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Yahoo Goes The Predictable Gender: Women

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#1 Ruud


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Posted 08 March 2008 - 10:38 AM


It's not clear yet what the site will be called, says Business Week, but one possibility is Shine.

No wonder because that is one of the first positive reenforcement terms that came to my mind when I read that "the site will focus on familiar content categories: fashion and beauty, entertainment, health, astrology, home, food, parenting, relationships, and work and money."

I kid you not.

As Ask.com slouches off the stage and goes to talk to married women only, Yahoo too will target a whole bunch of you. Yea.... :search:

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not upset about that. I mean, you do form the majority virtually everywhere, own a lot of money, help make a lot of spending decisions and yet are still underrepresented at times and places. So here, feel free, have a slice of the web pie.

But what is it with these categories?! I was trained by the best feminists and disagree with most of them (yea for gender and personality differences!) so I don't expect all of you (or "them", depending on what gender you are) to be like me (God forbid....) but this is getting on my nerves...

One expects these companies to do their due diligence. "Ah yes, 13.3% of women who prefer red lipstick also eat salad only with their left hand so the food ad should be left of this article" -- stuff like that. There has to be some meat to them picking these categories -- even if that meat only is "well, this is where the ad dollars are"

But how many product placements can one read for dead hair revitalizing micro-bubbles that would make even cement bouncy? How many $80+ deep penetrating, moisturizing (female beautify products are always one or both of these, notice?) luminous skin reviews before enough is enough?

So maybe I'm wrong? Maybe "the majority" has spoken and what "they" really want to read about are shoes and more shoes ("go home and enjoy your shoes!"). Maybe the impression that although we're not the same we're both really smart is simply inaccurate?

Maybe you agree with Charlotte Allen then after all?

So I don't understand why more women don't relax, enjoy the innate abilities most of us possess (as well as the ones fewer of us possess) and revel in the things most important to life at which nearly all of us excel: tenderness toward children and men and the weak and the ability to make a house a home. [...] Then we could shriek and swoon and gossip and read chick lit to our hearts' content and not mind the fact that way down deep, we are . . . kind of dim.


* none of the opinions in articles linked in this post can be attributed to me ... just saying, you know

#2 cre8pc


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Posted 08 March 2008 - 10:56 AM

I don't get it :blink:

There are SO many sites targeted to women already. I'm not sure why the wheel needs to be reinvented over and over again.

I'm not a girlie girl and never understood the whole fashion/shoes/color coded crap stuff. My favorite shirts are over sized men's shirts and its been that way since I was a teenager and begged for my Dad's worn out work shirts.

I wonder what age groups they're targeting? My teenager loves that stuff.

#3 Ron Carnell

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 12:08 PM

But how many product placements can one read for dead hair revitalizing micro-bubbles that would make even cement bouncy?

I don't know, Ruud. Is it really any more inane than rugby, fast cars, and which brew tastes best at which temperature?

#4 bwelford


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Posted 08 March 2008 - 12:21 PM

If you don't like it, all you have to do is click away. For the provider it's called niche marketing.

On the Internet almost any worm will catch a lot of fish. OK they're not salmon, but even pike (or lamprey as I was reading this week) are a delicacy to some people.




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Posted 08 March 2008 - 12:29 PM

If there is already a lot of sites targeting women that is great... because... if you don't have competition you don't have a market. If they think that they can produce superior content then they have a great chance to succeed.... and they can pull a lot of visitors right off of their existing properties.

#6 Ruud


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Posted 08 March 2008 - 02:34 PM

Is it really any more inane than rugby, fast cars, and which brew tastes best at which temperature?

It's equally inane. I think the difference could be that when you target women, only the inane will do.

I can't remember the last time I read that an online outlet would target women with as main subject productivity or DIY.

For the provider it's called niche marketing

Ah, but isn't this not the opposite of niche marketing? "Women... ah... fashion, beauty and gossip...". A niche would be writing to peek the interest of Gina Trapani.

#7 cre8pc


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Posted 08 March 2008 - 03:40 PM

Well. I'm angry and confused.

Since writing about women in my blog the other day, 4 people unsubscribed from my RSS feed at Bloglines.

I don't understand what Yahoo! and ASK intend for their women oriented sites but something tells me they won't focus on what's important to women like me. I think my views are unpopular among women.

Today is International Womens Day. How many people are aware of this? I had no idea until I went to CNN and read this story about women in the Congo.

"My image of the Congolese women is that of a scream," Salbi said. "But there is no sound coming from the scream because the world is not hearing it."

That's because the victims are women, she said.

"We are numb," she said. "If I said hundreds and thousands of men were being raped in the Congo, the world would be outraged."

I feel so much like an outsider these days. "Shine" is for shoes. Women are not soccer balls. :frustration:

#8 iamlost


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Posted 08 March 2008 - 04:54 PM

I can see the logic of a 'woman's portal'. Women are different from men. Vive la Différence! (note the 'la' that makes all the difference).

That is of course why Yahoo has a 'man's portal' - Yahoo! the extant original.
And a 'child's portal' - Yahooligans!, whoops sorry about that, they are no longer -oligans but baby goats - Yahoo!kids. naaah.

I quite expect a 'gaylesbian portal' (best of both from across the gender gap) for those whose left and right brains have slipped somewhat off 'norm'.

Having differentiated by gender (not by sex as that is a four letter word) it will be time to slide on down to the race, ethnic, and religious stereotypes.

There are niches and there are stereotypes. Yes, it is reasonable to differentiate by child and adult. Even child, adolescent, and adult. Within each of those maturity groups are a variety of individual human beings of great diversity (well, perhaps not in middle america).

As a teenager with a pimple-farm face I read women's skin care magazines avidly and thank them to this day for clearing things up. Yes, women and men have some similar and some differing health concerns - and as a man I have great interest in a woman's well being. Etc.

I can see the logic. I believe that it is wrong.

Yahoo has a great portal to the worlds web information. It has, by it's directory nature, already pretty well vertically separated health and beauty and astrology and fashion into womens and mens and childs (well, maybe not astrology) versions and incorporated a reasonable SE. Yahoo already allows home page personalisation. If it is unable to cream revenue from such already targeted audiences a general 'one woman's portal for all women' will become a cheap ad dumping ground.

Fashion is a huge niche. Shoes is a large niche. Women's shoes is a medium niche. Women's sandals is a smaller niche. 'Women' is not a niche, it is half (approximately) of humanity.

Off Topic offtopic

Women are not soccer balls.

I am so deliberately not going there.
Biting my tongue and slapping my hands is painful but I will behave myself.
This once.

#9 cre8pc


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Posted 08 March 2008 - 05:00 PM

iamlost...you might be interested to know my original title was "Women Aren't Balls" but I couldn't stop laughing at it, so I added Soccer :)

The alternative was "Women Have Balls" but hell, 4 people unsubbed. God knows what flack I'd get for saying THAT! :hmmmm:

#10 SEOigloo


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Posted 08 March 2008 - 05:09 PM

<rant back>
Not for me. Not for me. These silly marketers are going to have to drastically change their opinion of women and their tactics if they want to win a cent of my money or a minute of my attention.

Here's how ill I fit their picture of a typical woman:

- I don't wear makeup
- To me, fashion means sewing my own clothes
- I think the health industry has done its best to try to warp women's ideas about taking care of themselves
- I don't watch TV - it bores me to death
- I don't go to movies - I couldn't care less about what someone is doing in Hollywood
- As to my relationship, frankly, I'd rather do that out of my own heart than from a manual written by a stranger who doesn't know me or my husband
- Work and money...why do I imagine that's going to boil down to what kind of clothes I should wear to the office or which SUV to buy?

Clearly, there are plenty of women who will fit Yahoo's persona of a 'woman', but like Kim, I feel that the assumption that gender = a weird fixation on the cosmetic industry is lame.

Right now, in between spending my time working myself silly to keep my family going, these are some things I'm thinking about:

- How to save the human race from poisoning itself with pesticides
- Whether there is any way to reverse the massive extinction that is currently taking place in both the honey bees that are almost totally responsible for every bit of food we eat and the frogs who are responsible for keeping the world's insect populations balanced
- Why the people running our National Parks have gone on a killing spree to wipe out America's deer, wolves, sea lions and the great American Bison and are beating up and arresting Native Americans who are trying to stop them
- Why, despite the fact that my husband and I are both working 12 hour days 7 days a week, there is little chance we will ever be able to afford a home in California
- Whether the objectification of women in my country will ever be looked back upon as a dark ages before the dawn of humane and enlightened thought about what it is to be human.

Frankly, if someone wants to tell me that I need to spend my time thinking about mascara, they've got another thing coming.

Like 95% of what the media puts out that is supposed to be for 'women', I'm not interested. I would much rather see people using their brains to discover compassion and love for others and to find real solutions for healing society and our ailing blue orb. That's not because I'm a lady. It's because I live here and have a mind.

But...there's not much money to be made in that.

</rant back>

Edited by SEOigloo, 08 March 2008 - 05:11 PM.

#11 kulpreet_singh


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Posted 08 March 2008 - 06:18 PM

Me thinks...

As you all know, the media / government / industry in modern society & popular culture will serve you what they think you need to be served. And as long as you remain quiet, and continue consuming what they serve, they will not change.

This type of prejudiced targeting can be stopped by:
1) Consumers lobbying the producer to change
2) Consumers organizing a boycott of the producer's goods or those who advertise the producer
3) Building an alternative that seriously damages profits for the original (or in the case of government, voting for the alternative)

The latter option is most effective but all can/should be done in conjunction with each other.

#12 AbleReach


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Posted 08 March 2008 - 06:33 PM

I view the "women's" market stuff that I don't actively engage in as fantasy.

Defining any big group is nuts. No big group is monolithic.

I think it's sad and funny when people get bent out of shape over how to define women. Tomorrow I may rant. Today I'm satisfied to watch the whole fantasy of defining a women's market, from a distance... is it possible to be a woman and watch from a distance as someone is trying to define women? I am and I am one, so it must be possible. :)

Susan B Anthony's last public words, "Failure is impossible."

I exist, therefore I am possible.

Now, pass the shoes. It's Saturday afternoon and I'm up for a little cultural/artistic fantasy.

#13 cre8pc


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Posted 08 March 2008 - 07:41 PM

I exist, therefore I am impossible.

Fits me better, I think :woohoo:

#14 projectphp


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Posted 08 March 2008 - 11:44 PM

<semi-offtopic>OK, semi-along these lines, I have a question: what is with women's mags and orgasms/sex? Every month, they have articles like Be the best he's ever had, the "Blended" orgasm or, more generally, the best orgasm ever. What I want to know is, where is this place where all these revolutionary breakthroughs in female orgasm are being discovered? And how do they, month after month, keep making such revolutionary breakthroughs? Were they lying last month, or have they really uncovered a new, even better way since the march isssue came out?

The sad part about feminism is that the greater choice has, in some instances, simply lead to greater grief. Women still do most domestic chores, they just have to work as well. And so much of what women dish up to themselves is just so not helpful. I am never sure what is more re-enforcing of the beauty myth: men's or women's mags, and that whole orgasm #%$#$# just makes everyone feel totally inadequate all the time, and we haven't even started on the diet crap they dish out!

It isn't like men make women buy these magazines. Women choose to of their own free will. Why is that?</semi-offtopic>

I don't know, Ruud. Is it really any more inane than rugby, fast cars, and which brew tastes best at which temperature?

I think it is a bit different. Men's stuff tends to have some focus on stats and measurables. Someone wins inn rugby, one car is faster than tother, and beer does taste best below freezing :)

I wonder if we often get angry about this stuff because we take it too far, e.g. we assume that a women's site is aimed at all women, rather than the subset of women that like that stuff. It might also simply be that no one can find a way to monetise smart, cleaver content aimed at women with more brains than a mollusc. the big brands might not want to advertise in content like that.

Or they might. Anyone wanna try and see what happens?

#15 AbleReach


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Posted 09 March 2008 - 12:28 AM

I exist, therefore I am impossible.

I rather thought that impossible would have something to do with crazy shoes!


I'll never forget heading through checkout @ a big box store's home improvement section, plunking down power tools, and hearing the woman at the cash register say, "Well! Somebody's going to be a happy man!"

I said, "Yes I am," and left her wondering.

Wondering is good for the soul, dontcha think?

Edited by AbleReach, 09 March 2008 - 02:17 AM.

#16 projectphp


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Posted 09 March 2008 - 07:08 PM


"Was that a transvestite?"

"Is that lady trying to be funny?"

I can just imagine how much that would grate on someone!!! And the thing is, when you work in braindead, basic jobs, all you do is think, so I bet she spent hours on it. Classic!

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