Fansites and their Power over Hollywood

Thanks to the power of the internet, television and movie producers no longer need to spend as much money on market research as they used to. They can instead use fan websites (fansites) and online message boards to detect the general consensus about a film or program.
The Internet has given everybody in America a voice. For some reason, everybody decides to use that voice to bitch about movies.

-Holden from "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back"

Fansites have become valuable and unwitting tools for the Hollywood machine. They act as an accurate barometer for the relative health of a project and can deliver an oftentimes frighteningly unbiased opinion with complete anonymity. As a result, their usefulness to the creators of content increases, which creates a symbiotic relationship that helps both creator and critic to increase in popularity. Take for example "Aint It Cool News:" once derided by Hollywood to be nothing more than a bunch of over-opinionated morons. But now, because of their popularity, they are carefully manipulated pawns at the disposal of online marketing departments everywhere. (they're still over-opinionated morons, but now they are over-opinionated morons with power.)

Jennifer over at "Connect with your Teens through Pop Culture and Technology" attended a program at the Paley Center for Media about fan websites. In attendance were a mix of more notable webmasters who discussed their niche and how it has changed the face of modern entertainment.

Read more about Jenniffer's visit at her own site.

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