Yahoo launches 'Shine' Web site for women

In its plan to concentrate more of its efforts on improving its status as a portal, Yahoo continues to roll out new properties and products, this week adding "Shine," a new Web site for women.

According to Brandon Holley, Shine's editor-in-chief, Shine will combine content from three main sources: the "best bloggers and writers" from women's magazines and online sites; other Yahoo vehicles, such as Yahoo Food and Yahoo Tech; and thirdly, Shine's readers themselves.

"We wanted to avoid all of the buckets that advertisers or marketers tend to put us in. We didn't want to be a site just for moms or just for single or working women, or any specific demo- or psychnographic," Holley wrote on her blog this morning. "We wanted to create a smart, dynamic place for women to gather, get info and connect with each other and the world around them. The important thing wasn't how to talk to a 32.5-year-old with 2.2 kids but how to inspire you [to] laugh, think, get mad, empathize, and be surprised and entertained."

Like Yahoo's recently launched Buzz "starting point," Shine appears to be part of a larger three-year "plan of financial independence" unveiled by Yahoo CEO Jerry Wang a couple of weeks ago.

"Our goal is to grow visits to key Yahoo starting points and properties, where users enter the Internet, by 15 percent year-over-year over the next several years. We are the most visited site in the US, and we continue to grow -- we experienced double-digit growth [among] users in 2007 on our home page," Yang wrote in a letter to shareholders, dated February 13, aimed at fending off an acquisition by Microsoft.

Shine faces competition from Web sites ranging from NBC Universal's iVillage, as well as online versions of traditional women's magazines; and on the outskirts, to the newer Sk*rt and WOWOWOW.

But Yahoo's various content vehicles have been generating considerable traffic. According to recent research by Hitwise, Yahoo ranks in the top five of US technology meia sites, Yahoo Food lands in the top ten, and Buzz produced only ten percent less traffic in its first ten weeks than the much longer established Digg.

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