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Achieving Fan/Celebrity Communications
Simple bridges between stars and the fans who make them so.
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 by Kieran Bailey
Fan Site Moderator

Kieran BaileyOpen 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 and spam.

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.

Kieran 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 

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