Bonnie Fuller finally re-launched HollywoodLife.com as a celebrity gossip site in her own image, and it's as nauseating as we feared: In Touch and Life & Style have indeed vomited all over a ridiculously loooong Web page.
Bonnie Fuller invented the modern incarnation of the celebrity gossip magazine at Us Weekly aesthetic — the screaming palette of pinks, purples and yellow, the starburst cover lines, the hand-drawn arrows, and picture pop-outs — which were widely duplicated as a sure-fire formula to get ladies to buy magazines at newsstands. This home page for her newly redesigned site uses all of her old magazine tricks. Simultaneously.
This stew of soft celeb chatter on HollywoodLife.com is all the more overwhelming because of the truly massive pictures Fuller insists on placing on the home page, thus requiring absurd amounts of scrolling to see just one item. That's not the only magazine throwback on the site; the right margin of the homepage is studded with little Us-esque sidebars, which should be as painful for Fuller's poor underlings to maintain/update as they will for readers to skim.
Which isn't to say Fuller's early stumbles will be lethal for her or her boss Jay Penske, who is building a stable of Hollywood news sites of widely varying viciousness. Pictures and chaotic sidebars aside, HollywoodLife has a serviceably clean design, and Web publishing in any case is all about iteration. Fuller just needs to coax a series of user-friendly tweaks from her staff. Given Fuller's notoriously ferocious approach to management, that shouldn't be much of a problem.