The question is, are the rest of us up to the challenge? Earlier this week The New York Times media columninst David Carr penned an interesting piece musing about the success of the "Sex and the City" movie (it took in about $55 million in its first weekend at the box office) and the rise of female-targeted web sites. The Times headlined his column aptly, "Slumber Parties Go Digital."
As my sister said, Carr's argument is not rocket science: Coverage of celebrity pregnancies, fashion, weddings and shoes is as popular online as it is in the women's magazines that many of us have a love-hate relationship with. His final analysis: The revolution for women on the Web so far is "shallow, but one that carries deep implications."
What do women readers want?
A few months ago, while lunching with a successful startup CEO, I asked for ideas on how to get better distribution for our site and The WeeklyDIVA, which, as you know, attempts to help busy women stay on top of the news. He said, "Don't women want horoscopes?"
Recently I asked the CEO of a growing and popular women-focused Web site why all the topics focused on "living" and "beauty." Where's the hard news, I asked? “It's an interesting question,” he said—it has to be filtered for the one thing women don’t have: time.
Then, just in the last week, I expressed to a friend of mine, another startup CEO on this recipient list, that we were trying to figure out how to grow our subscriber list. He says I’m unique, and not everyone shares my interests or passions for the news, which may make it difficult.
Really? Can it be that all those women out there that I know with one, two and three degrees don't care about the news and the lives that are impacted by events in their communities or in places far away? Is it really all just about cosmopolitans and lipstick for women?
Is there a place for content like The WeeklyDIVA?
At the WeeklyDIVA, we think it's about lipstick, cosmos—and using our brains. It's about feeling connected to the news, despite being so wrapped up in a new product launch, or so busy wiping baby food off the floor, that we didn't have time to read headlines about the housing market's collapse or why the lawyers in Pakistan were being attacked, and what that means for our lives.
In the end we know there is a place for The WeeklyDIVA in the sphere of women because we know you read it and we know you refer it to your friends. Naturally, as we grow we need resources. But you are our main resource—you and the other women out there who may be inaccurately categorized as just “horoscope" readers. This revolution on the Web for women does not have to be shallow. But the only way it won’t be is if we don’t let it be.
Tell us what YOU think: What do women want? And be sure to read David Carr's column.
editor, The WeeklyDIVA
We'll be back with news next week. We just couldn't let this one go!