So, I say Keanu Reeves, what do you instantly think? Probably you think about his films, what with him being an actor, but you'd probably also think of his reputation as an unemotional fellow.
But, the internet thinks differently, and most likely, you will too soon. All because of this picture.
This image, and another taken at the same time, have spawned an internet outpouring of love and affection for Keanu. His fans seem to have gone wild, and stories of his good nature abound.
The Guardian did a great roundup of the sorts of things going on, from a Cheer up Keanu Day, to a mailing drive by fans to send him presents.
All of this from one picture?
In my opinion its because this picture is something we rarely see, a celebrity being like us, without any staging, airbrushing or nonsense. He's just some guy, eating a sandwich, and looking a bit sad about the world. I sometimes eat a sandwich and look sad about the world!
Its the impact this picture has had which is fascinating, and proof positive of the dynamic nature of the internet community, which we are all so desperate to harness for our own PR purposes.
The internet isnt something you can control, its not even somethign you can guide, all you can do is provide it with stuff and see what happens. You have to make that stuff as interesting as possible, and you have to try and get it to spread as widely as possible, but beyond that your material is on its own.
Your idea is like a stone skipping over water. You can throw it hard, and throw it well, but after that its just a case of watching it bounce off into the distance and sink, sooner or later. After that you're just left with the ripples.
What we need to abandon is the idae that the internet is a channel. Its not, its a space. Its not like TV, you cant just broadcast stuff and hope for the best. Its like an impossibly large room, full of people, all speaking to each other constantly. You can shout all you like, but unless what you're shouting about is interesting you'll get shouted down.
A murmur however, in the right place, at the right time, can become a bellow.
Cheer up Keanu, its not so bad, I bet that sandwich is delicious.