WITH another Big Brother now in focus, it's worth rethinking this whole fame thing.
Since it first emerged, the heavily promoted show has moved from a CCTV capture of the human spirit to a talent quest set in a tacky Gold Coast flat. It's a funny old thing, fame. There's the golden fame of Usain Bolt pointing to the sky; the fame of an AFL player pushing through a nightclub, as the crowd parts; and the Underbelly fame of the drug pedlars and killers.
There's the tradie who pulls up his ute and starts to think about the day's work. But before he has the chance to plug in his paint-splattered radio, he's ensnared by a TV crew. It's an ambush. And while the camera zooms in to capture his panic, a reporter with model looks spits questions like they're coming from a blowgun.
That night while watching acronym TV - ACA or TT - he'll be able to watch his bum disappear with the words ''RIPOFF TRADIES ON THE RUN''. Or something like that. Any illusions of fame he might have had are gone. He's now a crook. He joins a line of dodgy docs, uncaring relatives and untidy tenants to be chased into the world of TV glamour.
What he wouldn't have given for a savvy media adviser or PR professional at that moment? He should remember, though, it was the prime minister's media adviser who provided her with one of the most memorable Australia Days in political history, tipping off protesters to the location of his boss's tea-and-chat function with Tony Abbott.
And then others are shaken and shocked into a headline.
Ebony Dunsworth got some fame, but she didn't know it. She was killed after getting in a stolen car. The teenager's face was rolled into the news cycle. Dressed in a school uniform, with a smile that couldn't be stopped by braces, her eyes were shining and ready to become an adult. She didn't get the chance.
The photo made her everybody's daughter and everybody's fear, and the text message she sent in her last minutes made for a shocking read: ''LOL I'm going die.''
''There's nothing in the world that can prepare you for it,'' says her father, Trevor Dunsworth.
He was asked for comment, so he talked because it helped him get the message to other teenagers and their families.
He has a tip on dealing with the media: ''Ask yourself why you're doing it.''
And a thought on who to let into your life: ''You know straight away if someone is a dickhead.''
I've had to call people like Trevor many times. They have been belted into the spotlight by loss, circumstance, or their own exploits.
I've also seen big companies, with big names to protect, pay piles of money to already well-fed PR people, only to find the poo they were in up to their shoulders soon had them gulping for air.
It surprises me how well some people handle it. There's no single rule, but there are some tips.
Tell the truth.
Don't get a celebrity agent. You'll only help lift their profile and fuel their sports car. Don't do a deal. Just find people you trust.
You're not Lara Bingle. Things can get very lonely when the camera stops whirring and your reality show is just too real to risk.
And don't be a politician or a sports star. They spend the first half of their careers trying to get their name in print and the second half attempting to stay out of it.
The very nature of the news cycle means that you will probably blend back in with the rest of us.
So, while social media now melds into the mainstream, maybe there's one thing worth knowing: while some people are renovating, cooking, posing, singing, loving and tweeting for fame, others cry into the pillow most nights because they got noticed in the first place.
Justin Smith is a senior producer and presenter for 3AW.