No Boys Allowed: The First Female-Only Social Network

It's called—you may have guessed—Women.com.

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Few rituals are more sacred than women banding together to gossip, debate, and deeply converse—whether it's over a bottle of wine, sitting on a park bench with coffee, or munching on pancakes at brunch. Susan Johnson found these conversations to be consistently engaging and stimulating, whether the topic at hand was a friend's political affiliation or their latest relationship mishap. But the former Facebook employee wanted to know: Why weren't women having these sorts of conversations online? It's that gaping hole that Johnson saw in the social media sphere. To fill it, Johnson created a social network exclusively for women. It's dubbed, naturally, Women.com.

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"Women are already naturally gravitating towards the social web," Johnson says, "Why hasn't there been a social network that's been built for women?" And when Johnson connected with a former colleague who owned the coveted Women.com domain, she left her job at Facebook, cashed in her company stock to buy the domain, and turned this idea into a reality. "This actuality is a community of women helping women," Johnson says. If a woman reads a thought-provoking article and wants to chat about it with her fellow females, she can do so with both friends and strangers via Women.com. Essentially, the social network is opening up the lines of communication between women all over the world.

"Right now, the concept of Women.com is very basic," Johnson says. It's just a feed of questions that give users the opportunity to share their thoughts and grievances on various inquiries. But the conversations that spring from the questions are anything but basic, like "How to deal with making more money than your partner." Then, there are some conversations that are more light-hearted—discussing how to emulate Connie Britton's hairstyle or tips for decorating your home office. As the site grows, the plans are to filter the conversations so users can search by topic: love, career, fashion, family, among others. "Even though there's a ton of content out there that already…it's really nice to [read] all this crowd-sourced knowledge from other women," Johnson says. But what really makes Women.com different is its exclusivity. It's truly a girls-only club: Moderators use Facebook Connect to confirm a woman's identity. Women.com is currently in the invite-only beta stage currently, but if you're dying to check it out, you can participate in the site's Twitter campaign to procure an invitation.

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