I thought I was the only fish that Keith Fenimore was going to hook, but apparently there are many more in the media sea who are suckers for a little social-media experiment.
Since I wrote earlier this month about the New Hope native's quest to become the country's most recognizable person, Fenimore's had remarkable success getting face time in the old media.
Fenimore, a 39-year-old senior producer for Howard Stern TV, pitched his hometown paper for the launch of his human guinea pigging. My column ran Dec. 9th and in it Fenimore confessed how he was a Twitter and Facebook virgin. He allowed how he was trying to go from no one to known everywhere on the strength of my newspaper article, which he'd splash all over the Webisphere using tricks and contacts from his days in pr and marketing as well as his new pals on social networks.
He promptly set up Twitter and Facebook accounts, had a friend build him a Web site, then drove down to Philly for a cheesesteak and an interview.
I thought there was a good chance I'd be the only one to bite. After all, his is a bald attempt to court recognizability for recognizability's sake. What was I thinking? For a feature writer, this is low-hanging fruit.
His biggest splash came from a mention on The King of All Media's show. Fenimore told me that Stern employs a couple reporters whose beat is Stern World, itself - that is, they troll the Web in search of mentions of all things Howard, and one of the reporters happened upon my column, which he mentioned on Howard's Sirius show.
This led to a link on Stern's Web site - it delivered a modest 1,500 page views for me that first day - but the media storm started whipping up, and soon Fenimore was getting interviews from Norfolk, where he went to school, to New York City, where he works, to the Washington Times, which - actually, I'm not sure what the connection there was.
So, his clipping file now includes The Washington Times, The New York Post, the Trentonian, the Virginian-Pilot, the Doylestown Intelligencer and the Greenpoint Gazette (Brooklyn, N.Y.) Pretty good catch for a naked hook.
Most articles wax sociologically about what he's doing. A reader in Trenton wished someone would punch him in the face like in the movie Groundhog Day. Fenimore could care less - just as long as they print his picture.
He's already thinking of merchandising - a run of "I'm Not Keith Fenimore" T-shirts is in the works. His 15 minutes of fame are already stretching into stoppage time.