Shine goes live–Will women rush there or what?

Yahoo’s Shine, helmed by former print editor Brandon Holley, just launched this am, after weeks of beta testing. The goal here, if it isn’t obvious, is to create the most compelling start page on the web for women, all ages;to that end it’s a riotous tumult of soft lifestyle features with fashion, parenting, home, dating, relationships and just about any other *female* topic you’d see on a magazine news stand laid out prettily on the home page. In other words, there’s no finance, instead it’s Work + Money; there’s no news, there’s a cheat sheet on top news items.
It’s going to be interesting to see how this site does. On one hand, it’s nice to see the multi-year discussions of women and their value to Yahoo (4o million of their users are female)turn into something; on the other hand, I wonder how useful it is to create a site is that specifically is for women, rather than women friendly–and which such broad scale(pun intended).
You see, Shine feels so fluffy that for me, I can’t see it becoming my daily start page–in truth, it’s so niche, or so mega-aggregator niche–that it feels not that smart, or not smart enough for me, my friends, or any of the women I know to use as the destination site. I think The Huffington Post would be a great site for Yahoo’s team to take lessons from–that site is clearly women friendly, carries great news of interest to women and yet isn’t a pink ghetto for the home maker (which Shine kinda feels like on Day 1.)
More compellingly, Shine is encouraging female bloggers like Back in Skinny Jeans Stephanie Quilao, to contribute content; in return the site will send traffic back, a powerful reward from the Yahoo Network people powerhose(or is that firehose)? There’s also going to be third party content–more girly, girly stuff, of course–from lots of magazine publishers, including Glamour, Epicurious.com, Style.com, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Women’s Health, and Good Housekeeping.
So the question is-who is going to use this thing? Or who will it take traffic away from (besides Yahoo’s old school front page?) Will the women who use PopSugar come over here ? (Nah.)
The HuffPost ladies? (Nah). Blogher women? (Surely not.)
Conclusion: Yahoo needs to cannibalize its own traffic to retain audience it is losing. Will that strategy work to make Shine a success? Only if canned-magazine style content is what women actually want, vs. the true user generated content and authentic voices Shine’s audience can find elsewhere on the web.
Susan sez: Get those advertisers in there quick, before the audience dwindles.

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  1. Kate says:

    Hello –
    Yes, I agree that we do not need anything else “fluffy”. Try out this site where the women are professional career women helping each other through their networking.
    http://www.womenatworknetwork.com
    I am a subscriber and get amazing opportunities from this group.

  2. Peter Levitan says:

    S.
    How right you are: “Only if canned-magazine style content is what women actually want, vs. the true user generated content and authentic voices Shine’s audience can find elsewhere on the web.”
    My first reaction was (even before reading your comments)… haven’t I already seen all of this copy before in years of women’s magazines.
    I spoke to a HS class recently and told them that it is cool to be extraordinary. Shine isn’t.
    P

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