Prime time tv may be busy turning ordinary people into stars – at least those trapped on islands or in big city brownstones – but the networks still trail the Net when it comes to reality entertainment. A publishing trend called blogging (short for weblogging) threatens to turn the whole world into ”The Real World,” with hundreds of thousands of ordinary folks writing feverish online journals, posting their innermost thoughts and dramas. Now a handful of blogs – usually bare bones, texty sites run by a single person – are putting a fresh spin on movies, music, and fan favorite celebs.
Free Web tools such as Blogger allow easy publishing of 24/7 Net diaries, including at least one daily log of reactions to Jerry Springer. Best selling authors even spill their guts online, as novelist and comic book veteran Neil Gaiman did, blogging through his recent tour for his book ”American Gods.” ”I’ve surprised myself by sitting and typing a journal entry instead of doing something sensible – like getting some badly needed sleep,” he tells EW. But most blogs aren’t so high profile, says Evan Williams, cocreator of Blogger. ”So many are written for just themselves and their three friends and their mom.” Careful not to get sidetracked by, say, the blog run by vegan college students in Toronto, we found a few blogs that offer unique perspectives on the world of entertainment.
POOPOOCHOOCHOO This polished journal from a group of pop culture fanatics is ripe with commentary (last we looked, ”Jurassic Park III” and the Olsen twins were being pushed through the wringer) and gonzo celebrity encounters: ”First, I met Vanilla Ice! Then my buddy lent cash strapped MTV misfit Andy Dick a quarter for a pay per use Burger King bathroom!” B+
PUPPETMASTER From those blogsters who brought us SURVIVORblog and SURVIVORblog 2 comes a game show similar to ABC’s ”The Mole”: Twelve disaffected young people write blogs, like disaffected young people do all over the Net. Except that one of them is a fake disaffected young person! The others try to root out the poser for a minimum of $75 in prize money. B-
''AMERICAN GODS'' JOURNAL Gaiman’s daily road posts read like a gothic suspense tale, complete with stormy weather and a sense of foreboding. He tells EW that the journal, nonstop since February, has evolved into ”a combination of reports from a war zone, late breaking news, and strange observations on the signing and publicity process.” Don’t worry: We won’t give away the ending. A
SNOOP DOGGY BLOG Like superstar hip hoppers everywhere, Snoop Dogg likes to blog his nights away. At least that’s what Bret Schlyer, who lives in Kansas and writes this journal as if he were down with Eminem and Dr. Dre, would have you believe. The key to keeping Snoop fans fooled, he says, is not saying too much: ”Keep it short.” Yeah, but that’s the problem. We want more. C+
MEMEPOOL Creator Joshua Schachter, who works for a financial services firm, insists that his site is not a blog, but this pile of links to just plain interesting Net oddities is the best of the group logs or journals compiled by dozens of surfers. We got lost following links to a homemade ”Scooby-Doo” Mystery Machine, a 315 page e-book that finally – finally! – makes sense of ”The X-Files”’ mythology, and a prewritten newspaper obit for Marlon Brando. And nothing personal, but nothing personal goes on the site: ”If I wrote about my day to day life, it would be boring as hell,” says Schachter. A-