Celebrity Gossip Blogs Challenge Traditional Media Outlets

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While traditional news outlets such as television and print are still popular sources for the latest piece of juicy celebrity gossip, an increasing amount of people are tapping the Internet's exploding "gossip circuit."

Lindsay Lohan is spotted in the morning by photographers wearing an enormous diamond ring on her wedding finger. She's been dating Hardrock Cafe heir Harry Morton for the past two months. Is the notorious party girl now engaged?

By the afternoon, there a good chance the story has spread like a virus among the Web's growing "gossip circuit."

Traditional gossip outlets include weekly magazines such as The National Enquirer and daily televisions shows such as Access Hollywood. While these outlets are still very popular, gossip blogs are quickly gaining ground. The nature of the Internet gives blogs two distinct advantages over traditional outlets: instant availability and user interaction. "User interaction" comes after a new story has posted. Most gossip blogs have a comment section where readers can express their feelings after a story. A particularly newsworthy piece of gossip, such as Paris Hilton's recent arrest for drunk driving, may generate hundreds of comments.

The "instant availability" advantage is more obvious. A drawback of television and print outlets is the production schedule. Hard deadlines can mean celebrity gossip that is days old, a lifetime in Internet terms. Contrast that with gossip bloggers, who can have a story posted within minutes.

Nick Jones, owner of Celebslam (http://www.celebslam.com), feels celebrity gossip blogs have only touched the surface of their popularity: "Some of the more popular and established sites are generating more traffic in one week than the entire monthly circulation of the National Enquirer and The Star -- combined."

Celebslam puts a twist on the traditional gossip site, providing what Jones terms as "brutally honest commentary."

"Anyone can read the same rehashed gossip stories a million times. I mean, do you really want to read about Britney Spears's new shoes on nine different sites? I pride myself on providing that little bit of extra, usually in the form of funny and biting commentary on the celebrity, the situation, or even how a particular piece of celebrity news was written. I'm getting a great response from my readers. My site is relatively new but it's already seeing thousands of visitors a day."

A true testament to the viral qualities of the Internet's growing celebrity gossip circuit.

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