Media commentators claiming Michael Jackson's death marks the end of mega-stardom couldn't be farther off the mark, Richard Florida argues in the Atlantic. It's true that the fast route to stardom the Internet offers has made celebrities a dime a dozen, but like every other new communications technology, the web promises to continue to deliver bigger stars than ever before possible, Florida writes.
Potential global megastars are already emerging, like mixed-race rapper Sean Paul, who is as big in India as he is in Jamaica, Florida notes. "In each previous epoch, the rise of a new technology has led to a celebrity even bigger than the last," he writes. "Digital networks and social media are platforms with such enormous potential and global reach that they are tailor-made for the Next Big Thing."