3/2/09

WowOWow oh wow dot com


WowOWow

A rather unfortunate name, long, and confusing, for example what comes first the ‘W’ or the “O’. It’s targeted to women over 40 although the founders are quite a bit older.

Five high-powered media women each contributed $200,000 to the site:

• Lesley Stahl: (67) She’s been on 60 minutes for 19 years.
• Peggy Noonan: (58) Political conservative, WSJ columnist.
• Liz Smith: (85) Gossip columnist, let go from New York Post very recently.
• Joni Evans: (??) Former book publisher / agent.
• Mary Wells Lawrence: (80) Retired Advertising Executive

It reminds me of the Huffington Post but only an all woman perspective. It has features on the economy, politics, entertainment. On the day I visited the three headlining stories were 1) Liz Smith, 2) An interview with Phyllis Schlafly (84 year old quintessential anti-feminist), and 3) A review of a book on finding love over 60. It’s comment heavy and serves an under served prosperous demographic.

In this age of longer lives and longer careers I think it’s dangerous to lump everyone over 40 into the same group. Partially advertisers do this because historically older people have more brand loyalty but buying patterns like everything else is changing. Throughout a woman’s life she deals with the same issues more or less.

In an interview with Kara Swisher for All Things Digital, Joan Juliet Buck, one of the contributors and a long time Vogue writer said, “it’s not a blog because it’s not sloppy screamy opinions.” She also expressed the goal of taking over the world. A slightly condescending opinion she might associate the word blog with the likes of Perez Hilton or Matt Drudge.

All of the women are respected professionals in other media modes like TV or print and are excited to be moving online. It seems like they have the all important respect for their audience because they express that the women on their site are surprisingly honest.

There are currently 11 contributors featured wearing black turtlenecks on the home page. They include; Whoopi Goldberg: (53) Famous multi-faceted performer and current host on The View, Julia Reed: (73) Writer, producer, director Lily Tomlin’s partner, Candice Bergen, (63) Famous actress, Judith Martin: (70) Miss Manners, Lily Tomlin (69) Performer, and Marlo Thomas (69), author, philanthropist, and writer.
  • Jezebel (part of the Gawker family) says it's doomed to failure precisely because of the above mentioned Buck's insulting attitude. Apparently she compares similar site iVillage to Macy's.

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