There’s something slightly off about the new Celebrity portal that News Corp.’s (NWS) MySpace has launched this morning, but we can’t put our finger on it.
It may be the fact that except for a press release, MySpace is keeping fairly quiet about the project — crucially, there’s no mention of it on the site’s home page. It may be that the concept of a “celebrity” portal doesn’t make that much sense — unlike “sports” or “fashion” or “comedy”, people tend not be fans of “celebrities” — they like Jennifer Aniston, or Britney Spears, or whomever. And one of the great selling points of MySpace is that it gave those celebs, or their fans, the opportunity to create their own pages dedicated exclusively to them.
But upon reflection we think we’ve figured out what’s causing the cognitive dissonance: The new MySpace portal offers up a bunch of celebrities — without any celebrity dirt. “Celebrities have been using MySpace since the site’s launch and it’s a natural extension for us to now offer them an aggregated channel where they can be in control of their own image,” [emphasis added] MySpace co-founder Tom Anderson recites in a statement.
But that’s the wrong way to go about it. We understand why celebs would like a “safe space” to push themselves, their movies, etc. But most people don’t just want to hear about Matthew McConaughey’s new movie, whatever that is. They want to know more about his fondness for naked, stoned drumming. The genius of the new breed of celebrity publishing — Us Magazine, TheSmokingGun, TMZ, Gawker, etc — is that it gives readers exactly that sort of stuff, most often without the cooperation of the stars.
Suggestion for Tom and Chris: Instead of compiling celebrity-approved sites, why not compile the sites that celebrities hate? Let us know when that’s up.
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