communication lines are vital in any relationship, whether it be personal
or professional. The ongoing relations between a star and his or her fans
are most crucial: without the
fans, the star would not have a career. The relationship between the two
thrives on their connection -- the star strengthens the fans' loyalty by
interaction, and the fans help keep the celebrity in the spotlight.
Effective communications with fans is key in a star's success.
Unfortunately, with the demands of the trade, it is difficult and
time-consuming to give constant updates and attention. Luckily, with the
resources out there and the right approach, the communication between the
two has never been easier. The Internet has wonderful resources available
to connect and communicate with fans; in particular: networking, groups,
and message boards.
Sites such as MySpace, Xanga, and Friendster make networking an easy and
almost effortless option. With sites such as these, fans are able to feel
connected with the celebrity and able to promote them on their own sites.
MySpace is one of the most popular networking sites out there right now.
The setup makes the promotional aspect easy and interactive. With a free
registration, you are able to "add" someone as a "friend," share pictures, post blogs and bulletins alerting your
"friends" of updates, and promote music, movies, and other forms
of media through services offered by the site. However,
these require regular maintenance to approve "friends" and
comments, and to also post the bulletins and blogs.
Groups are e-mail based and are offered by most e-mail hosting sites. Like
an updated mailing list, a group sends messages to all subscribers alerting
them of updates. However, with hosts such as Yahoo and MSN, you also have
the ability to post pictures, create polls, and host chats from a central
homepage. There are moderation options, allowing control over messages,
membership, and polls. It gives an interactive ability to subscribers and
lets them feel more connected. These too require some maintenance to keep
out spammers and trolls, but far less than a MySpace account would need,
depending on how moderated you keep it. Often times, there are one or two
trustworthy fans who would be willing to help out with the upkeep making
maintenance a breeze.
Message boards are the simplest and easiest to maintain of the three.
Based on a server, such as Proboards, EZBoards, or independently hosted
sites, a message board allows fan interaction by message posting. Again,
depending on the site you use, and how much moderation and filtering you
choose, these boards can be left with minimal attendance by the
administration. Again, as with the groups, often you can find a few
members who are willing and trustworthy enough to keep an eye out on posts
Stars should show appreciation for their fans. It is simple gestures -- an occasional
message, updates, a few pictures, or even a thank you -- that make fans
happy, and keeps them loyal for many years to come.
Bailey is a moderator of official fan club sites, including
those for stars of Nickelodeon programs All That and Zoey 101.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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