Cheryl Cole tops 2008 celebrity blog – a taste of things to come?

Nadine Coyle of Girls Aloud

Nadine Coyle (photo 1) has already set up shop – literally – in America. Rumours abound that Cheryl Cole (photo 2) is about to do the same. Even so, it is a pleasant surprise to see Cheryl in number one position on the list for an American celebrity blog of their top 10 girls of the year.

Along with the Girls Aloud girls, music stars are making the Top 10 lists in increasing numbers, which sees a big change in American taste. These are girls with big voices and, often, big brains. In an era when image counts for so much, these music stars are taking as much benefit from their musical DNA as their body shape – and Cheryl is a perfect example.

Cheryl Cole of Girls Aloud

It is maybe not a surprise, then, that Hilary Duff (photo 3) is in the No. 2 slot. It is doubtful such a wholesome star would reach the Top 10 let alone the Top 100 in previous years. But all power to Hilary, from her Russian popstar role to her Maxim appearance – cute and sexy do go together.

And in No 4 slot is Jessica Simpson, and ongoing exposure from the part of Daisy Duke will surely have raised the chances of Jessica staying in the top 10 lists for a few more years yet.

Hilary Duff

So here is the Hollywood Tuna Top Ten Celebrities of 2008:

1. Cheryl Tweedy
2. Hilary Duff
3. Megan Fox
4. Jessica Simpson
5. Lucy Pinder
6. Miranda Kerr
7. Sophie Monk
8. Marisa Miller
9. Mila Kunis
10. Keeley Hazell

The dominance of the Playboy era is over, although there will always be the attraction of big breasts in these types of lists. For example, Lucy Pinder has zero appeal as a person, or even as an attractive face, and certainly has no talent except for her body-shape DNA.

Do kids decide the future stars – The Nick Kids’ Choice Awards say yes

Miley Cyrus - popular with teens and now young adults

The Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, also known as the KCAs, announced in March/April of each year, are often an early indicator of stars of the coming year or two. As most of the votes come from the nick.com website, it’s reasonable to assume these are media-savvy and YouTube-aware teens and pre-teens.

Also of interest is the results cover a wide range of ages of the winners, so demonstrate the power of marketing into even the younger age groups.

Danica Patrick has inspired millions

Back in early 2008 the winners included:
Reality Show: American Idol
TV Actress: Miley Cyrus
Movie Actress: Jessica Alba
Female Singer: Miley Cyrus
Song: Girlfriend – Avril Lavigne
Female Athlete: Danica Patrick
Wannabe Award: Cameron Diaz

The Wannabe Award is presented to the best celebrity role model or inspiration. Previous winners have included Paula Abdul, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Queen Latifah, Tia D. and Tamera Mowry (of Sister, Sister) and talk show host and actress Rosie O’Donnell.

As well as having considerable natural talent, a combination of staying fit alongside good marketing can make sure you photo stays in the news – and on the web. Our photos show Miley Cyrus in more relaxed mode (left) and Danica Patrick (right) in a promotional shoot. The 2009 nominations and voting are open, so we wait the results with interest.

Top Pop Artists 2008 – Girls Steal the Show

Girls on Top ... in music

Girls stole the show for the Top Pop Artists of 2008 by taking 4 of the top 5 slots.

1. Rihanna – solo and collaborations
2. Chris Brown – especially with Jordin Sparks
3. Leona Lewis – the most beautiful voice
4. Katy Perry – sassy, sexy, classy talent
5. Jordin Sparks – heartfelt and smooth diva

Some may argue that Brown is only there because of his duet with Jordin, and that is probably correct. So maybe the girls took four-and-a-half of the top 5 slots!

For us, all of the girls are making MUSIC rather than the boys who seem locked in their big-production, multi-million-budget, metro-sexual, copycat toons.

Just look at the ENERGY of Rihanna, the RANGE of Leona Lewis, the breathless CATCHYNESS of Katy Perry and the MUSICALITY of Jordin. Can’t find 5 boys to equal those.

2 years of astonishing growth – YouTube and FaceBook crush MySpace

At the start of 2007, MySpace, Google and YouTube were close to level-pegging for worldwide web traffic. FaceBook was barely on the radar.

One year later, YouTube was running at twice the traffic, while FaceBook had caught up with the other two.

At the start of 2009, FaceBook has caught YouTube, while MySpace is close to declining. The success of YouTube started with a lot of fairly juvenile and fun content, but now it exceeds MySpace for great music content, and good film resources, and, well, the whole of life – almost.

YouTube probably has the market locked tight for genre and niche content – all readily available, easy to find, and with good stepping stones to similar items. FaceBook, on the other hand, has captured both the tweenies market – great networking and mesmerising apps – and the family networking crown.

Prediction for the next 12 months: Blogs will catch up with MySpace, especially if FaceBook ever work out how to get a Blogroll to work properly.
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Highest Paid Actresses 2008 – Angelina Jolie tops chart

Money may not be everything, but it certainly proves talent and popularity. The critics bleat on about their favourites, or who they have been paid to promote, but the public support has the final say. So we are happy to see one of our favourites at No 1 in the highest paid actress chart for 2008.

Angelina Jolie earned above $15 million for Wanted and may receive $20m for a sequel. The fee is not the only income, however, and the $15m for Edwin A. Salt will be boosted by healthy shares of profits. But also don’t forget that Angelina (and Brad) give millions to charity, and huge amounts of time to humanitarian activities.

At No 2, Julia Roberts has returned and hit the jackpot with Duplicity, earning $15 million-plus for the thriller directed by Tony Gilroy. Roberts is also a strong supporter of charities.

Moving from rather cute child actress and coed, Reese Witherspoon has accomplished a surprising variety of roles. Her salary for Four Christmases was around $14m and total earnings put Witherspoon at No 3 for the year.

Cameron Diaz is still a high earner, with around $10m for the comedy What Happens in Vegas, and that helped toward total earnings of around $50m for the year.

Another former child and TV star is No 5, Katherine Heigl, who is leaping up the earnings list. With around $6m for The Ugly Truth and $225,000 per episode for Grey’s Anatomy, our guess is her bank balance is fairly healthy.
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Top Web Charts for 2008 – Paris Hilton and Anna Kournikova still No 1

In a year of enormous turmoil in the physical world it is wonderful to see the virtual world of the web has steadfastly held to its primary concerns – girls/women and celebrities. And we love it!

So even though there is a new celebrity in the Top Women searches on Lycos – Sarah Palin – it is perhaps no surprise to see the other 4:

1. Paris Hilton
2. Sarah Palin
3. Britney Spears
4. Pamela Anderson
5. Holly Madison

Celebs also dominated the Top News Stories as well, with Heath Ledger, Clay Aiken, Paul Newman and Jennifer Hudson of more interest than earthquakes and wars.


Meanwhile, the public chose Top Sports Stars who combined attractiveness along with accomplishment – again, no great surprise:

1. Anna Kournikova
2. Danica Patrick
3. Maria Sharapova
4. Michael Phelps
5. Serena Williams

And interesting to see Anna is still such a darling of webfolk.
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Context is not new – YouTube and FaceBook the future

Content is not king. Context is king. Unless you have a mechanism to classify or categorise in some way, content becomes a difficult mess.

Search engines helped find content on the web, but still rather inefficiently. Even now, with all the improvements to Google etc, it is still possible to receive thousands of results from a search query.

Microsoft was wrong. Internet Explorer was wrong. They were old concepts and have been totally overtaken by REAL context kings:

YouTube
easily find videos that work (rather than false or broken links in Google or Yahoo)

MySpace
easily stay in touch with friends and common interests (in contrast to clumsy and boring email software)

Facebook
easily find friends and share common interests (in contrast to clumsy and boring special interest groups)

Firefox
providing a browser with tools that work

So ignore the nay-saying of the big boys and go with what works for users. Every computer manufacturer (except Apple) and every hosting software (except Joomla) can be shown to have very fundamental usability failures.

Learn from history!

The Egyptians were smart enough to know that context was king, and used a version of XML-like descriptions for their scrolls to help describe the content. (Yes, the Roman Christians decided to destroy all that and set us back a few thousand years.)