home in 2007 was over $800,000. Not a surprising figure when his advertising revenue is reported to be $45,000 per day! Yep, just a guy and his blog, blogging away, blog, blog, blog. Bloggity-blog-blog, blaga blog blog, all day long, about rich people. %*$& my life.
Maybe, like me, you think he's a genius. But, he's not. He's a failed actor and former receptionist that was fired from his publicist job at the Star. He started blogging because "it looked easy." Okay, I will add lazy to his attributes. On a nicer note, his story does inspire "wannabe writers," like me; while I am bustin' ass to get a Google link on my blog, he has the likes of MTV, Kentucky Fried Chicken, "Twilight," famous musicians, chic LA boutiques, Walden University, weight loss products, and a host of others gracing his pages. Daily.
Some facts about Perezhilton.com:
The site's demographic is mainly female,
Average age is 26
comScore rates the site among the Top 10 Entertainment sites
Monthly unique visitors, U.S.: 1.3 million
Global (he's global?) unique visitors: 2.4 million
With a thriving blog that's generating bucks, buzz, and press, what's next for this astute entrepreneur?
Believe it or not, he's "hard at work" extending the Perez Hilton brand. It's rumored that he doesn't write anymore--it took too much time. Others dish dirt for him now. It has, afterall, been four years of work. This new found freedom from writing gives him time to drop in on morning talk shows and comment on the latest starlet, run amok. Plus, there's always Empire Perez to fret about. As we went to press this morning, the empire included a YouTube channel dedicated to Perez Hilton, and a line of clothing dedicated to Perez Hilton. Seriously, though, perpetuation is on his mind, because the one lesson he's learned dissin' the elite for four years, it's that fame is fleeting. Today's darling is tomorrow's Jenny Craig spokesperson.
**No Stars Were Hurt During The Research and Writing Of This Report.**