Monday, August 13, 2007

Do women want Glam? or does it take an iVillage?

In the dating-and-mating game, women learn to conceal as much as they reveal...so it's been quite interesting to follow the conversation at TechCrunch re the Glam ad network--with Arrington's concluding (after revealing some of the numbers): "Glam is an advertising network, and runs a very good SEO operation, but they are not the no. 1 destination site on the Internet for women."

I spent some quality time with Glam this a.m. and wasn't all that impressed--lots of ads confronting me, with content buried somewhere within. I had to click around and click around before I was able access anything that resembled original content. Even then, I wasn't sure of who the authors were of the original content--for all I could tell, they might be "character" content producers (a single name covering up for a couple of people.) All I could think of was "hmm, easy way to keep women on the site--make them click through everything before they find something to read..."

Still, in Arrington's comments, there are two from Glam "publishers"--yet neither of them links to whatever it is that they "publish" either on or for Glam. So, I can't take what they say too seriously....it's a transparency thing...

In looking at the Glam Network, I find a number of blogs that haven't been updated in recent memory: such as "Ageing Fabulous" (which hasn't been updated in 66 days, 3 hours, 22 minutes--thank god. The last condescending post was on age spots...) I did come across "Stiletto Jungle," which also has a blogspot blog (and may get a whole bunch of links from the feitsh community--that's one quick way to boost your SEO!) But once again I'm troubled by a site that has blog with no discernible author. (sorry, no links. the link to Glam was enough...)

So, perhaps it's that Glam isn't about providing information at all--and thus just an ad network.

Still...why must there be preponderance of no-name anonymous blogs? Is it that the blogs are simply there to shill product rather than provide content? Perhaps...

Which, for this woman, makes Glam one big yawn...

Aaron Wall looks at the Google/SEO side of the story...

Oddly related to this is a piece in the NYTimes on NBC's troubles with iVillage. iVillage was, and could still be, the #1 destination site for women. Part of that had to do with iVillage's communities (which were very popular.) The Times makes a salient comment: "But NBC Universal’s struggles with the online property underscore the snags that can arise when trying to bolt a new media operation onto an old one. " and most definitely there were back-end problems trying to put the two together (no minimizing that aspect) but there also may have been some trouble understanding iVillage's community. As in what women who used iVillage were looking for and why they kept coming back. This could be two things: they could have come in for the content, and later stayed for the community("iVillage survived the dot-com collapse partly because of its devoted user base and experienced sales staff".) iVillage has always had a good level of transparency as well--so an ad network can also provide credible content.

So, a lot remains to be seen out of Glam...but the lack of transparency is something that doesn't engender a lot of trust or loyalty. Maybe it will end up being one of those bursting bubble 2.0 things. will be interesting to watch....

Important Update: The WSJ published Web Network offers Reebok Flexibility from 4/25/07 describing the ad campaign that Glam.com did for Reebok:
Glam Media is one of several emerging Web networks that offers advertisers the chance to run narrowly targeted and heavily customized ad campaigns -- with customized the operative word. Lots of Web firms, of course, help advertisers target specific groups of people on different sites. What makes Glam and other networks, including female-oriented properties SheKnows and Sugar Publishing, stand out is their willingness to devise new marketing formats, ad executives say.
So, in a sense, Glam has duplicated what many fashion magazines are all about--loads of advertising with no one really caring about who's writing the copy in between. So, it doesn't hurt that the copy is anonymous. It's just fluff between the ads. I didn't think that was the reason for blog networks...(disclosure: WSJ linked to this post before this update appeared...in fact, that's how I found it the article. who knew? thanks WSJ!)

4 comments:

Average Jane said...

I was a little disappointed to see that Glam purchased Kaboodle recently. I've been playing around with Kaboodle pretty regularly since I learned about it at BlogHer in '06, but if it gets too ad-heavy, I may end up letting it go.

Tish Grier said...

I hadn't thought about the Kaboodle thing! that's a nice little community--clean site and very user-friendly. I'd say there's some concern over it getting ad-heavy...also some concern of it wanting to direct all the community that's developed on Kaboodle into its own "blogs"--and then, perhaps asking Kaboodle bloggers and other community memebers for free content. (just a bit of speculation based on some of the stuff I've been seeing lately re seriously pestering this blogger for free content. esp. given how Glam's "bloggers" are mostly anonymous--they may want the free content to build credibility.eek.)

Anonymous said...

where do you get your news? Hearst purchased Kaboodle, not Glam.

Tish Grier said...

My bad--should have checked jane's assertion...Hearst acquires Kaboodle

which leads me to think Hearst might want to cobble Kaboodle onto one of their products, thus creating instant community. might work, might end up with some bumps like iVillage