Ontd – Oh No They Didn’t
Ontd is a site devoted to celebrity news. Oh, No They Did Not, also called ONTD, has the largest online community on LiveJournal with more than 100,000 members. The community is focused around pop culture and celebrity gossip with all of its posts syndicated from other similar gossip blogs. The site is somewhat controversial because many of the celebrity posts on the blog are either false or plagiarized. The site has been criticized for these reasons as well as its general content management techniques.
Many celebrities have blogs on Ontd as well including Chris Evans, Jimmy Rollins, Amy Grant, Paris Hilton, Snoop Dogg, Usher, and Tiffany. The posts on this site about these celebrities are filled with uncensored celebrity gossip. The ontd board contains links to all of these stars’ personal blogs so you can read the gossip as often as you want, at your own pace, and from wherever you happen to be. However, some of the gossip on Ontd can be questionable and NSF, so use care when looking at celebrity gossip on Ontd.
Many users have criticized the ontd community for censoring news stories on the site. There are rules on the site that prohibit actual stories about sex, religion, or violence. This moderation policy was put in place by the creators of the site in an effort to make it a safe space for its users. According to the site’s developers, the reason the rules were implemented was to combat the spread of “misinformation” on the site. The hope is that if people see that Ontd isn’t primarily dedicated to gossip, but to actually features news and reviews from experts in the field, they will be more apt to follow the rules and share their opinions on things that really matter to them.
The social media sites have indeed influenced many people’s everyday lives, even celebrities. A few years ago, Sarah Palin was spotted vacationing in the Hamptons while wearing a Wexler T-shirt. During that time no one would have thought she was a candidate for Governor of Alaska, but thanks to the Internet, people learned she was and voted her into office. While many people might call that sort of publicity hogging a little excessive, the fact is that with social media, the press can reach far beyond the boundaries of traditional media. By reaching a wide audience, news agencies can increase the credibility of their stories, and that in turn can lead to greater success for an agency and greater ratings when it comes to public relations.
For those who are commenting on ontd, there is little opportunity for self-promotion or self-aggrandizement. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any benefits to being a contributor to Ontd. Many successful musicians have used Ontd as a means to promote themselves. In the case of Britney Spears, her ontd site hosted an entire song about the site’s founder, Craig Robinson. As you may imagine, the site has been helping Britney with her record company, as well as helping her stay in the public eye as a performer.
If it were up to us Britney Spears fans though, we’d like to see more references to Ontd as well as more songs by British celebrities. It’s already a site where Britney Spears can make her statement, and her music video is proof enough of that. By hosting her own site instead of making her record company site, she is not only keeping her name at the forefront but she is also building a brand.
This summer, Harry Styles will be getting his own place on the web. It will be his very own Ontd page. He may have a presence on Facebook already, but he will most likely have a new page launched by the end of the summer. For now though, we are just glad to know that he has found time to be a part of the internet culture in Baidu, as well as on YouTube. This shows that he has a passion for both and hopefully that inspires other British celebrities to do the same.
While we would like to see more from Harry Styles on the net, the one direction that he is veering away from is still very much a part of the picture. His Ontd page is simply one way for him to show fans that he has found a passion beyond music video making. While it might seem weird that he is singing about his home town on his personal page, it is clear that he loves it and is happy to promote it. It is clear that he plans to make Ontd his little voice on the internet and that he will continue to do so in the coming months.