h1 We don't know that there is an unfilled centimeter in the mom space! The nuances lie in point-of-view, taste, and tone.
Pilar Guzman and Yolanda Edwards, Momfilter
In the super-crowded online Mom universe, it's wonderful to find a site that's beautiful, well-curated and makes the chaos, confusion, and excitement of parenting seem almost ... relaxed. Founded by Martha Stewart Living editor-in-chief Pilar Guzman and executive editor Yolanda Edwards, the the relatively new site Momfilter has become a daily touchstone for busy parents. The entertaining mix of fashion tips (think: cute and comfortable boots), food advice (healthy eggs florentine) and thoughtful essays (whether or not stuffed animals should have an expiration date) helps moms feel like they’re part of a supportive community, which is such a gift to new parents.
Recent inductees to the Say 100 parenting channel, we caught up with Pilar and Yolanda in New York via email to find out how they got their new venture off the ground, where they find their great collection of contributors – and why their readers aren't comment-crazy (and that's a-ok by them).
What gap in the mom-site universe did you set out to fill with Momfilter? We don't know that there is an unfilled centimeter in the mom space! That said, the nuances lie in point of view, taste, and tone. We think our users come to us not only for our authority from our many collective years of curating the world around us as editors, but also for the note of permission that underlies all of the recommendations. While our sensibility can be rarified, we approach all subjects with a kind of "you can do this too" evangelism. We aim to demystify and democratize all of the lifestyle categories in the hopes of making our users lives a just a bit richer. It is in the marriage of inspiration and utility is where we think we have carved out a little niche.
Momfilter is a relatively new site – how's it going so far? We're really happy with it. We have a lot of moms who stumble upon us and write us these amazing heartfelt emails saying how much they missed Cookie and are so happy to find us again. Which, because we are doing Momfilter organically, and not approaching it at this point as something we do to make money, is really the point. We are the most happy to share the things we've discovered that make our lives better.
You're long-time print magazine editors – what did you set out to do on Momfilter that you couldn't or can't do in print? Our sensibility in print and online are the same. The difference is in the immediacy. While we love the packaging of stories in which great photographers and bigger budgets translate to larger stories that have the power to transport-stories that are only worthy of print-the blogosphere allows us to serve up the little tidbits that have the power, in their own way, to make life a little easier or at the very least a little brighter.
What was your breakout post? Or were there several that put you on the map? Because we still run the Cookie facebook page, we were able to connect with our readers that way, to let them know that Momfilter was up and running. As for a breakout post, I'm not sure-the posts that Joanna Goddard likes and puts on her Friday roundups are usually the ones that bring the most new readers to us!
What opportunities has Momfilter opened up for you that wouldn't have happened otherwise? We never would have connected with moms around the country in the way that we do now. It's not intimidating for a mom to email our general email inbox and send us an idea. Many of our now regular contributors came to us that way. This would never happen in a print magazine-people are just too intimidated to do that, or if they aren't, it's likely that a raw idea would just get lost in the shuffle. We now have moms all over the country who keep in touch with us, and we love that.
You use Facebook to engage with your readers. What's more active, the site comments or Facebook – and why do you think that is? Hmm, it depends on the type of post. When it comes to style posts, our Facebook readers seem to "like" them more. But when it comes to recipes or emotional pieces, they comment much more on the site. But actually, our audience isn't that comment-crazy, which we understand, because neither are we.
Joanna Goddard of A Cup of Jo calls Momfilter one of her favorite sites for parents. What are yours? We love Dinner a Love Story, Made by Joel, A Bloomsbury Life, and of course we love A Cup of Jo. There are so many more we could list!
You have a great lineup of contributors, what's your filter for adding them to your team? Usually someone sends us an idea and we publish it if it seems like a good fit. If they keep sending us more ideas and it becomes a regular thing, we put them on our contributor page.
Follow Pilar and Yolanda on Twitter @momfilter.
[Top photo: Alix Browne via Momfilter]