The Oscars Get Social

Nancy Anderson
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This year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences hopes to hook a new generation on the Oscars by meeting them on their turf. To the Web-addicted, the Tweeters, and the overFacebooked, the Academy says, "You're Invited."

According to Reuters, the Oscars are rolling out the red carpet big-time for the online crowd, offering many ways to interact with the ceremonies on and off stage. At the Oscar website, visitors can buy an "All Access Pass" to exclusive views of the festivities from 24 different vantage points on the red carpet, backstage, in the press rooms and at the post-show Governors Ball dinner. The Academy's Facebook fan page is loaded with photos of unexpected off-camera action and stars at various pre- and post-show events and will advise visitors of what is upcoming on the telecast.

And the Twitterverse can follow live updates from members of the Hollywood family - specifically, James Franco's mom (@Francosmom) and grandma (@Grandmamitz), "The Fighter" director David O. Russell's mom (@Russellsmom), "Toy Story 3" director Lee Unkrich's mother (@EmilieUnkrich) and others, including several of the nominees themselves as well as @TheAcademy.

The aim is to get more people to watch the Oscar telecast. Although the Oscars remain the second most watched TV program of the year, the audience has been slipping of late, paralleling attendance at the movies. Last year's audience of 42 million, the most in the last five years, was attributed to the popularity of Best Picture nominee "Avatar," the highest-grossing film of all time.

The Academy figures that by engaging younger people on the platforms where they already find things to amuse themselves besides movies, they can get them to engage with the movies as well - and especially with the film industry's biggest night of the year.

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By Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith has been blogging for since 2010. In addition to launching award-winning newspapers and newsletters at the University of Pennsylvania and Widener University, Sandy is a veteran writer whose articles and essays have appeared in several local and regional media outlets, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia CityPaper, and PGN, and on several Web sites. He is also an active participant on several discussion boards, including, where he posts as “MarketStEl.” He has been supporting himself through a combination of freelance and part-time work and unemployment compensation since early 2009 and is himself an active job-seeker. Read more of his posts on and follow him to Nexxt for more job opportunities.


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