CafeMom

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CafeMom
Cafemom Logo.png
Type Private
Founded New York, New York
Headquarters New York, New York
Key people Michael Sanchez, co-founder and CEO
Andrew Shue, Co-founder
Employees 120 (April 2013)
Website Cafemom.com
Alexa rank

negative increase 1,343 (April 2014)[1]

positive decrease 1,578 (February 2013)[1]
Type of site English
Registration Optional
Launched December 2006
Current status Active

CafeMom is an ad-supported social networking site which is targeted at mothers and mothers to be. It was founded in 2006 by Andrew Shue and Michael Sanchez.

Within one year of its launch, CafeMom became the most trafficked website for women (by page views) on the Internet, according to comScore.[2] CafeMom gets more than 8 million unique visitors a month, accounting for over 140 million page views.[3] According to their own website, as of 2009, CafeMom.com has turned profitable.[4]

On March 30, 2010, CafeMom announced the launch of The Stir,[5] a new blog for moms featuring topics such as celebrity gossip, parenting dilemmas (and solutions), current events, and home decorating.

Based in New York City, the company has about 120 employees. CafeMom is owned by privately held CMI Marketing.[6]

History[edit]

CafeMom was founded in 2006 by Michael Sanchez and Andrew Shue. In 1999, the childhood friends established CMI Marketing and subsequently ClubMom, the predecessor to CafeMom. ClubMom was a web site that provided parenting information in the form of blogs, articles and message boards. It also organized a shopping rewards program with sponsors. [3][7] ClubMom ran until 2007, when CMI Marketing ended the website in order to focus on their sister site by the name of CafeMom.[7]

The idea of CafeMom originated with Andrew Shue when he became a father and he saw how his wife counted on other mothers for support and information. Shue realized that there was a need for mothers to share and talk with other women and there was nothing out there that was bringing them together [8] [9]

CMI Marketing put together ideas of how the CafeMom website would look and function by looking at features of other social networking sites. The company then took these ideas and simplified them when creating CafeMom.[8]

CafeMom went live on November 15, 2006.[10] Many original ClubMom members were encouraged to join the newly formed social networking site CafeMom in order to help it succeed.[8]

Company[edit]

CafeMom is owned by CMI Marketing Inc., a New York-based company, founded in 1999, which offers Internet community services. The services typically involve online chatting and photo sharing.[11] According to the company website, as of 2013, CafeMom's leadership team includes:

  • Michael Sanchez-the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of CafeMom;
  • Andrew Shue-the co-founder of CafeMom;
  • Jonathan King -the Senior Vice President of Sales Strategy and Operations;
  • Steven Samuels-the Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration;
  • Kim Crain-the Vice President of Human Resources;
  • Kristina Tipton- the Vice President of Marketing;
  • Paul Bannister- Executive Vice President of CafeMom, Sales.

[12]

CMI Marketing Inc. primarily makes money via advertising revenue; their clients include companies like General Mills, Kmart, P&G, Nestle, Coca Cola, Kellogs, Johnson & Johnson, Target, Unilever, Dell, Chase, Samsung and dozens of others. They also have investors, as noted in the online newspaper MediaPost Publications; in 2007 the companies Highland Capital Partners and Draper Fisher Jurvetson invested some $5 million in the company.[13]

Since the end of 2008, CMI Marketing has been growing. CafeMom reaches 8.1 million unique visitors (ComScore, July 2011) and more than 20 million unique visitors to the CafeMom Plus Network.[14] CafeMom Plus is a network of mom-oriented websites who are in partnership with CafeMom, including: Birthday Partnership Ideas; Coupon Cabin; Education.com; and Families.com.

Board of Directors

CaféMom’s Board of Directors consists of John Fisher, Shelly Lazarus, Sara Levinson, Dan Nova and Michael Sanchez and Andrew Shue.[15] The Board of Directors is a governing body of an incorporated firm that is responsible for setting the company’s policies, monitoring the performances of the management team and managing the company’s finance. The members are normally elected by company members.[16]

Revenue model[edit]

CafeMom is an ad supported website that generates revenue from over 100 advertisers. Some of the revenue comes from banner ads that are placed on the website.[17] However, unlike other social networking sites, CafeMom also generates revenue using a slightly different approach to their advertising by allowing registered mothers to interact with a sponsor's product. In fact, most of CafeMom's revenue is generated from customized programs that allow the mothers to interact with products. These customized campaigns will cost a company $500,000.

The interaction begins when members of CafeMom are given trial products to sample. These products are then marketed to other mothers through comments posted on CafeMom about their experience and opinion of the product. This type of ad program generates a great deal of revenue for CafeMom while allowing them to reduce the number of ads that they need to display on the website.[3][18]

[edit]

The CafeMom logo consists of black and green letters. The word 'Cafe' is in black lettering in script followed by 'mom' in green lettering. The CafeMom logo is sometimes changed or enhanced with animation for holidays or seasons. It is often the letter 'O' space in the word mom that is used to make the logo seasonal. For example, for Halloween one year the CafeMom logo featured a pumpkin in place of the letter 'O' and for Earth day, in April 2011, a spinning globe was inserted in place of the letter 'O'.[19]

A majority of the members are women from the United States; however, there are women from other countries represented on the website.[20] CafeMom typically attracts moms between the ages of 25 and 54 (the average age is 32) who have children under the age of 18. The main reason women join CafeMom is for conversation, friendship, entertainment and to seek advice on topics from raising kids to eating healthy.[21]

Anyone can join CafeMom and become a member as long as they are not a dad - it is a dad free zone-.[22] If men try to join, their accounts are deleted in order to keep CafeMom a place where women can talk freely about the diverse issues that concern them. Dads can go onto the page and get information and advice from sources such as Cafe Answers; they are just not permitted to be a member.[23][24]

CafeMom is set up in a similar way to other social networking sites. Each member has a profile where they can upload a photo, post a comment and other members can leave messages. There is also an email feature and a buddy list that allows users to see which friends they have online. As of 2005 and the formation of the Meebo powered network, CafeMom members have also been able to connect simultaneously with their friends on other social networking sites such as Facebook chat.[25]

Meeting other mothers[edit]

Members of CafeMom users can meet other mothers online. This can be done by visiting the CafeMom homepage, and then by clicking on the tab entitled "Groups". After the page has loaded members can then browse or search through lists of groups which have been set up by moms online. According to one estimate, made by the founder of CafeMom Andrew Shue in 2009, there are approximately 70,000 groups online which mothers can choose to join, and all of those groups are one of a kind.[26]

Alternatively mothers can meet other moms online by asking or responding to questions in the answer section of the website and/or by posting comments about articles which have been written by moms using the site. The CafeMom website also enables its users to keep in touch with friends in the real world. Once a member of CafeMom, all users are given an e-mail account which enables them to send e-mails to their friends in the real world.

Privacy settings[edit]

Similar to other social networking services like Facebook or Bebo, Cafemom enables its users to determine who can view their profile page. Every CafeMom member’s profile page has a drop-down menu which can be set to all, friends, or private. Whereas the “all” setting allows everyone to see their profile page, the “friends” setting and “private” setting only allows them or their friends to see their page. Furthermore, CafeMom also allows its members to control who can view the information which they put online. For example, if a mom does not want others to know such facts as their age but does want others to know such things as their interests then they can select from a series of drop-down menus which facts they want to share with others, and which they do not.

However, as noted on the company website, there are certain features of the profile page which CafeMom does not enable its users to set to private. Such features as their CafeMom screen name, online avatar, and mood can be viewed by anyone at any time. In addition, there are separate privacy setting for all the journal articles and photographs which members post online.[27]

Online games[edit]

In 2009 CafeMom introduced a new section to their website, the online games section. Created in collaboration with the developer Arkadium, there are more than 20 games which mothers can choose to play online including card, puzzle, arcade, word, strategy, a sponsored game with Clorex and the CafeMom game, Latte land.[28] The section was launched in 2009 as studies found that women aged between 25-64, many of whom would be using the site on a daily basis, like to play games online. According to one study which was carried out by eMarketer in 2008 more than 27 million women in the United States visited online gaming sites in August 2008 alone.[29]

In the media[edit]

CafeMom has been featured in newspapers, magazines and television and radio programs. Articles have appeared in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America along with programs on The Today Show and Webmaster Radio. In 2009, the marketing news and expert advice website, Clickz, published an article on CafeMom’s newly launched games section, and the impact it was making.[30] [31][32][33][34][35]

In August 2010, it was reported that Yahoo! was seeking to acquire the profit making social networking site aimed at mothers. CMI Marketing and Yahoo negotiated over the price. Other interested companies included The Walt Disney Company.[36]

The Stir[edit]

Logo for The Stir

CafeMom publishes an online journal called The Stir. It provides newspaper articles about parenting and issues surrounding children that members can comment upon and discuss. It also links to related stories on the site as well providing links to similar articles in the press, and gives links to Twitter and Facebook where members can continue the debate. Suburban Turmoil’s Lindsay Ferrier is a fashion columnist for the journal, after selling her style blog, She’s Still Got It, to CafeMom.[37]

The blog is interactive, allowing CafeMom followers to write in and ask questions, appeal for fashion advice and discuss trends. Ferrier became involved with CafeMom after following CafeMom bloggers on Twitter and getting in touch with them.[37]

Awards[edit]

  • In 2007, CafeMom was ranked the #8 fastest growing site by Compete.com.[38]
  • In 2008, CafeMom won the Mashable Open Web Awards for "Top Niche Social Network".[39]
  • The same 2008 year, CafeMom was selected by AlwaysOn as one of OnMedia's "Top 100".[40]
  • In 2010, CafeMom won a Lead411's award "New York City Hot 125".[41]

In 2011, CafeMom was selected by Time magazine as one of their Top 50 Websites of 2011.[42]

  • In 2012, CafeMom won the MediaPost OMMA award for "Website Excellence" in the category Family/Parenting/Women's Interest.[43]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Cafemom.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  2. ^ "Moms Are Hot: CafeMom Raises $12 Million". Mashable. March 18, 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c "Mothers' little helper". Crain’s New York Business. May 3, 2008. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "CafeMom Launches The Stir, the All-Day, Every Day Content Destination for Moms". PR Newswire. March 30, 2010. 
  6. ^ "CMI Marketing's CafeMom Raises $5 Million". Silicon Alley Insider. March 22, 2007. 
  7. ^ a b "How CafeMom Works". How Stuff Works A Discovery Company. July 15, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b c "Actor Andrew Shue becomes internet mogul with CafeMom". New Jersey Online. March 24, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Moms Come Together at CafeMom". ABC News/Good Morning America. June 16, 2009. 
  10. ^ "CafeMom Interview With Paul Bannister and Matt Zarzecki". Center Networks. October 30, 2007. 
  11. ^ "CMI Marketing, Inc.: Private Company information". Bloomberg Newsweek. March 24, 2011. 
  12. ^ "CafeMom People". Cafemom.com. August 20, 2011. 
  13. ^ "CafeMom Brews $5 Million in funding". Mediapost.com. August 23, 2007. 
  14. ^ "CafeMom Launches Ad Network for Mom Sites". Centernetworks. November 20, 2008. 
  15. ^ "People associated with CafeMom". Quakerbase. 2011. 
  16. ^ "Board of Directors definition". WebFinance Inc. 2011. 
  17. ^ "The New Back Fence". Forbes.com. March 13, 2008. 
  18. ^ "How CafeMom Works". How Stuff Works. July 15, 2009. 
  19. ^ "Cafemom". CMI Marketing. 2011. 
  20. ^ "Cafemom.com". Website Shadow. 2011. 
  21. ^ "Actor Andrew Shue becomes internet mogul with CafeMom". New Jersey Online. March 24, 2009. 
  22. ^ "Moms Come Together at CafeMom". ABC network. June 16, 2009. 
  23. ^ "Actor Andrew Shue becomes internet mogul with CafeMom". New Jersey Online. March 24, 2009. 
  24. ^ "Melrose Place Actor Makes Mom's-only Site". ABC News. June 17, 2009. 
  25. ^ "Meebo on CafeMom". Vimeo LLC. June 9, 2009. 
  26. ^ "Actor Andrew Shue becomes internet mogul with CafeMom". Nj.com. March 24, 2009. 
  27. ^ "Tips for CafeMom security and privacy". Nj.com. March 24, 2011. 
  28. ^ "CafeMom Caters to Growing Numbers of Gaming Mothers". Clickz.com. March 24, 2011. 
  29. ^ "CafeMom Gears up for Back to School Season with the Launch of a New Games Section". Arkadium.com. October 1, 2009. 
  30. ^ "Woman to Woman, Online". New York Times. 2008. 
  31. ^ "Beyond Facebook: the Benefits of Deeper Friendships". The Wall Street Journal. 2010. 
  32. ^ "The Today Show". NBC. 2011. 
  33. ^ "Good Morning America". ABC. 2010. 
  34. ^ "Webmaster Radio". Webmaster Radio. 2004–2011. 
  35. ^ "CafeMom Caters to Growing Number of Gaming Mothers". Incisive Interactive Marketing LLC. 2011. 
  36. ^ "Exclusive: Yahoo Eyes CafeMom for $100 Million Acquisition". The Wall Street Journal. August 17, 2010. 
  37. ^ a b "She's Still Got It: Lindsay Ferrier's Style Blog Sold to CafeMom". BlogHer. May 21, 2010. 
  38. ^ CafeMom.com Ranks in the Top Ten of 2007'S Fastest Growing Sites on the Web
  39. ^ Moms Are Hot: CafeMom Raises $12 Million
  40. ^ CafeMom
  41. ^ New York City Hot 125
  42. ^ TIME Magazine Top 50 Websites
  43. ^ MediaPost 2012 OMMA Awards

External links[edit]