Two thoughts, similar conclusions, different causes.
Steve Rubel writes about the golden age of individulism:
The difference between then and now is that it’s easier than ever before to become a micro celebrity. It still takes talent and hard work, but really anyone can do it. […] Beyond „micro fame“ if you will, the rise of personal brands really reflects something deeper in society that’s changing. In American culture in particular we have always been proud of individualism and expression. Before Web 2.0 we might dress a certain way or do something to stand out. Nowadays, that happens online and it’s being driven in large part by the maturing of the Net Generation – Gen Y.
So Steve talks about the increased opportunities to live out individualism to create microcelebrities.
While Mitch Joel podcasts about „echo chambers“. He argues, that instead of the podosphere, the blogosphere and any other social media being an echochamber, we are merely creating celebrities.
These are two different angles for a similar thing. Steve says, it is all about individualism, supported by the web enabling self expression. Mitch argues we’re quoting&supporting each other to create our own celebrities among each other. Both results in more or less unknown individuals becoming (micro-) celebrities.
(At the end of the day, you should rather ask Paris Hilton, if you can afford the $1 Million for a personal branding seminar.)