200,000 members of one of publishing’s most hungrily sought after audiences—teenage girls ripe with ever-changeable personalities and parental income—received an invitation today from CondeNet to test drive the media giant’s answer to MySpace, Flip.com, or “a forum to create ‘flip books’: multimedia scrapbooks of photographs, home-made music videos and other postings” that “CondeNet hopes [will] tap into the same creative flair that girls show when they decorate their school lockers or textbooks.” (And here I’m hoping by “creative flair” they’re referring to the girls who go beyond slapping up a picture of Chad Michael Murray/Adam Brody/pre humanitarianism-and-big-lipped-ladies-are-my-life Brad Pitt on the wall and calling it a day, but who knows.)
When CondeNet began pitching the project to advertisers back in August, the site was quoted as for “fueling teen ambition,” and originally discussed on MarketingVox.com as “targeting business-minded teens… intended to ‘give girls a chance to realize their dreams and get discovered.’” (Good, good… Mom, Dad, AND the advertisers can get behind that. It’s a win-win-win.)
However, in this morning’s Wall Street Journal, the message seemed to get a bit more simplified: “‘The super-alpha girls who want to talk about Miu Miu [designer shoes] (sic) can do that,’ says Jamie Pallot, the editorial director of CondeNet. ‘And the nerdy ones can talk about,’ he pauses, looking to his colleagues for assistance. ‘What do the nerdy ones talk about?’” (Goodness knows darling… we don’t let the nerdy ones near our cafeteria—are we going to let them on the Web site?)
Now, all snarkiness aside (pity), it should be noted that CondeNet took one very important step when creating this online cavern of adolescent spare-time: they asked their users what they wanted. They created a focus group of teenage-girls, asked them what they wanted, and then tried to deliver it.
Because in this day and age, where the power of YouTube can get the world interested in a wannabe actress named lonelygirl15, the kid that built Facebook feels completely justified in turning down over a $1 billion buyout offer from Yahoo, and TIME magazine names “You” the person of the year, your audience doesn’t need you to tell them what’s cool anymore.
After all, “‘These girls are so creative, they create shrines within their environment,’ says Dee Salomon, a vice president at CondeNet. ‘It must be the hormones…’”
Ya. The hormones.
posted by Sara Sheadel