This week, pop goddess Lady Gaga officially launched her new social network, LittleMonsters.com, after several months of closed beta.
The site bears design and functionality similarities to Pinterest (visual content), Reddit (crowdsourced voting), Facebook/MySpace (profiles and private messaging) and other successful platforms.
Created by startup dev company Backplane, it is creative, innovative and progressive.
However, there is something really, truly classic about it.
It’s a fan club.
The content and discussions, even the event listings, all revolve around one person: Lady Gaga.
You know what it reminds me of? The Grateful Dead. (Read about their creative, innovative and progressive ways to connect with fans dating back to the 1960s here.)
While some may look at this as stealing or copying, Little Monsters is the evolution of fan clubs.
Instead of secret handshakes, special sections to record concerts and regular newsletters, Lady Gaga has found a way to own her social connectivity with her fans. There is no filter of a 3rd party – her manager helped create the network and she was, by all accounts, neck-deep in it every step of the way.
Fan clubs, traditionally, were all about direct access between a celebrity or band and their most loyal fans.
In the social media era, fan clubs became absorbed by networks as fan pages. Gaga could USE the platforms to talk directly to her fans, but was still bound by someone else’s rules. Not anymore.
I don’t know if LittleMonsters.com will be a success, although Gaga’s track record says that it will. But I absolutely love when we can use technology to go back to the future.