Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Business of Aggregating Niche Websites

Women are obsessed with wanting to know everything about celebrity pregnancy. What birthing and parenting methods are they choosing? What are they buying and wearing? When a celebrity becomes pregnant, it puts them in touch with an entirely new fan base of expectants and mothers.

- Kim Gundy, editor of CelebrityPregnancy.com

In Tanya Irwin, "SheKnows Acquires PregnancyFashion, CelebrityPregnancy, "Mediapost's DailyNews, May 27, 2008

Gundy might not acknowledge that celebritypregnancy.com is a niche site. But having been bought by SheKnows.com, it is now one of many topical women's-interest sites owned by a company called AtomicOnline.

The AtomicOnline roster provides a reminder that there is a lot more to web publishing than Time Warner, New York Times, and News Corporation websites, as highly trafficked as they are. Beyond those behemoths, beyond Google, and Yahoo, and parallel to the large magazine publishers such as Hearst and Conde Nast, exist many website firms that fish for audiences based on slices of interest divided by gender or other basic demographic categories. SheKnows.com, a site that bills itself on its website as one of the top 10 most-visited websites for women, has been providing current information on topics relevant to women's lives. SheKnows, which says it gets 1.8 millions unique visitors a month, including Reality TV Magazine, Adoption.com, Celebrity Baby Scoop, ChefMom, Child Fun Coloring Book Fun, Fabulous Foods, Families.com, Girl Zone, Hair Boutique, iChef, Main Street Mom, Making Friends, Moms Menu, Points & Prizes, Pregnancy & Baby, Pregnancy Calendars, Pregnancy Fashion, Reality TV Magazine, Soap Opera Fan, and Soaps.com. This website group is owned by AtomicOnline. It calls itself "a diversified online media company that develops leading consumer internet brands that connect online communities. Atomic brands serve as demographic and psychographic hubs for men (CraveOnline.com ), women (SheKnows.com ) and teens (Teencrunch.com ), and their large collection of affinity sites." AtomicOnline, in turn, is owned by Pegasus LLC, which calls itself a "global online media company." All these sites are ad-supported, a fact that provides insight into the importance of advertising networks to so much of web publishing.

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