The word has it that some people don’t understand Gwyneth Paltrow’s recent motivation to do online publishing. Yes, it is true, the Oscar-winning actress is sending out the weekly newsletters, encouraging readers to make, do, see, get, be, and go. Viral marketing meets celebrity news, in a nutshell.
Well, if Stephen Fry, Demi Moore&Ashton Cutcher, and Britney Spears are all on Twitter, why shouldn’t Gwyneth Paltrow send signed newsletters to those who are interested? It all looks like a pretty good idea. Here are the two newsletters, the GO Newsletter dedicated to Paris, and the SEE Newsletter focusing on exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, New Orleans, London, and Madrid.
So far there is nothing outrageously self-centred about these newsletters. The point to bear in mind is that Gwyneth kindly shares with us the aspects of her life, but it’s up to us to take something out of it. As with all online publishing, you can’t always predict exactly what you will get from it until you start. Amidst all sneer and jeer that the actress will undoubtedly receive for the brave move, I am sure she will be able to offer something positive…
…providing the website works OK. My biggest criticism at the moment is that some pages load too long. The URLs for some categories are too cumbersome. And, as if to raise the question of the purpose of it all, there seems to be no way to communicate with Gwyneth or her team, to say ‘thank you for sharing your memories of visiting Paris for the first time with your Dad‘, and such like. In the last few minutes I was unsuccessfully trying to view this week’s Newsletter, and on all occasions received the 504 Gateway Time-Out error message.
For my part, I see no problem with celebrities entering Social Networking platforms and sharing their photos, snippets of their lives, stories, etc with the huge retinue of fans and idle watchers. As celebrated as they are, they’re usual people, and it may be a very natural desire to rid themselves of inhibitions and restrictions and do something that less known folks do carelessly. However, it should be good. And for that Gwyneth could easily start a proper blog, offering an RSS and email subscriptions and sticking to the same six categories she has already identified. She wouldn’t need to change the tactics: she could still post on a weekly basis, but the circulation and response would arguably be wider and better. Last but not least, Gwyneth and her team would be able to moderate comments from readers, and I am sure there would be quite a few she’d be glad to receive and perhaps respond to. Somehow I believe that receiving heart-felt comments from her fans, responding in real time to her shared thoughts and experiences, would be very rewarding for Gwyneth.