Welcome to Pop2it: Web's first ever Justin Bieber, Hillary Clinton and Willow Smith mashup

zap-pop2it-jbieber-hclinton.jpgPlease stop and don't read any further until you kindly update your former Dish Rag bookmarks to Pop2it: http://blog.zap2it.com/pop2it.

Zap2it readers, we've taken the virtual wrecking ball to our celebrity coverage and have relaunched the section as Pop2it. The fun part begins now with my editor's dual challenge of elevator pitching new readers, while convincing existing readers to "endorse" our new candidate in the interwebs' pop culture news race.

As a self-proclaimed CNN junkie, who obsessively hangs on every word and report on the cable news channel 24/7 watches and listens very closely to political cues and analysis from commentators David Gergen and Candy Crowley, I'm well aware that during a proper endorsement speech an individual must seamlessly and effortlessly invoke the name of the new candidate throughout the oration. (Or in actuality this Pop2it "transcript").

The triple mission --- should I choose to accept it and of course I do -- is to mention my new "candidate" Pop2it's name more times than Hillary Clinton said "Obama" in her endorsement speech. Or mention Pop2it more times than Justin Bieber says "baby" in hit song "Baby." Or mention Pop2it more times than our girl Willow Smith whips her hair back in the track which I just can't seem to quit from iPod repeat.

Numbers to beat
Aunt Hillary's Barack speech: 15
Bieb's "Baby" beat: 54
Willow's "trackcrack": 66

Start the Pop2it counter and don't forget to include the mentions above.

What is Pop2it and why the rebrand?

We wanted to cast a wider net on the net with our revamped coverage on Pop2it. The world of pop culture, as fanatics like us know, is a very broad one. It not only encompasses celebrities, TV, movies and music but also theater, fashion, food, books (cool ones, of course), viral videos, tech intel, sports, politics, media news (savvy, of course), the latest happenings on "the social network" and more. Pop2it will be covering pieces of it all in the unique way our Zap2it team covers television.

Pop2it can be best described to readers as this: If Zap2it's From Inside the Box TV blog had a hot, drunken one-night stand with Vulture, Gawker, Just Jared and People.com, which was free of morning-after awkwardness but resulted in a pop culture pregnancy, the child would sort of look, sound and think like Pop2it.

We realize that the aforementioned scenario includes multiple entertainment news outlets, but unfortunately there isn't a site or blog that could be singularly paired as our TV blog's "fun buddy" to embody all the qualities we're aiming to "procreate" here. Hence why Pop2it needed to be born. 

Does this mean Pop2it will abandon trashy DUI, sex tape, arrests and rehab coverage?
Celebrities will never stop behaving badly, and well, we sort of will never stop being grateful to some of them for it. So no we're not abandoning all of it, we will still have to cover some of those unfortunate (or fortunate) moments.

Depending on a reader's taste, one either thanks Hollywood's bad girls and boys for the laugh-inducing dinner and drink chatter, or you curse their mere existence for taking up precious web ink that could be better spent on one of our TV Z-Caps or Z-Views.

Well. the Zap2it team doesn't discriminate and wants to invite all walks of life from both sides of the tracks all types of new readers to join our ol' faithful ones at the Pop2it party. There's highbrow art and lowbrow art just like there's scripted television and reality television, and guess what: We're not ashamed to admit we love some of both. Pop2it is definitely not an "either-or" offering, it's more like the "little-something-of-everything-for-everyone" offering.

Pop2it is, however, a no-fly zone for Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and other clone-ish celebutante types, but we're happy to point you to sites where you can find coverage of them. Our self-imposed moratorium on these gals is only lifted for extremely specific circumstances which will remain classified Zap2it information. Sorry but those are the rules. Fair to mention, if and when Lohan makes a comeback as an actress -- remember the craft we originally fell in love with her for? -- hopefully by way of a TV rehab role on an ABC Family sitcom, she's happily welcome back to the Pop2it planet.

Will there be more original reporting, interviews and features on Pop2it than the previous celebrity coverage?
Yes, we will have lots more. Pop2it will consist of our own original news and buzz paired with aggregated, carefully curated news from other reliable entertainment sources. All of that content will be blended with a mixture of opinion, commentary and comedic riffs on news, which we hope our readers think are funny. Zap2it's team internally refers to these types of news takes as "posts with a twist." Our spanking new voice and fresh tonality on Pop2it, sure to be evolving in the near term, is our calling card to either a) runaway success or b) colossal failure. So help a brother out with choice "a." Also, observe above how our "internal" slang "went external" on the Pop2it header.

  • Our game is "Pop2it: Culture. Celebrity. With a Twist."
  • Our goal is daily delivery of entertainment news, served with side order of laughter.
  • Our game rule No. 1 in effect is one-giggle-a-post minimum, so do feel free to school us in the comments if we're not living up to expectations.
  • Our game rule exception to game rule No. 1 is to apply some sensitivity to serious subject manner, i.e. please see:  Biggest wack job, loon in Hollywood Mad Mel Gibson and Oksana.  

We think we've covered the top pop points on what to expect from our new section. Other notables include: 

Movies: Pop2it will leave the "art of filmmaking and cinematography" coverage angles to the well-respected critics around the web, but you can expect some cool first look trailers, photos, red carpet premieres and fun movie star interviews.

Music: Bieber,Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Miley -- the usual Top 40 suspects as well as a few obscure, emerging artists all have a home at Pop2it. First listens, music video premieres and overall impressions of the latest jams during any given week.

Zap2it's "Celeb Slam Book" and "Don't Look Now" Series: Our featured blogger/reporter Jethro Nededog's popular interview series will expand cross-site with the rest of the Zap2it team courting some of your favorite celebrities for this features' special brand of grilling.

We hope you stick around for awhile, check things out and keep your browser pointed to Pop2it.

Now on a more personal note, some special shout outs: First, we're well aware our new name closely resembles one of Zap2it's strongest editorial partners on the web. We'd be remiss by not preemptively stating the obvious: We too are big fans of AOL's Popeater! Chief Jason Kaufmann and team rock it. There's plenty of room on the web for all of us and no shortage of unique ideas. Hats off to PE on leading the "pop" way, we only hope we do the similiar- ish name as proud as they have for millions of entertainment readers.

Mucho gratitude and appreciation to rockstar designer Clint Stephenson and developer Justin Scheef who I couldn't personally live without. Pop2it was another labor of love and I'm lucky to be working with two of the best in the biz. Lots of thanks to our super sharp product team out in Chicago, lead by Gunter Kalogridis and Andre Alforque, as well as our fearless leader Rebecca Baldwin, VP/GM of Zap2it.

Last but certainly never least, uber thanks to the super-talented Zap2it editorial team (pictured right in the Brady Bunch-esque box), whom I have the pleasure of working alongside every day. They're the genius minds who will be filling these pages with some of the coolest stories Zap2it has to offer. My hat is off to each of them. Bravo!  

  Pop2it "Endorsement" Counter Total: 26 mentions. Better than Hillz but no match for Willz. 






Photo/Video credit: Getty Images
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