How many hits does your website get? How about 10 million a week? That’s the number visiting Vote for the Worst which is subverting the reality television format by encouraging votes for American Pop Idol contestents who aren’t the producers’ favourites.
Such is the power of the VFTW word of mouth, its founder, Dave Della Terza (who has worked in television as an editorial assistant), has appeared on David Letterman and there is a Wikipedia entry. (Actually Sanjaya also has a Wikipedia site – but it is lacking a free image as Fox TV is rather hot on protecting its “property”.)
In the UK, there have been great cases of the public undermining reality television without such websites – remember Michelle McManus anyone. In fact, that’s probably one reason we get the more manipulative X-Factor than Pop Idol.
Don’t you just love it when new media and people power is used to wobble those who like to control the masses?