Signs of economic unrest usually include a push to pander to a different or wider demographic. During 1992's economic recession, it was declared the Year of the Woman, a nod to the 34 women in the House and Senate. This year, we also celebrate a record-number of women in the 111th Congress. And again, it has been declared the Year of the Woman.
However, this time, a woman's representation expands to the Web, where a number of female-centric sites are kicking butt and taking names. Web sites targeted to women are growing in numbers, serving up content across a wide swath of subjects and age groups. From the looks of it, there seems to be something for everyone.
The XX Factor: Slate.com is set to expand its online blog of the same name into its own website later this spring. Aimed at the 25- to 50-year-old political junkie, the new site will offer savvy insights about politics and pop culture. The website will have fresh daily content, more user-generated content and more contributors. Jessica Gross, a former editor of Jezebel.com, will be managing editor.
Maxim for Women: Elizabeth Spiers, founder of Dead Horse Media, Gawker Media and a contributor to Fortune magazine, is developing an online womens magazine, which aims to be a feminine version of the men's panty rag. This would be deemed a risky undertaking, if not for Spiers' impressive track record for launching successful web sites.
MomsLikeMe.com: Designed to be a place where moms make connections, find support and share life's everyday details, MomsLikeMe.com is the latest from Gannett, which recently rolled out in 80 local markets across the country.
18-34 year olds
TheFrisky.com: This is a website for 18- to 34-year-olds covering love and relationships. It is described as "a punchy, irreverent site covering relationships, sex and health". Launched last March, the website is Turner Network's ongoing effort to capitalize on the significant 18-34 female audience that it attracts during it's primetime cable network.
The Frisky includes contributions from a team of about a dozen contributors (some are former Jane magazine editors), plus reader essays and blog posts.
Wowowow, launched by a band of “old media” female journalists and writers including Joni Evans, Liz Smith, Lesley Stahl, Joan Juliet Buck and Peggy Noonan, has gathered a strong following among women over 40 — nearly 600,000 unique visitors in November and 4.5 million page views, according to their estimates.
Shine, on the other hand, draws from Yahoo’s network of 40 million female users and brings in readers from a network of partner sites, including magazine dot-coms Rodale, Hearst Magazines and Condé Nast Publications, and other independent bloggers that provide content to Shine.
Shine’s network of users now makes up 80 percent of the new content on the site, including 400 blogs created daily and 2,000 comments posted by Shine’s 12 million unique visitors as of November, according to Comscore/Media Metrix.
Girl Power and Beyond
So here's to girl power and women of the web and Congress. But even more, here's to a year when women aren't such a big deal. Chances are the economy will better, too.