Monday, April 14, 2008

The internet receives an estrogen injection  

Last year, women-centered websites increased by 35%, making female net users outnumber male net users for the first time ever. Salon explores the cause of this boom, possibly attributing it to the fact that many women are rejecting the shallow female magazines out there (see: Cosmopolitan) and are on a quest to find a more intelligent source of news and entertainment.

I think it's great that alternative options are emerging for those of us who are sick of flipping through magazines that feature "how to please your man" articles and are loaded with beauty tips, but hardly any world news. However, the "feminet" has a long way to go. Salon particularly mentioned Yahoo's new women-centered website, Shine, which I actually posted an entry about awhile back. Salon comments:

"Shine as yet feels like more of an extension of the glossies than an alternative (many of Shine's stories come directly from publishers like Condé Nast, Hearst, Rodale and Time). Shine seems less interested in creating a distinct voice than it does in becoming a portal."

I agree. I have surfed Shine many times, hoping to find that it was a better website than I thought, but I keep having trouble with finding anything of substance on there. It is truly an electronic women's magazine.

But alas, there is hope. I do think that over time, these sites will improve, provided they listen to feedback from their public (i.e. the overwhelming amount of angry comments left on that Shine article I posted about... you know, the one that called the pregnant Jessica Alba a "blimp"). Salon mentions, which I think is an improvement over Shine, and a step in the right direction. It focuses more on news and politics than how to survive a bad hair day. So okay, we're making progress, but let's make more, eh?

What next?

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