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"You gotta do what you can to protect your family. I learned that from my father."
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March 23 2006

Amy Acker's official website launched. STARFURY put together and is hosting the Official Website of Amy Acker.

Maybe I live in a dream world but don't official websites usually have personal messages from the actor or actress?
Not Starfury managed ones, Simon.
Many do, but not all of them. To be "official" there just has to be some contractual agreement to run the site on behalf of the celebrity.
In my experience, 'official' websites are uninteresting propaganda designed more for whoever the talent is trying to impress than the talent's fanbase that would be admittedly impressed if the talent just breathed on the website now and then. However, I'm not.

Also, "official" has become a rather subjective term on the Internet. Is Jewel Staite's official website this one, this one, or this one? You will probably learn more about her at this one then all three 'official' websites put together. So when it comes to someone, anyone, other than Amy Acker herself putting together an "official" website? Color me unimpressed.

While impressive, this one reminds me of many music artist websites I've seen which look flashy and all, but ultimately offer little to no actual substance. You click around a half dozen links before you realize you're not seeing anything particularly new that you didn't already know. It's like a commercial for the guy. "Hey! Check me out! I'm doing this show and I'm available for that role! Look at me!" This is when you realize most actors make websites not for their fans but for their agents and the casting directors. Which makes perfect sense, but means the fans are given lip service and nothing of interest will be revealed on the 'official' website cuz if you're trying to impress a casting director, you want to be memorable, but not in a bad way. Nothing to rock the boat.

Personally, I wish J. August Richards would offer some stuff that's seemingly banal and maudlin, but also intriguing to his fan base. For example what's his morning routine when it comes to shaving his head? If one were to consider shaving their own head, what things should one keep in mind? What's the regimen? In his own words, that'd be a pretty cool read, and it wouldn't necessarily cause casting directors to wince. In fact it might cause them to doubletake, which is a good thing. Also, does he have some recipes that are his favorite? What does a J. August Richards eat when not on a film set? His diet might be of interest to both casting directors and fans alike. I don't see anything like that on his site. Maybe I'm clicking in the wrong places.

Nick Brendon's site is impressive, but hasn't been updated in almost six months that I can see. Amber Benson is over here. Simple and elegant design. Recently updated. I like it. James Marsters has the right idea, though the blatant commercialism of it kinda puts me off. I'm not much into buying autographs, I don't care how cool I think the person is. That's just silly. This domain is a crying shame. Gorram squatters. Why is Summer Glau's official site in the UK, when she was born in Texas? What's so official about that? You know which Whedon alumnus has the best 'official' site in my opinion? Jane Espenson cuz it's her blog with her thoughts on a regular basis and it covers a wide range of topics of interest to her and her work. It's well crafted and user friendly in navigation. Regularly updated. Aesthetically pleasing. Espenson also makes smart, sexy. =) ...I may be a little biased.

[ edited by ZachsMind on 2006-03-23 19:06 ]
I don't care whether it's official or not, but I wish it had been put together by someone who understands spelling and the proper use of apostrophes. Nice photos.

Is this Starfury who do the UK conventions, or a different US group?
Yeah, they're the UK conventions people.

Summer Glau's (official) site is ran by Andy Evans, who at least speaks to her occasionally.

In reality I'd rather actors, you know, act than web design.

Edit: and I'd rather I knew how to type.

[ edited by gossi on 2006-03-23 19:18 ]
@zachsmind
"James Marsters has the right idea, though the blatant commercialism of it kinda puts me off. I'm not much into buying autographs, I don't care how cool I think the person is. That's just silly."

I'm not into the autographs either, but the commercialism doesn't bother me in the least, nor do I think it's silly. It's just not for everyone. Nothing wrong with making a buck on the internet. Many folks won't/can't attend those Cons so getting an officially autographed pic straight from the source is probably most legit way to go about it. It's gotta be less risky than Ebay.

In recent weeks JM's site has really made some giants leaps in adding and updating to make it something worth going to visit. As you've said, they do have the right idea, they've started archiving his messages, added a Q&A that you can email a question to, etc. I think they've really improved the coding/grammar etc. that used to be such a turnoff for folks. it definitely feels like someone is now actually proofreading what gets posted on his site.

First impression, AA's site seemed pretty slick even if there's not much unique about it, I'm sure it will evolve in time. I wish a lot them would do similar things as JM's. As you pointed out, so many are so UNofficial there's not much worth seeing. If you can't have everything a person needs, at least try to have something unqiue (like the JM's Q&A) that makes your site stand out above the fan sites.

I know ith NB's site there is definite interaction between him and the webmaster to run the site. (If I was him, with just having my series be cancelled, I'd probably not do any updates while I moped either!).

@gossi
"In reality I'd rather actors, you know, act than web design."
In reality, I rather actors would spend a few bucks, that I'm sure they can spare, and hire a real web design firm. :)

[ edited by Grace on 2006-03-23 19:55 ]
Anthony Head's official site, while not too attractive, is good as is regularly updated, has some Tony imput and the webmaster is very quick to respond to queries.
Tim Minear's fansite is cool. And I agree with what Grace says, James' site has made a serious effort in engaging with James' fans. It's to be commended.

Alas we will never know what the official Mutant Enemy site would have looked like but there's an unofficial news blog here at LemonLyman.com Whedonesque.
Is Jewel Staite's official website this one, this one, or this one?

Clearly, the last two are fan sites. Only one claims to be the official site. I knew of a site a few years ago that claimed to be an official site of a certain celebrity and the owner got a terse cease and desist order from a big fancy law firm. Official has a very clear meaning, it's not subjective at all.
"Official has a very clear meaning, it's not subjective at all."
Very true, but often the non-official ones aren't so clear. They let visitors assume quite a bit and not all are obviously amatuerish.

"Alas we will never know what the official Mutant Enemy site would have looked like but there's an unofficial news blog here at...Whedonesque."

Just as often there are sites that aren't official but seem to have developed a good approval rating - like that Whedonesque site I keep hearing about! :)

ETA: Edited to fix my English (Some days it doesn't seem like it's my FIRST language!). It was coming out rather Yoda'ish... :)

[ edited by Grace on 2006-03-23 20:41 ]
Actually, jewelstait.net is where she posts her "Dear Roj" blog. That doesn't it make it her official site, but it gives it perhaps more credibility than a site like Amy's that does have the "official" tag but no personal input from the actor. I'm not saying they should build the site, but it definitely makes the site better if they contribute a personal message, or better yet personal updates.
Very true, but often the non-official ones aren't so clear. They let visitors assume quite a bit and not all are obviously amatuerish.

True. A variation on Caveat Emptor applies to online sites. Let the browser beware. I make a point to check copyright and disclaimer statements as well as look for other credentials. I tend to assume that a site is not official unless it is quite clear that they are.

Now an "official" site may not be the best site in terms of the fans experience. Often the reason for their existence, in large part, is to promote themselves for future roles. So they want it to look good to a producer or casting director. It may not look as good to a fan.

Sites run by fans for fans are often better. In some cases, like Whedonesque for example, the site is so good that the celebrity in question may adopt it as their de facto site even if they aren't officially connected to it.
Four times out of five, I prefer a fan-made site to an official one. When something is made out of admiration rather than for a paycheck, you can appreciate it a little more. This is not to say that I immedietly brush off an official site, though. I just tend to see a little more care in fan sites.

And I'm not only saying this because of my ties Alan-Tudyk.com ...Seriously.
I'm just excited to watch the HIMYM episode with Ally, Dennis and Amy all in it!!
Gina Torres' site is very professionally done with some lovely shots of her.

In reality, I rather actors would spend a few bucks, that I'm sure they can spare, and hire a real web design firm. :)


Just to clarify this, I earn more than many of the Buffy reoccuring guests I suspect -- and I don't earn vast amounts. An actor in LA typically picks up something close to working a temp office job in total. I believe Alan's plan at one point was to work in a hotel, a few years ago. That said, somebody like Amy could probably afford her own professionally done website -- which it looks like has happened.

Alan's sister runs AlanTudyk.com, if anybody is interested. Looks like it is down for a redesign.
I'm glad to hear that Amy has an official site now. The most important benefit of having one is that you know the info you'll find there is true.



In reality, I rather actors would spend a few bucks, that I'm sure they can spare, and hire a real web design firm. :)


I feel the opposite. Yes, a professional web design company would create a great looking site with all the latest graphic effects but if the actor or their agents are not hands-on and committed, the content will surely suffer. I've come across a number of official sites that are pleasing to the eyes but so lacking in good and up-to-date info, which you would expect to find. It's disappointing.

Sites run by fans for fans are often better. In some cases, like Whedonesque for example, the site is so good that the celebrity in question may adopt it as their de facto site even if they aren't officially connected to it.


I agree. Another good example is SMGFan.com. I think Sarah already considers it her official site.
SMGFan.com is an amazing site! Silent Night I agree that sites run by fans for the fans usually have a way better spread. You get that devotion and zeal that doesn't exist unless you are passionate about the actor/actress. Obviously there are exceptions to what I'm saying but I find most often sites run by the fans are better.
I don't care whether it's official or not, but I wish it had been put together by someone who understands spelling and the proper use of apostrophes.

Amen! Those errors are jumping out at me! Looks very unprofessional.
While some official sites are pretty decent, with input from the actor, most are like this one: run-of-the-mill cookie-cutter stuff that obviously didn't have a lot thought go into it. Good grief, the gallery holds about 9 pics, and what I thought were thumbnail buttons turn out to be the actual pictures themselves! And overall, it reads like a shallow flyer rather than an online 'base'. Not impressed.

I too think Sarah probably is quite content with smgfan. I doubt there's much an official site would improve on there, so I'd play it like her too. Give it your indirect blessing and toss them a nice letter every now and then.

Speaking of which, I have to agree with Simon that a few words from the actor themselves makes a world of difference. Would it have been that much work? Tony, James, Sarah, Jewel....Hell, even someone like Ian McKellen has been known to answer email questions on his site. And why not? How much time does that have to take? And it really is a great and safe way to have fan contact, and keep a little buzz going around yourself.
Official sites or fan sites like smgfan.com are helpful when it comes to clarify projects rumors. A few words of the actors are really appreciated too. Simply wish Amy's credits were more accurate. (think To serve and protect...)

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