Just because the general population cares about the every move of one Silicon Valley tech executive does not mean the geeks to the north are anything like Hollywood types. But, due to Mark Zuckerberg's recent celebrity, which has landed him well beyond the naval-gazing tech blogs into the regular people tabloids, The New York Times's Nick Bilton makes that assertion, suggesting that Silicon Valley now has the same celebrity and cache as its southern neighbor. "Is Silicon Valley Becoming the New Hollywood?" Bilton asks in his column. Even with Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan's wedding photos and honey moon travels getting the type of nitpick-y attention generally reserved for movie stars, we have your answer, Bilton: No.
Bilton gets his evidence from two places, tabloids and Gawker. (Those two things are different in this case.) For Exhibit A, Bilton notes that Zuckerberg and Chan graced the covers of the gossip magazines, something generally reserved for Hollywood's stars, after their wedding. It is true that Zuckerberg is getting a lot of attention for his personal life these days. Even if we can say it is the level of crazy fame that an A-list Hollywood star gets -- we don't think it is -- this is neither unprecedented for Zuckerberg nor for Silicon Valley super-duper stars. Even before his company went public, Zuckerberg's private life intrigued us normals. At the very least, we can say the non-tech freaks started knowing and caring about Zuckerberg via Aaron Sorkin's 2010 portrayal of the awkward geek turned rich guy in The Social Network. That followed The New Yorker's 2010 profile of the Facebook creator, where we learned about him on a personal level. Sure, The New Yorker has a different audience than People magazine, but the point is that Zuckerberg was getting attention outside of niche tech publications. Since then, we've gotten to know the Facebook billionaire outside of his business dealings. Last winter, for example, we here at The Atlantic Wire, along with other non-tech focused publications, covered his lavish vacation. And, it's not like his relationship to Chan was news to anyone.