Oscars fans empowered by social networks

Academy and ABC network implements Facebook and Twitter features, bridging gap between fans and stars

The Academy Awards have the Twitterverse alight.

The Academy Awards have the Twitterverse alight.

Fans and media alike have flocked to social networking sites Facebook and Twitter as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences holds its 82nd annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.

As stars walked down the red carpet, Oscars fans used Twitter to voice their opinions and provide commentary on the proceedings, pushing the Oscars and hashtag “#Oscars” to the top of Twitter’s trending topics list. Comments ranged from complimentary to insulting, with the majority of conversation surrounding what the stars were wearing.

Facebook users could also use the social networking site’s Facebook Connect feature to ask questions via the American Broadcasting Company’s Oscars website. Oscars hosts, Lisa Guerrero and Brett Chukerman, asked chosen questions directly to Hollywood stars and the responses streamed live on the site. The process has not been without its hiccups, however ; the video failed to load for Computerworld at time of writing.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences holds an annual lottery to determine which fans attend the Oscars red carpet in person, but people are rarely offered the opportunity to directly ask questions of the Hollywood stars.

The Academy also held an online voting poll to determine which designer’s dresses would be worn by escorts at the awards. The ‘Oscars Designer Challenge 2010’, held between 23 February and 1 March, allowed participants to choose their favourite gown from nine aspiring designers. The winner’s dress appeared on the red carpet.

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