Pictures of Rosie
A friend recently sent me a link to Rosie O'Donnell's flickr account. It's actually a really homey blend of pix -- Rosie at home with the family, on vacation, with other celebs, stuff she finds visually interesting. She's labeled all the photos as public, even those that aren't incredibly flattering, a decidedly un-celeb thing for a celebrity to do. What right-minded egomaniac would want this kind of close-up making the rounds?
Rosie's pix got me to thinking about celebs on the Web on their own terms -- not at the hands of the tabloids or others with less than honorable intentions. Many big names now blog regularly: "Scrubs" and "Garden State" star Zach Braff, musician (and Carmen Electra hubby) Dave Navarro, director Kevin Smith ("Clerks," "Mallrats" and "Dogma"), musician Moby, acclaimed funnyman Dave Barry and, no surprise, Rosie O'Donnell. And then there's Huffington Post, where stars like Alec Baldwin, John Cusack -- and possibly George Clooney -- have been known to turn up with an opinion from time to time.
The fans make out well in this scenario. They've got unprecedented insight into the lives of their idols and a chance to interact with them directly. It's not as clear what Rosie and the other tech savvy stars are getting in return. A 2005 Salon.com article about this very topic posited this theory:
...even though just about every celebrity blog is, to at least some extent, a publicity tool, some throw off surprising sparks of creativity and originality. Is it possible that, just as people who hold down dreary jobs by day blog passionately about movies, knitting or fish keeping by night, some celebrities feel that even their seemingly exciting, creative jobs don't use every muscle they've got?
Could be. Like everything else, it's in how they use the tool -- in this case the Web. Some are better than others.
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