Pop Star Sites
Britney. Christina. Jessica. Mandy. The blond popsters all have hit albums, inspire maniacal hordes of elementary-school fans, and rely on that special blend of Überproduced canned music and grinding choreography. But do these mini-divas dare to be different on their official websites? Even on the cyberstage, it seems, they mimic each other.
BRITNEY SPEARS (http://www.britneyspears.com)
Luring fans with a teasing loop from ”Oops! … I Did It Again,” Spears alternates between sexy (lots of revealing tops) and innocent (lots of sweet smiles). The singer takes time to yak with fans on the FAQ page, but the real presence is her mom, Lynne, who regularly pens letters to fans on Spears family life. Of course, you’ll find standard fan fare: message boards, chat rooms, and contests. Still, for all the slick photos and sunny greetings, the site is full of glitches and slow-loading pages. Oops, indeed. B
CHRISTINA AGUILERA (http://www.christina-a.com)
This genie in a bottle succeeds in setting herself apart by having the chintziest-looking site of all. And just try getting personal with her in the Rumor Mill, where her PR machine tersely dispels tabloid gossip (”Christina does not consider Fred [Durst] an enemy”). The site is stuffed to the apple cheeks with self-plugging info and links to future appearances. As sassy as Christina appears on MTV, her online presence is about as snappy as Carson Daly’s wardrobe. B-
JESSICA SIMPSON (http://www.jessicasimpson.com)
In case you can’t guess by the teen-dreamy site intro (Jessica floating amid throbbing hearts), this Texan naif takes pride in her innocent-as-angel-food-cake image. Simpson goes lite on corporate filler (save for her bio, which offers us ”In an era of pre-fabricated wind-up divas, she is refreshingly honest, remarkably focused”) and emphasizes fan interaction via Jessica’s Diary. Here she delves into topics like her latest birthday party and the time her pants split on stage (”I was like oh my gosh this is insane!”). In between gushy, God-loving sentiments, Jessica’s constantly reminding her devotees to vote for her video on TRL and help her inherit the earth. B+
MANDY MOORE (http://www.mandymoore.com)
Part MTV hostess, part divette, Moore has a site filled with trivia (”Did you know Mandy is double-jointed?”) and silly snapshots, though she does exhibit a willingness to tackle rumors (on lip-synching: ”Hey, if you are a singer … you gotta sing, right?”). The Where’s Mandy? page claims to let fans know the songbird’s whereabouts, but when we visited, it hadn’t been updated in weeks. Perhaps the most telling glimpses of Moore are in the photos that catch her with that goofy look some singers achieve when they are concentrating extra-special hard. B
A Special Friend
‘N Syncer Justin Timberlake, Britney’s rumored honey, has a site (http://www.justintimberlake.com) too. Any love hints? Nope, it’s devoted to his school-music program.