Ebert himself approved.
"I think that the Internet has provided an enormous boost to film criticism by giving people an opportunity to self-publish or to find sites that are friendly," he said.
There were controversies here and there. Ebert was criticized for reviewing a film he'd only seen a portion of. Some of his readers believed he'd gone soft; just in the last few months, he gave at least three (out of four) stars to such panned films as "Taken 2" (21 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and "Stand Up Guys" (36 percent).
But nobody denied his impact. He was widely quoted and widely recognized, perhaps the most famous film critic in the world.
These days, when pop culture runs through the very capillaries of the Internet, it's easy to knock film critics. Who are they to rain on our entertainment parade? Can't we just enjoy the view provided by "Transformers 3" without having to think about it?
Ebert, as the top of the heap, probably heard his name associated with these thoughts more than most. What made him special was both his joy in the medium, and his unabashed enthusiasm in asking for something more. Go ahead and love movies, but give them some thought, too.
He conveyed all this through his words -- his vital, incisive, energetic, determined words.
He said it best himself.
"However you came to know me, I'm glad you did and thank you for being the best readers any film critic could ask for," he wrote in his last column, "A Leave of Presence," published Tuesday. "Thank you for going on this journey with me. I'll see you at the movies."
Lights down, please.