A refreshing new site called The Women on the Web is launching today. Founded by former publishing executive Joni Evans, the site features regular contributions from Evans herself and a cohort of famous names: Liz Smith, Whoopi Goldberg, Leslie Stahl, Candice Bergen, Peggy Noonan, Joan Juliet Buck, Marlo Thomas, Lily Tomlin, Judith Martin, Shelia Nevins, Julia Reed, Joan Ganz Cooney, Jane Wagner, and Mary Wells. Wowowow.com is a roundtable where successful, experienced women from a variety of backgrounds sound off on culture, careers, the media, relationships, politics, and other important topics. The sparse, journalistic design of the site resembles a blog, populated with individual blog entries and provocative “conversations” conducted by a varying number of the site’s regulars.
In a recent New York Times article
about WowOwow, Stephanie Rosenbloom notes the similarities with “women-focused community Web sites like iVillage
,” or television’s “The View.” But WowOwow makes use of the telephone to conduct its conversations, then transcribes and publishes them to the site, in an almost anti-Web approach that recalls an Internet-free era of longer attention spans and more direct modes of communication. What 21st-century element the Women on the Web are taking on board is social networking: they plan to integrate users into the site with profile pages, comments, and other modes of connectivity.