Kim Heras is a Sydney-based technology writer and entrepreneur. His passions include the Australian startup industry, innovation and the Kim Heras is a Sydney-based technology writer and entrepreneur. His passions include the Australian startup industry, innovation and the web as an enabler of change. You can follow Kim on twitter - @kimheras
Dcyder, a free online service, has launched to help women make decisions about their lives by putting dilemmas to other women to vote.
Should you ditch your cheating boyfriend or give him another chance? What to do about that annoying friend stealing your style? Dcyder lets you post it online and get the women of the world to help you decide.
Oddly enough, for a startup focused on delivering advice from women to women, the site was created by two men.
Australian co-founders Steve Hardisty and Stu Coleman explain the inspiration behind the site:
“Once upon a time women would seek advice from their mothers, or even write in to a magazine columnist or Agony Aunt for advice, but web 2.0 and social networking changes everything. Why ask just one person, when you can poll the masses?” explains Coleman.
“We provide a free service for people to anonymously post a dilemma and poll the online audience. Not only do users have the option to vote, they can also opt to leave a written comment to further clarify their viewpoint and all with no registration needed.”
“It might seems a bit strange, having two men developing a website predominantly for women, but we developed the idea for dcyder.com, after identifying a gap in the market for this type of service. And while we’re not women ourselves, we understand that women love giving advice to other women!” says Coleman.
Since a soft public release in mid 2009, dcyder.com has received dilemmas from users all over the world, including the US, Canada, the UK and Australia. Dilemmas are also promoted through social media (Facebook and Twitter feeds), with the site offering users the opportunity to invite their friends to vote.
“We’ve been delighted with the initial interest in dcyder.com, and so far it’s spread by word-of-mouth. During the next 12 months we intend to extend the functionality of the site, and hopefully attract more users,” says Coleman.
It’s an interesting idea but I have to say that I don’t really see how, beyond saying that it’s a site to get advice from women, the team is making sure that women are in fact answering the dilemmas. Perhaps the strategy is to brand it as a destination for women and hope that enough female-oriented content is generated to make guys not want to participate. Then again perhaps they’re going for the Cosmopolitan Magazine effect, where you direct the content at women knowing full well that you’ll drag along a large male audience.
For now though, while the site aims to be something like FML meets Yahoo Answers for the better half of the population it still remains a fun and sometimes interesting read, no matter what your gender, and no doubt will be the source of good sisterly advice for some time to come.
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