iVillage has always maintained a close relationship with its community—particularly its more vocal and active members.
Now the NBC Universal-owned site is looking to channel the energies of several of its vociferous users, while also discovering new voices outside the iVillage community—ultimately to place them front and center on the site as part of a new content initiative.
On Thursday (Aug. 18) iVillage—in a partnership with NBC Local Media–will kick off a quest to identify 10 opinionated, outspoken and well-informed women. These users will either be from the large pool of frequent iVillage.com commenters or from the blogosphere, and may hail from one of 10 markets where NBCU owns and operates TV stations, such as New York and San Diego. Those women will then be tasked with regularly producing blog posts and video clips for iVoices on iVillage, a new content section that will will cover everything from health to pregnancy to finance to beauty.
“This is an extension of what already happens on iVillage but [it’s being structured] in a more formal way,” explained iVillage’s evp Jodi Kahn. “We wanted to really craft a program that brings women’s voices forward as part of formal editorial product.”
“And this is not just iVillage users,” Kahn added. “We want to bring in more voices, recognizing that women are so influential in their communities. This is going to be a franchise for us.”
It may potentially spell a new franchise for local TV. iVoices on iVillage content will primarily appear on iVillage.com. But it will also be available to for NBC’s local TV stations to use on air as needed. In either case, NBCU plans to promote the new content on its own stations.
To find iVillage’s sharpest and most vocal users, iVillage has lined up Today Show’s Natalie Morales, MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer, LXTV’s Jane Hanson and iVillage chief correspondent Kelly Wallace to serve as judges in the search. Between now and Aug. 30, interested users can log onto iVillage.com and submit both a photo and a 150-word essay explaining why this opportunity is essential to them and their community.
“They women are stars in their community,” said Kahn. “We want to really promote their point of view.”