When girlfriends meet, the list of topics to discuss can become endless. From perfecting your pout to dating a guy, there is always something to talk about. Former marketing executive at Facebook Susan Johnson is now the CEO of a new site dedicated to women. Women only.
Women.com was established in June this year with the technical help and knowledge of Neal Kemp.
Together, the duo aims to create a platform for ladies to discuss various issues online. The startup joins the ranks of other women-centric sites like XoJane, and Jezebel. However, Women.com, launched in private beta mode, hopes to take a different approach where users can be in control when it comes to commenting in the forum, instead of having a sole editorial voice dictate the conversation.
To establish a female-friendly environment, men are prevented from accessing the site through logging in. The site is currently by invite-only, and there are plans to determine users’ gender through Facebook Connect. This ensures that the site remains an exclusive and safe place for women to share their experiences and opinions.
Susan’s dream of establishing a ladies-only site first took shape during her college years, but the idea took a back seat when she embarked on her career in marketing. That dream has been revived in the form of Women.com.
According to Techcrunch, Susan had noticed that women were holding back in co-ed environments such as Facebook, but let their guard down when it was a girlfriends-only environment where ” the conversations would just erupt.” “We’d talk about a mish-mash of topics. What we’re eating, what we’re thinking, and what we’re doing,” Susan added. She has a strong desire to encourage women to share more openly online and not just during their girlie gatherings or lunch parties.
Techcrunch had reported that the Women.com domain was previously owened by NBC, but Susan later purchased it for an undisclosed amount. According to Techcrunch too, “prior deals to purchase the domain were in the seven figures”, hinting at a possibly steep price for the URL.
The current site features a basic layout with a homepage and categories of topics ranging from Health and Fitness to Relationships. Women.com regularly posts a question a day which is up for conversation. The question would then be open for discussion and women can simply upvote the best answers.
One question that has since been posted is ‘Have You Ever Slept Your Way Into (or Out) of Something?’, as reported by dailymail.co.uk. Such juicy questions that people would typically think twice before posting or replying on Facebook, add to the mystery and excitement of the website. Co-founders Susan and Kemp are planning to include more features on the site to further engage women aged 25-40, an “age range of when you start really identifying as a woman.”
Susan hopes that the site can eventually be a “powerful catalyst for important changes” by addressing more serious issues such as women’s rights and politics, in tandem with other light-hearted topics. She emphasised this with, “Twitter didn’t start out saying that they were going to disrupt governments. Facebook didn’t start out saying that it was going to bring distant families closer together.”
Even with flak from some men and naysayers who oppose the move, Women.com could be here to stay. According to dailymail.co.uk, women make up 58% of Facebook users, and 84% on Pinterest. With a large online presence from women, Women.com could possibly become a hit among ladies, especially once the site is made available to the general public.