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#52828 - 06/01/00 11:15 AM Women's publishing on the Internet
deborah Administrator
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Ching Shih


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Okay, I was just rearranging some of my bookmarks and I stumbled across a site, Herspace, that I don't even remember marking, and clearly haven't visited in a dog's age. I read this jeremiad by the founder of the site as well as the one prior to it, referenced within the article.
http://www.herspace.com/scoop/

She bemoans the effects of greed, venture capital, and the who-wants-to-be-a-cyberbillionaire mentality on the women's sites that offer content and community instead of a place to buy cute T-shirts and cosmetics.

Was she naďve? Is she misguided? I think she makes a number of good points, and yet a lot of the complaints are familiar to me from infighting I've witnessed in feminist and activist groups for many years. A lot of division comes from different ideas people have about what constitutes success, about the acceptability of a profit motive, and about the "purity" of the "vision" (also known as rigidity of adherence to ideology). Because I have heard these types of complaints and problems in another context so frequently, I am not inclined to believe it's something inherent to Web publishing. The Internet is just another backdrop for this type of conflict to play itself out...right?

Or maybe I'm naďve. I will admit, as the owner of a site that's barely a day old, her rants make me a little nervous.

Comments? Voices of Experience? Voices of Doom?

[This message has been edited by deborah (edited June 01, 2000).]

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#52829 - 06/02/00 12:07 PM Re: Women's publishing on the Internet
JetGirl
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Registered: 06/02/00
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To be honest (really, really honest) I thought it was defensive, self-pitying crap.

I don't know why, but I knew I would hate her when I saw her picture next to the article. She just looks like someone I'd despise.

Edited to say, I guess part of it is that I don't think a photo is totally appropriate there. I don't mind pictures being included in a site, but I don't like to see the author's mug on every page. So, uh, that's part of it. That probably doesn't make much more sense.

[This message has been edited by JetGirl (edited June 02, 2000).]

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#52830 - 06/02/00 03:23 PM Re: Women's publishing on the Internet
Kivrin
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Registered: 06/01/00
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Her site motto is "Fun for fearless females." It doesn't seem like she is having any fun at all. That poor girl's got a big ol' chip on her shoulder it seems to me.
I'm in agreement with JetGirl. It is rather self-pitying.

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#52831 - 06/02/00 09:23 PM Re: Women's publishing on the Internet
Wing Chun
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Registered: 05/31/00
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Speaking as someone who's seen the "women's network" to which her sites belong evolve into a very different entity than it was when her sites joined...I can kind of see where this woman is coming from. There are tons of sites online that somehow manage to get gobs of start-up money that I think are crap ideas ( Inside.com , are your ears burning?), and very often the people behind them are crooked.

Chick Click is evolving into a "place to buy cute t-shirts and cosmetics." Or, it's trying to. I think it did a lot better when it was just a clearinghouse of links to cool sites, and my hope is that its owners will figure that out, soon, too.

To me, it's not a question of women vs. women; it's corporations vs. imagination, and in that sense, what deborah says is true -- that conflict does play out in every arena in which money is involved (Sassy magazine, much?).

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#52832 - 06/03/00 10:37 AM Re: Women's publishing on the Internet
Kivrin
Ching Shih


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Oh, I agree. I re-read Stephanie's "Scoop" and I'm not discounting what she says. I remember Amazon City and Herspace in their previous incarnations. I guess what bothers me is the tone of her writing. She sounds so bitter and whiny, but at the same time, I admire her tenacity.
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#52833 - 08/05/00 01:57 AM Re: Women's publishing on the Internet
Christine
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I used to love Chick Click, back when it was Estronet, but it's been taken over by commercialism. Part of the trouble is that it started to market itself more and more towards young teens, when previously it had been full of intelligent, opinionated women.

Quite a few people left for Hissyfit; another splinter group formed She-Net, at http://www.she-net.com

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#52834 - 09/21/00 08:13 PM Re: Women's publishing on the Internet
deborah Administrator
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Ching Shih


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Here's a long and somewhat annoying article from Salon (where else?) on the subject:

http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2000/08/25/womens_web/index.html

I'm not sure I like the dichotomy she tries to set up between "women's" sites and "feminist" sites, if for no other reason than I don't think it's smart to trivialize or compartmentalize things this way, nor do I normally conceive of "women's" spaces as being inherently separate from, different from, or opposed to, "feminist" spaces. The less of that sort of divisiveness that is promoted, the better.

I also dislike it when she throws out generalizations such as "It's no wonder that every women's site offers horoscopes..." Not every women's site. This one doesn't and never will. I can name many others that don't, either.

Finally, I don't know why women come in for special criticism for being even slightly interested in fluff. It certainly seems like plenty of men* are online doing little else besides downloading porn and playing computer games, but no one craps on them for being insufficiently revolutionary.

Okay, I'm starting to go off on a bit of a tangent so I should probably shut it...any comments?

*Edited this word. Previously it said "them," which made no sense.


[This message has been edited by deborah (edited September 22, 2000).]

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#52835 - 09/22/00 03:32 PM Re: Women's publishing on the Internet
Reine
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Registered: 09/11/00
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Ok, so I only skimmed the article because it was making me mad. I really don't think they dug deep enough. For the record none of the sites I frequent daily offer horoscopes or dating tips and all of them would be considered women's sites.
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#52836 - 09/24/00 11:02 AM Re: Women's publishing on the Internet
Julen
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Registered: 06/09/00
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The fundemental problem is the perception that men are the default and women are the special other group. Many people take this to mean that they're a group that has to be pandered to. Most of the panderers are US TV networks, advertisers, politicians, and dumb-ass publishers, who specialize in uninformed pandering.

Feminists had to separate and focus on women in order to get fundemental changes made. The problem is that women do not exist in a vacuum, disconnected from the world, and that each woman is also a human being and an individual and have layers independent of their gender.

The construct "People like this" and "women like this" is therefore flawed at a very basic level.

These expectations of what women should do today are as damaging as the expectations of what women should do were 50, 70, 100 years ago. The expectations have changed, but the pressure hasn't. Part of benefit to humanity from the various rights movements should be the empowering of and the acceptance of the individual, regardless of gender, color, belief, orientation, and freedom from the little boxes of expectation we all are put into.

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#52837 - 12/02/00 08:57 PM Re: Women's publishing on the Internet
deborah Administrator
Chief Bibliofreak
Ching Shih


Registered: 05/27/00
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Well, here am I having to partially eat my words...while Chicklit itself is not offering horoscopes, they are now part of the masthead for the ad network I've joined.

I'm not very happy about it, but I don't think there's much I can do about it, either.


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