SheZoom Needs Cyndi Lauper

With the proliferation of companies in the online video space tripping over themselves to cater to young men, it’s nice to see someone other than Oprah or iVillage targeting female audiences. SheZoom is a new video site that’s angling to be an “upbeat and engaging community that encourages women to laugh, learn, share and connect.”

SheZoom offers original, partnered and user-generated video. Content categories include relationships, food, tech, money and more. It’s even brought on experts in different fields to provide advice on particular topics. And to help you make your selection, SheZoom will even ask what you’re in the mood to do — choices include “laugh,” “cry,” “bitch” and “moan.”

SheZoom just raised $2 million in its first round of funding, which it will use to expand its sales and marketing team. The company also plans to sell its own ad inventory.

I believe there’s a huge opportunity for women-centered online video sites, but a quick glance at SheZoom makes me think this site hasn’t hit on it. SheZoom seems to be following the same path as Purple Moon, a video game company (and former PR client of mine) in the late 90s that made games for girls. It had mountains of research to show how girls played differently from boys and how it was all about forming relationships.

But somewhere along the line, Purple Moon forgot that games were also supposed to be, you know, fun. Purple Moon’s soccer game, for example, was so centered around teammate relationships that initially it didn’t include actual soccer playing. Needless to say, the company went under.

SheZoom feels a lot like that. There are lots of how-to and advice videos, but they’re missing something — a certain spark, a vitality. SheZoom clearly went to great lengths to build a bona fide community for women; it shouldn’t forget that girls also just wanna have fun.