I saw over on Brenda’s blog a post about a new phone book site set up specifically for women titled, not surprisingly, womensphonebook. Now I’m not really overly qualified to comment, lacking somewhat in the Womanly department.

It does seem strange that the site creators deemed it worthwhile to set up a directory specifically for Women. Bizarre for a couple of reasons;

  1. Who are they to decide exactly what products and services women need or use?
  2. So they’re deciding that the only valid granular split in society is a gender one?

Brenda said it well when she said;

cos, you know, women can’t use a regular phonebook, they need a special pink one.

Tried search for my favourite things:
computer games, linux, bluetooth, lasers, hackin, opensource, gpl – no results 🙁

search for “beer” found me a homestay in “Beerescourt” Hamilton. 1 result for Whisky

alas no results for “hired killers”, though there is an advert for “timesavers for new mums”

The site has a stirring explanation for its existence saying;

Women’s Phone Book is a free to use, specially developed directory offering an efficient and credible way to source a wide range of products and services. Used as a daily resource it displays ratings and feedback on many different products and services used by women, helping make smarter decisions about where to spend their time and money.

Which is pretty much what every other directory does – sans the “specifically for women” part. But once again I ask what service that I use as a man would not but applicable to a woman somewhere (OK there’s the odd one but few and far between)

It also assists business suppliers ensuring that their standards of service are in line with buyer expectations and offers them the opportunity to review direct customer feedback about their products and services (most customers won’t give you direct negative feedback – they’ll just tell lots of people and won’t come back!).

So that part is OK – Whereas most other directory services are about quantity, women’s phone book had a qualitative differential angle – makes sense. But why just limit it to women – why not call it quality phone book or something and open it for all comers?

Women’s Phone Book also provides unique networking opportunities amongst women and is designed to help improve the quality of their lives by sharing valuable learning’s and experiences.

Which makes me want to vomit – a phone book improving the quality of its users lives? Please! Actually I retract that, I use a bunch of old phone books to hike my monitor up to a better height, saves my neck getting sore and really improves the quality of my life….

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

3 Comments
  • What a completely daft idea.

    I wonder if there’s money in a niche phone book service for men? or hermaphrodites?

  • well those phone books and business listings are normally scams for mugs. Because people normally pay to have a listing i suspect all sorts of silly people thought, ooh women’s market, that would be good to tap into.

  • They appear to be listing things like Children, Fashion, Shopping — you know, the things women look after and manly men don’t. There’s an extensive food section of icecream and liquor, but no beer or meat on a stick 🙁

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