The other day, colleagues and I made a list of of things that sound bad but aren't -- such as Jawbreakers and Chunky Monkey. But now I've started making a list of things that sound good but aren't. Topping the list are sites catered toward women.
Don't get me wrong, women rock. And what makes us so visibly cool is that we have diverse interests, moods and yes, emotions. But that doesn't mean we can't handle weeding through the Internet to find what we seek, whether it be the weather, a great pair of shoes or gasp! --news.
However, Yahoo! begs to differ. They think that the gentler sex are easily distracted by all the choices available to us on the magical Web that we need a one-stop shop offering content from women's magazines and blogs with a "distinctive voice" .
Why else would they launch Shine?Shine is a Yahoo website aimed at women ages 25 to 54. It plans to "delve into fashion and beauty, entertainment, parenting, work and other areas of interest to women".
With Yahoo's future a bit uncertain (read: Microsoft Corp.'s takeover bid), why would they think this is the best use of the Web?
It's obviously because sites catering to women draw traffic. It's true. Nearly 74 million people visited such "female" (no, not porn!) sites in February, up 43% over the same period a year earlier, according to Web measurement firm ComScore Media Metrix.
But does that mean it's a good thing? I mean just because people come, should you build it? Amy Iorio, vice president for Yahoo Lifestyles, claims that women don't "feel like there was a place that was looking at the whole them — as a parent, as a spouse, as a daughter,” and that “they were looking for one place that gave them everything."
I don't know who these women are, but I'd like to think iGoogle is that place. A place where someone, male or female, can customize a home page with all the necessary things that help to make them whole: the latest gossip, world news, weather, sports, email and horoscope, among others.
Shine may sound like a good thing, but deep down it's just another site focused on giving women more of the same and not more of what they need -- to feel like they can handle the intricacies of the Web without having to rely on one site for all their news.
It's time for women to have their say -- do you need a website dedicated to all things women like Yahoo's Shine?
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