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  • Most major sci-fi/anime/comics conventions (except for San Diego ComicCon, which has become very mainstream and a crucial stop on many promotional tours) are not nearly as well known outside of various geek communities (and the locals of the particular city where the con is usually held). For instance, Dragon*Con is well known to geeks and Atlantans, but not very many else.
    • ComicCon itself used to be a case of this up until circa 2005. Now judging from the sheer amounts of game (and movie) related announcements, one would think the event is now E3 2.0.
    • Similar regarding furry cons and meets - there are multiple ones in most major countries, to the point where people can make a lifestyle out of travelling to different ones when they are on. It's also a great financial boost for the local economies when they are held (often to the pleasant surprise of hotel staff). Yet, the fandom has sprung up largely due to the Internet and doesn't widely advertise itself. Generally speaking, furries don't want the media covering them because it's historically presented the fandom as consisting solely of fetishists (who are a vocal minority, but a minority nonetheless).
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    • The same problem happens in the mini-conventions going on during big events: Comiket, Haru Comic City, and others are home to both original and fan-based meetups where con-goers can share and talk about specific works; heck, there are even sites to keep track of them all throughout the year. Outside their respective fandoms, however, they're mostly unheard of (a person who isn't in the Touhou fandom may never get acquainted with the Reitaisai conventions, for example).
  • Back in the times of the Cold War, it was possible to receive West German TV programs in most places of East Germany - except in the area of the Dresden Basin and the area around Rügen, but next to nobody lives there. Because of this lack of information regarding Western news coverage and of course also Western pop culture, it was accordingly called the "Valley of the Clueless". In turn, few West Germans bothered to consume East German pop culture, which now can cause Pop Culture Isolation in re-unified Germany.
  • TONS of Internet models and celebrities that are made famous through the net are more or less obscure in pure mainstream media. Basically any model or obscure female actress that's ever appeared on or in Stuff magazine, Maxim, or FHM. Sure people on the net are familiar. But to the general public, they might as well be nobodies
    • Their attractiveness is what helps them get noticed in the first place despite being D-Listers. Case in point Jaime King pre-Sin City. You'd be hard pressed to find someone in the mainstream who knew who she was. But Maxim magazine and people on the internet did. Interestingly enough she hasn't done anything mainstream since. Likewise with Emmanuelle Vaugier prior to CSI: NY.
    • Cindy Margolis probably being the Ur-Example. From the way the Internet treated her, you'd thought she was a breakout star or something.
    • Then there's Tila "Tequila" Nguyen.
    • Amber Rose as well is gradually heading down this road thanks to photoblogs. Dating Kanye West and later Wiz Khalifa probably helped.
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  • Music video models are the same way obviously. Lots of rock fans know who Bobbie Brown and Tawny Kitaen are. While urban music video watchers are probably only vaguely familiar if that. Same goes for models that appear in urban music videos like Esther Baxter, Melyssa Ford, and Summer Walker, etc...Even in that context, there's not a lot of people who know them outside certain internet circles (I.E. Hip-Hop Image Boards, where they're well known and popular). But bring their names up in certain mainstream social circles and you would get blank stares.
  • Unfortunately, Black History Month has become this instead of being seen as part of American history too. Especially Native American History Month, which is November.
  • Most popular porn stars who aren't Jenna Jameson or Ron Jeremy... although some might get some mainstream attention primarily from news outlets because of some type of controversy surrounding said performers or the industry itself, like the Belladonna and Sasha Grey Primetime Live/The Insider news interviews (respectively) for example.
    • Interestingly enough even the most obscure porn star can have tens of thousands of twitter followers. Of course, they do say that The Internet Is for Porn...
    • Stormy Daniels is also well known, although only for her involvement in a sex scandal surrounding President Donald Trump.
  • This trope with a dusting of racism might be the cause of all of the numerous segregated proms in the south, which have offended black teens and other minority teenagers.
    • Sorority pledges are the same way. There's usually flame wars on and off the net over whether people are "forcing" groups to accept them (usually saying it makes people secretly accept them less), while another group claims why would you wanna be apart of said racist group anyway. Or they'll accuse the group of wanting to be white if there was likely a black sorority they could have joined.
  • E! network host Sal Masekela noted in an interview with Jay-Z that entertainment news media and tabloids generally don't cover black celebrities. Quite frankly, black celebs should probably see that as a blessing in disguise.
    • Unfortunately, on the flip side there's urban gossip mags and blogs to compensate for this, especially during the past ten years.
  • The aforementioned magazines like FHM, Maxim, Stuff, and so on run on this trope. It's a pretty safe bet that most people outside the internet have never heard of half of the listed people in Maxim's Hot 100. Just mention the name Gemma Atkinsonnote  to some random American and they wouldn't know who the hell you're talking about.
    • These mags have black counterparts as well like King, SMOOTH, and Black Men Magazine. And most of the models within are hardly known outside of Hip-Hop message boards.
    • Playboy Playmates fall into this category as well. Although some Playmates have crossed over into the mainstream (Pamela Anderson, Jenny McCarthy, Anna Nicole Smith), others are virtually unknown to those who aren't avid Playboy readers. For that matter, it's been noted that Marilyn Monroe was the only actress to have a smash career after appearing in the magazine.
  • If a country has regions that speak different languages they tend to develop their own cultures based on these languages.
    • In Canada, Quebec has many musicians, actors, and comedians that are unknown in the rest of Canada unless they also do English-language work.
  • Linux is widely used in internet servers, embedded systems, mainframes, supercomputers, render farms, and so on. If we count Android (which uses its kernel), it is the most popular operating system in the world, period. But as Windows and macOS still rule the desktop market, it is still seen as "that weird system that only geeks use".
  • If you walk into a store that caters to wargamers, a store that caters to model train hobbyists, and a general crafts store, you will see very similar merchandise on the shelves, but the staff is likely to be completely unaware of their "competitors". Similarly, stores where wargaming is king vs. stores where roleplaying and/or TCGs are king vs. stores where video gaming is king.
  • This is pretty common with universities in the United States, For example, the University of Michigan and Michigan State University are the two top universities in Michigan and both attract huge numbers of students from all over the state. However, go to a more distant state like New Jersey, and you'll find plenty of Wolverines but far fewer Spartans. But that's nothing compared to, say, the University of Washington, which has almost zero presence in the Garden State.
    • With the exceptions of Ivy League schools and certain other prestigious colleges like MIT and Stanford, most national universities are known almost exclusively for their football and/or men's basketball teams. Some for both (e.g., Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan State), some mainly for football (Alabama, Notre Dame, Penn State), some mainly for basketball (Duke, Kentucky, Gonzaga) and some mainly for women's basketball (namely, Connecticut and Tennessee). The most publicity an Ivy League-esque institution's sports has gotten lately has been, for all the wrong reasons, Stanford's swimming program.
  • Belgium is a literal example of this trope. The country is divided by a language barrier and as a result, people from Flanders (the Dutch-speaking part) and Wallony (the French-speaking part) will often not be familiar with celebrities from opposite the language barrier. There are exceptions, of course, but while singer and TV star Annie Cordy, for instance, is an icon in Wallony, she is practically obscure in Flanders. Flemish singer Will Tura is a huge star in Flanders, but unknown in Wallony. Similarly, Flemish comic strips like Jommeke and Piet Pienter en Bert Bibber are well known in Flanders, but completely obscure in Wallony. Le Chat is a pop-culture phenomenon in Wallony, but despite some translations into Dutch, this newspaper comic strip has never gained the same amount of praise or popularity in Flanders. Actor Benoît Poelvoorde is a huge star in Wallony, even voted in the Top 10 of "The Greatest Belgians" in the Walloon version of that contest, but in Flanders, most people only know him from starring in Man Bites Dog, if they would recognize him at all.
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. People in the field of medicine probably know all about it. The general public knows almost nothing about it aside from a) also being known as Lou Gehrig's Disease and b) the Ice Bucket Challenge.


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