Jay-Z Launches Souped-Up New Website

Jay-Z joins cadre of high-profile celebs with high-tech, online presence.

ByKi Mae Heussner and Sheila Marikar
November 10, 2010, 12:44 PM

Nov. 10, 2010 — -- He's already a king of rap, but larger-than-life music star Jay-Z is now expanding his empire to the Internet.

To promote his upcoming greatest hits album, "The Hits Collection Volume 1," rapper Jay-Z has launched a cutting edge, interactive website that combines his finely honed musical prowess with a high-tech social media savvy.

The black and white site features iconic photography and video of New York City and gives visitors windows into the different time periods of the rapper's career, from his first appearance on "Hawaiian Sophie" in 1989 to his 2010 Tony Award for the Broadway musical "Fela!"

But as visitors browse videos, photos, milestone and music, they can add their own comments via Twitter. In a pop-up box under the banner "Tweets is watching," fans are given the mic and invited to add their voices to the website.

The tweets appear as a simple line of bars at the bottom of the screen. As you mouse over each bar, they light up and display a fan's comment. If you click on a bar, a tweet-filled carousel pops up so that you can scroll through and read the comments one by one.

Some fans are tweeting lyrics to Jay-Z's songs "I'm the New Sinatra." Others are using the mic to show their love for the man behind the music; "Jay Z setting the bar way up High - Big Props".

Social media blog Mashable said the firm Agency Net created the site and opted for the interactive component to include "a mechanism for fans to offer homage in the way they're already doing so, but this time on the most credible platform ever: amongst the content itself and visualized by the world."

But he's not the only celebrity who wants his star to shine on the Web. Below, check out a few other stars cultivating Internet identities.

Funnyman Jim Carrey is known for his bugged-out expressions and crazy comedies. But his new Web site is the actor's most mind-twisting performance yet.

Launched last year, jimcarrey.com is a dark and bizarre, yet creatively rich trip into the actor's life.

The website's home page features a picture of the actor resting his chin on his hands over what appears to be an open book. But his face is surrounded by a Tim Burton-esque, freakishly fantastical scene.

Slices of toast burned to resemble the face of Jesus pop out of a scowling hedge. Figures of men flashing cameras flicker around tufts of Carrey's hair. A bird with the actor's head tweets random cheers and shout-outs (and links to -- what else? -- the actor's Twitter page).

Along the bottom, the menu directs viewers to his biography, the latest news, and film and TV accomplishments. But anywhere a viewer's mouse lands might take them to another hidden pocket of the actor's online existence.

A multi-colored hot air balloon floating beneath the moon zooms viewers to a Sistine Chapel-like scene of Carrey as Michelangelo's Adam. Click on the actor's eye and brace yourself for an up-close-and-personal look at the actor's dilated pupil and every eyelash.

The weekend it launched, Carrey tweeted: "WOW guys! you overwhelmed my website today! i'm jacking up the band width asap! wasn't expecting so much love! SSSSS'NICE!! :)}"

Alicia Silverstone

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