In February 2008, it was reported that comScore ranked Women’s Communities as the fastest growing category of sites on the Internet, growing 35% from Dec 06 to Dec 07. Below is a list of the top Web sites, at that time, in that category:
|comScore MediaMetrix Oct. 2007||Page Views||Visits||Minutes per Visit|
|BABYCENTER.COM (Johnson & Johnson)||77,000,000||10,863,000||6.1|
|IVILLAGE.COM (NBC Universal)||67,000,000||8,845,000||3.8|
|PARENTS.COM (Meredith Corp.)||27,000,000||3,434,000||4.9|
After seeing the data above, I thought it would be interesting to see if I could find some common themes and features among these top women’s sites. I started by going to each site, and seeing how they describe themselves (see the descriptions of each site in Appendix 1 below). By analyzing these descriptions, I was able to come up with four high-level purposes/features that nearly all of the sites’ content could fit into.
- Connections/Support (peer to peer, peer to expert, blogs, photo and story sharing, etc.)
- Information/Research (on health, parenting, babies, relationships, beauty, etc.)
- Home Making (coupons, budgeting, decorating, gardening, etc.)
- Fun/Entertainment (games, celebrity gossip and style, travel, etc.)
I found it interesting that, except for the last category, it seems like most of the purposes and features of these top women’s sites fit well within the gospel. Relief Society meetings and visiting teaching provide connections and support. The scriptures, Sunday School lessons, manuals, and Church Web sites provide information and tools for research. And with the Church’s emphasis on home and family, our sisters, wives and mothers are among the best homemakers in the world.
Though these topics might fit neatly into the purposes of the gospel, the Church has yet to venture into producing a Web site like these, most of which have social networking/online community-type features. Do you think the Church should build a Web site to address these functions: Connections and Support, Information and Research, and Home Making? Or, since there are already many other Web sites providing these functions, is this something the Church doesn’t need to venture into? Or should the Church address these issues through a Web site and, in our unique and inspired way, better serve women? Your thoughts are appreciated.
Artwork “Balancing Life” by Stephanie Ackerman of Homegrown Hospitality
Appendix 1: Descriptions of the top 10 sites for women:
1. cafemom.com (CafeMom is a place for moms and moms-to-be to connect with one another. We invite you to take a look around CafeMom and join the moms who are already sharing, supporting, and having fun with one another at CafeMom.)
2. babycenter.com (Find information from BabyCenter on pregnancy, children’s health, parenting and more, including expert advice and weekly newsletters that detail your child’s development.)
3. ivillage.com (the daily destination for women, with horoscopes, health and pregnancy information, message boards and blogs, celebrity gossip, beauty and more.)
4. oprah.com (The place for everything in Oprah’s world. Get health, beauty, recipes, money, decorating and relationship advice to live your best life on Oprah.com. Plus, the home to The Oprah Winfrey Show, O Magazine, Oprah and Friends Radio, Angel Network, Harpo Films and Oprah’s Book Club.)
5. marthastewart.com (Food and dessert recipes, entertaining and home decorating ideas. Find ideas for cake decorating, baking, and kids crafts. Your online source for ideas from gardening to weddings.)
6. parents.com (Parents – Pregnancy, Babies, Baby Names, Pregnancy Calendar, Ovulation, Birth and More. Expert advice about pregnancy, your life, and family time from the editors of Parents magazine.)
7. kaboose.com (Kaboose is the premier family and parenting destination with kids’ crafts, holiday fun and activities, healthy food recipes, free online games, expert health and parenting information, community message boards, parenting blogs, photos, videos, shopping, interactive quizzes and tools, and much more.)
8. family.com (Family.com provides answers for every family’s needs. Find resources on parenting and raising healthy children, activities, entertainment, recipes, family travel and attractions, budgeting, shopping, coupons, and answers from the experts, other moms.)
9. glam.com (Glam covers fashion, celebrity style tips for women. Celebrity photos fashion designer interviews and beauty advice.)
10. parentsconnect.com (Get expert parenting advice, tips, & recipes for all stages of raising your child, plus connect with other parents)