Earlier this week, Gwyneth Paltrow's new start-up Goop.com went live. The site promises to have tips for food, shopping, and life in general from the actress.
There's no telling whether it's going to be more of a blog or an actual business venture with branded products, an editorial staff, and a synergistic TV program. What we do know is that Paltrow is simply the latest in a long string of celebrities who have come off the big screen (or out of the recording studio) and onto the Web with products and services backed with their money and persona.
Below are 14 recent ones, including updates on whether they're still around.
Celebrity: 50Cent Site: ThisIs50.com ThisIs50.com is a cross between an online resume and a place for fans to gather. What makes it an interesting business venture is that it's been created using the build-your-own social network service Ning. 50Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson has leveraged all sorts of brand integration like a Kyte.tv video player and links to various places to buy and stream his music, including imeem.
Status: Alive and kicking, although it's a visual mess. There's also a 50cent.com, which is far cleaner and powered by MTV-owned Flux.
Celebrity: Ashton Kutcher Site: Blahgirls.com Kutcher, who is also the founder of VoIP start-up Ooma, launched Blahgirls earlier this month at the TechCrunch50 conference in San Francisco. While mainly playing an animated video series, it's also a celebrity gossip blog that plans to make money through advertising and branding that shows up inside the videos.
Status: It's too early to tell but celebrity blogs can rise to prominence and then fall down with startling volatility. Much of Blahgirls' longevity will come down to the content, which in the case of the SouthPark-esqe animated show makes it fairly watchable, even to newcomers.
Celebrity: Andrew Shue Site: Cafemom.com Shue, better known as "Billy Campbell" from the 1990s TV series Melrose Place is also the co-founder of Cafemom.com, a social networking site for moms. The site launched in 2006 and offers a place for mothers to share tips and stories and to come together with other nearby moms.
Status: Cafemom is doing very well. It picked up a $5 million round of funding less than a year after launching. According to the site, it's getting more than 6 million unique visitors a month.
Celebrities: Baron Davis and Cash Warren Site: IBeatYou.com Davis, the pro basketball player, and Warren, a Hollywood producer, are co-founders of IBeatYou, which is a competition site. Users can create challenges and have others compete in order to earn points. Much like Worth1000, it's become a repository for quirky user creations like photo contests and one-upmanship.
Status: Alive, although it's too early to tell where it will end up. The site launched in late March and has since picked up just under $1 million in seed funding.
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