Monday, December 15, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Stylehop could have easily created a boring, Amazon-like ratings engine. Instead, they created fun, addictive, lightweight social games and quizzes to drive engagement and build the foundation for a robust, ratings-based shopping engine. The games prompt women to provide a five-star rating for each item presented, creating the star ranking data that feeds StyleHop’s shopping engine and allowing it to generate a substantial amount of ratings for a variety of items. Another catalyst to drive engagement is the points system, where women are rewarded for activities like reviewing styles, filling out their profile, etc. The points can be used towards rebates on items purchased through the site. Additionally, Stylehop allows results to be filterable not only by brand and product attributes but also by whom you want providing your five-star rankings.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Gossip blogs, magazines, and TV shows have been identifying stars’ fashion, cars, and product choices for years. However, there are very few places on the web that aggregate that information. Coolspotters offers a unique concept- searching for products by the celebrities who are using them and vice versa- and they do it all with user-generated content.
Monday, November 17, 2008
The fun begins, however, when users can select from a list of dispositions- such as adventurous, happy, and strong, etc. A disposition can be selected individually, and combinations among dispositions can be created. Users can also search separately for boy names and girl names. Explanations for individual names can be found, as well as alternative iterations of the name, tags, and a link to Google search results. Names can also be saved to a user’s favorites. The sleek design distinguishes WhataLovelyName, making it a welcome change from the large group of busy, difficult to navigate baby name sites.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
What does that mean for marketers and advertisers? Emarketer suggests that the proliferation of product reviews could make mothers who blog more receptive to contact from brands. Debra Aho Williamson, a senior analyst for eMarketer, claims, “Moms like to share advice with other moms because they remember how hard it was to find the right car seat, stroller or daycare for their own children. They want to pay it forward by giving recommendations and tips, and that gives them a sense of gratification.”
Williamson offers a three step plan for reaching out to mothers:
1. Anticipate their needs
2. Provide factual information
3. Encourage their interest in sharing with other parents
Very sound advice, although I would add a fourth item - follow up with moms to gather feedback and suggestions for improvement. Web 2.0 has allowed all consumers to become publishers, which in turn has opened up the conversation between brands and consumers. Smart brands will be proactive in opening up the conversation with consumers. People who are blogging about a brand’s products obviously feel strongly about them and they are more likely to hold a favorable opinion if they feel that the brand is listening to them.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
The risk involved in creating a social network for young girls is apparent when considering what could happen to Disney’s reputation if something went wrong. Moderation and parental controls are therefore at the center of the registration process. Disney offers parents the ability to control chat levels and permissions, as well as the type of content girls can upload. User chat, the most compromising of social networking tools from Disney’s perspective, is extremely restricted. Users can type their own phrases but only using words from the Disney dictionary, or select from a list of pre-approved questions and statements. It's obvious that Disney spent a lot of time working on moderation, both from their own ideas and by taking cues from other social gaming sites like Stardoll. The effort has definitely paid off; PixieHollow's moderation is flawless.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Developmental resources are broken down into five categories with separate overview pages: cognitive, social & emotional, speech & language, fine motor, and gross motor. Each overview page offers an easy to understand list of milestones, suggested activities, and recommended articles. Additionally, Tumblon has a smart business model- suggesting age-appropriate books, toys, and gear. Even though Tumblon is only in Beta, there are already several links to purchase items directly from the site.
The social networking piece that Tumblon offers is unoriginal and has been attempted on a much larger scale (Disney’s Family.com, Gotkidsnetwork.com, etc.) but the high quality developmental information, combined with the clever business model, may carry Tumblon through.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Moms online were found to be avid online shoppers, travel bookers, and healthcare information checkers, as expected. However, mothers also took part in many online activities that are generally considered to be more traditionally "male" activities, such as online banking and game playing.
Hopefully, marketers and advertisers will pick up the data and see that mothers do much more online than check email and visit parenting sites.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
MisQuinceMag.com is obviously geared towards Latina teens. Why target the Hispanic demographic?
You have ample experience editing Web sites for teenagers. (In addition to MisQuinceMag.com, you are also the editor of MyPromStyle.com). In what ways is MisQuinceMag, as a site for young Latinas, different?
As a new brand, how are you spreading the word and reaching out to your target audience?
Once a year, MisQuinceMag.com has a print counterpart, which is an insert inside of a fall issue of Seventeen, CosmoGirl, and Teen. The newsstand presence is also a powerful driver to web.
And finally, we invest a lot of time and effort into optimizing web pages for search engines, so that users who are searching for quinceañera dresses or hairstyles, but who aren't necessarily aware of the MisQuinceMag.com brand, will find our great content and become repeat visitors.
What Web 2.0 features do you have on the site? Why did you pick them?
Have you seen any successes with those features? How is your audience responding to them?
Yes, the blog has been a huge success. I love seeing users comment on it in both languages, asking for more tips and thanking Isabella for the ideas she's sharing with them. The blog inspires them and makes them feel connected to a woman who is at once respected, like an aunt or tía, but who also relates to them on their level.
Do research. Read Advertising Age's Hispanic Fact Pack and eMarketer's studies on Hispanic user web trends. Immerse yourself in the culture. If you don't speak Spanish, take classes. Listen to Spanish music. Buy a copy of People en Español. And above all, take the time to invite young Latinas into your offices or engage with them in your community so you can ask them directly what matters to them.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
One such tool is the ability to create the same type of fashion spreads as Sugar’s CelebStyle. With OnSugar, any user can search through retail items on ShopStyle, mixing and matching them to free images from Getty Images.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
The rise of social media has galvanized large media companies to change their one-way conversations with consumers into a two-way relationship where both parties contribute. It’s easy to do that with teens and Millenials, the generations who made social networking mainstream and crave any opportunity to share blog posts, photos, and videos with big brands. But how does one integrate the Web 2.0 mentality into Web sites for female Boomers, who have just as much to contribute but less experience doing so? Here are a few quick tips:
- Make it relevant. Boomer women, unlike younger generations, do not have dozens of profiles on various social networks. In order for female Boomers to join and participate in a community, they need a specific, engaging reason that has immediate added value. A great example of this is Good Housekeeping’s Recipebook application, in which women participate in a community based around recipe sharing and reviewing.
- Stick to the basics. Just as one cannot shift directly from first to fifth gear, so too, it is unadvisable to go from no Web 2.0 features to a full community suite with group-edited video blogs. It is particularly important with female Boomers not to overwhelm with a wide range of complicated functionalities. Also, be sure to name the community (and its tools) something that will be understood by the demographic, focusing on a direct call to action and devoid of tech jargon. Ladies Home Journal does a great job with their message boards, which are under the “Participate” link and entice readers with a “Join a Conversation” call to action.
- Keep it simple. Participation has a different connotation amongst Boomer women than the younger set. Focus on quick and easy. One tool that is popular with female Boomers is a group photo album where each user can upload a single photo to an editorially named gallery. Martha Stewart has galleries for cute cupcakes, gardens, and stamping projects, among others.
The site’s usability, however, was poor. I could not view any invitation designs without first creating an account. Asking for users to provide personal information is a deterrent even after the users have been engaged; asking for personal information without showing them anything is undoubtedly losing MyPunchBowl users. After signing up and naming my event, creating an invitation was the fourth and last option in the menu, ranked underneath Get Inspired (party tips), Poll for a Date, and Save the Date. Those three options are significantly less important to users than the ability to create and send invitations, and I was surprised to see that the online invitations option was so under-emphasized.
If I had a tool like the Design Studio, I would give it prominent placement on my homepage and let users play around with it before requiring them to sign up. Saving the best for last is not an adage that works well for the Web.
Thank you for checking out Webutantes, a blog chronicling Web 2.0/3.0 updates and new media targeting women. I’m starting this blog because, although there are many successful blogs covering social media and start-ups, I have not seen any major blogs covering the women’s consumer Internet angle, which is both my passion and area of expertise.
Why women? According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 74% of adult women in the
Teen girls outperform boys in the social media realm: There are nearly twice as many teen girl bloggers as boy bloggers and they are far more likely than boys to post photos online. 70% of teen girls ages 15-17 are members of online social networks, outperforming boys of the same age (Pew Internet). In the realm of purchasing power, women account for 85% of consumer purchases and represent the majority of the online shopping market (She-conomy).
One of the things that make blogs such a unique and innovative medium is the community aspect. As such, I look forward to hearing your comments and welcome your suggestions for how to improve the blog, topics you’d like to see me cover, and anything else you’d like to let me know. Please feel free to contact me at gafninoa at gmail dot com.
Come back soon to check out news, interviews, and tips for targeting the female demographic… because it’s a woman’s web after all.