The future of blogs in fiction and movies

Fictional character blogs give Hollywood a vast laboratory for story development and franchise extensions.

Heather's post yesterday about the TV character who blogs got me thinking about the vast potential for blogs in the fictional world. Looking ahead, I think the entertainment world will spawn loads of character blogs from movies, TV shows and video games. From the business point of view, these blogs will extend the franchise, attract the fanatics, link to e-commerce sites and paid downloads.

More interesting to me, though, is how they'll evolve. Blogs will give characters a chance to grow, to interact with the rest of the (real) world, and to develop new friendships and new stories. In a sense, it's like an open-source extension of the screenplay. I'm betting, in fact, that these fictional blogs will A) employ lots of under-employed screenwriters and B) spawn new stories that will lead to new movies and TV episodes. We've talked about the blog world as a laboratory for technology and news. I'm sure we'll see how it can also work for entertainment.

The scary part of this is that character bloggers will not sit obediantly in the fiction corner. The blog world will be crawling with fictional sorts, and they'll be participating in political discussions, flaming enemies, perhaps even linking to you and me.

"Did you see it?" we'll be saying. "Tony Soprano called for an immediate pullout from Iraq."

Some of these character blogs will become enormously popular. PR agencies will be angling to steer the story one way or another. Dark rumors will be circulating about pharma's influence when Dr. House, in his blog, disparages drug imports from Canada.

Massive fights over intellectual property are likely to erupt. Imagine the hubbub at MGM when the James Bond character makes a pass at a man on his blog, or admits to a secret admiration for Saddam Hussein. But in fact, Hollywood's fictional bloggers will be just like Heather and me and other mainstream bloggers. They'll be free up to a point, but will have a pretty good idea where the limits are. The key difference: They'll be writing fiction. But like reality TV (which will doubtless produce loads of character blogs), the lines between fiction and reality will be blurred.

Do you see this taking place? Is it happening already?

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