When you have become so famous that there is no more famous to become, what do you do next? Found a social network devoted entirely to yourself, naturally.
That’s the word from Lady Gaga, the world’s most unsettling pop diva, who is preparing to launch littlemonsters.com, an online home for her millions of fans, in collaboration with Backplane, a social media start-up that counts Gaga as one of its investors with a 20% stake. The network is still being set up, but visitors to the Web address can register for an invitation by submitting their email addresses.
The social network is a key step for the pop superstar, allowing fans to find each other and fuse their energies into a great Gaga vortex, perhaps as a preamble to some kind of cosmic pop event (I’m thinking the star-baby from 2001). After all, successful pop stardom is all about the mystical rapport between the celebrity and her fans, but also between the fans themselves, as they join together in a cult-like, communal appreciation of the celebrity, egging each other on in a mutually reinforcing cycle of teenage tweakedness. This naturally also includes lots of extra-crazy fan-generated content.
It’s not clear how, or whether, Gaga intends the new site to integrate with her many other social media platforms, especially Twitter, which has until now enjoyed something of a symbiotic relationship with Gaga, growing along with her fame. However, if all of Gaga’s 18 million Twitter followers join her new social network and visit at least once a month, it would put littlemonsters.com ahead of sites including Pinterest (with 7.5 million unique visitors in December 2011, per comScore), Barnes & Noble (14 million), and the U.S. Postal Service (15.5 million).