By day, they sing, act and red carpet-hop. By night, they … work on their Web sites?
Well, maybe not by night -- it's hard to picture a boldface name tapping away on a MacBook after dark instead of swigging champagne at an open bar. But a growing class of celebrities is carving out new personas on the Internet.
For them, it's a place to explore who they might have been had fame not come a'knockin': A lifestyle guru instead of an Oscar winner, a fashion mogul instead of a rapper/producer, a burgeoning thinker instead of a tabloid fixture.
Below, check out some of the stars cultivating Web alter-egos.
Onscreen, she's got street cred: An Oscar for "Shakespeare in Love," starring roles in critically acclaimed films like "The Royal Tenenbaums" and "Proof." But on the Web, Gwyneth Paltrow's bidding to become a lifestyle maven – Martha Stewart meets Oprah Winfrey – and it's arguable whether her fans will take the bait.
Paltrow's new Web site, Goop.com, debuted this week to backlash. First, there's the name, which sounds more appropriate for kids' finger paint than an adult-focused advice site. Then, there's the issue that Paltrow's random musings are organized into sections with amorphous names like "Make," "Go," "Get," "Do," "Be" and "See." But for now, all you'll make, go, get, do, be or see if you click on any of those sections is the following essay, apparently authored by the actress:
"My life is good because I am not passive about it. I want to nourish what is real, and I want to do it without wasting time. I love to travel, to cook, to eat, to take care of my body and mind, to work hard. I love being a mother who has to overcome my bad qualities to be a good mother. I love being in spaces that are clean and feel nice."
"Over the years I have tried lots of different things. I have made lots of mistakes. But I have figured some things out in the process and I would like to share them with you. Whether you want a good place to eat in London, some advice on where to stay in Austin, the recipe I made up this week, or some thoughts from one of my sages, GOOP is a little bit of everything that makes up my life."
"Make your life good. Invest in what's real. Cook a meal for someone you love. Pause before reacting. Clean out your space. Read something beautiful. Treat yourself to something. Go to a city you've never been to. Learn something new. Don't be lazy. Workout and stick with it. GOOP. Make it great."
Make the Web site great, Paltrow, and perhaps they'll come.
He's arguably the hottest rapper/producer in the game -- his last album, "Graduation," sold just shy of a million copies in one week when it debuted last September. Onstage, he's known for his arrogant attitude and ability to put on a show. (West's "Glow in the Dark" tour was less rap show, more apocalyptic space opera, featuring an alien doll descending from above and enough dry ice to drop the heat of the Serengeti.)
But on his blog, West waxes poetic about his passion for fashion, art and design. He dedicates a Sept. 25 post to Prada and Miu Miu designer Miuccia Prada and her spring 2009 collection. He also sings her praises in a Sept. 23 post about the Prada Transformer in Seoul, South Korea, a multifunctional space designed to accommodate different art, cinema and fashion events.
"Mrs. Prada you are a true gift 2 our world. Where you could rest on the name of your brand … Instead you use your power 2 constantly push the boundaries of art & design."
It may only be a matter of time before West leaves the rap race for the realm of art and design – or at least, before he links arms with his beloved Prada to put out a line of sneakers.
She really doesn't have to do anything to retain her fame but show up at clubs with Samantha Ronson in her hot minidress du jour. Lindsay Lohan's been a tabloid fixture for years, regardless of what acting/singing/nude modeling project she has on her plate, and now that she's confirmed she and Ronson are officially more than friends, she's given the gossips fodder for some time to come.
But Lohan's also making waves with what she's doing online: Bashing Sarah Palin on her Myspace blog, a space usually reserved for calling out her haters and sending love to Ronson and other pals. She's devoted two posts to the Republican vice presidential candidate this month.
In a Sept. 14 entry, Lohan blogged, "I find it quite interesting that a woman who now is running to be second in command of the United States, only 4 years ago had aspirations to be a television anchor. Which is probably all she is qualified to be … Is our country so divided that the Republicans best hope is a narrow minded, media obsessed homophobe?"
It sounds as if Lohan's expanding her goals beyond Hollywood – perhaps, one day, all the way to Washington, D.C.