Let’s just face it, being a geek girl on the Internet sucks. Even if you’re relatively smart and a woman your lot in online life is basically relegated to this unless you’re Oprah. My point is that there’s never really been a successful and lasting site targeted only to nerd girls (Village Voice Media’s* Heartless Doll tried to no avail until it entered the deadpool last May). Dan Abrams and the folks behind Mediaite are trying to break this curse, with today’s launch of The Mary Sue.
Called The Mary Sue in an attempt to subvert traditional female “wish fulfillment” tropes, the new site has a staff of two — Former Geekosystem Associate Editor Susana Polo will be taking helm with the help of intern Jamie Frevele. Polo explains the motivation behind the site in her inaugural post, “Why A Geek Site For Women?”
“The only thing “women’s” sites and magazines make me feel regularly is the distinct impression that I’m not in their demographic. Even though I’m a woman. Not coincidentally, this is frequently how I feel whenever a game advertisement or comic book cover assumes that I am male. Even though I am a gamer/reader.”
Under Polo’s guidance, the editorial scope of the site will run the gamut from coding to girl gaming to “here’s a female scientist that’s done an amazing thing,” anything that’s interesting to the female demographic as well as geeks as a whole. Polo tells TechCrunch, “There’s a perception on the Internet that if you’re a woman on the Internet people pay more attention to you. But revealing your gender on the Internet can open you up to a lot of annoyances.” No kidding.
Dan Abrams’ entire site network, which includes Mediaite, Styleite, Sportsgrid and Gossipcop, is seeing 9.8 million uniques monthly according to internal analytics and is aiming to bulk up those numbers with The Mary Sue. “Our reach is roughly that of a Slate or an Usmagazine.com, with only a fraction of the staff,” says Mediaite’s Andrew Cedotal. The network’s last/broader foray into geek culture, Geekosystem, is now averaging 1.4 million uniques and 3.5 million pageviews a month with a meager staff of three.
* My former employer.