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AUGUST 1999 | VOL. 3, NO. 8



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NOTE: The Bytes & Picas section now features news and reviews of the gadget culture, including video games, technology, the internet and marketing strategies.

Hachette Filipacchi Launches The Elle Interactive Network Portal @ www.elle.com

LAURENT NÉGRIER

On July 2nd, Hachette Filipacchi Interactions set a new standard in the women's interactive community with the launch of the Elle Interactive Network Affinity Portal at www.elle.com. More than just another editorial site, elle.com focuses on offering a real community built around targeted content and unique services to enhance women's lives. An innovation in terms of structure, style and content, this spirited and information-rich site aims to become the leading women's online lifestyle network offering the opportunity to share values among a fashion-forward, dynamic and discerning audience.

The #1 women's magazine in the world, Elle counts 32 international print editions and sells 60 million copies per year (5 million issues sold per month in 1998); readership numbers 20 million monthly. In addition, Elle counts 13 web sites (8 languages / 12 countries). As the portal to access all Elle web sites, Elle.com is the first of the brand's addresses to reflect a universal editorial concept; local sites will soon be reworked in the same spirit.

"Elle is the world's leading upscale women's magazine - and we seek to be the leading women's lifestyle network on the Internet," explains Danielle Paquin, director of the Elle International Network and Executive Producer of Elle.com. "The scope of this project goes far beyond simply taking a magazine and putting it online: it's about harvesting the strength of Elle worldwide and nourishing a truly global community."

Looking to Connect
According to the Elle 1998 International Reader Survey, women around the world are looking for ways to connect with other women who are like-minded, modern, free-spirited and genuinely concerned about issues that affect our lives. Fully 85% of respondents believe that "Happiness is not a dream but a way of life." Participants most often described themselves as "self-confident" and "optimistic" - and 76% expressed "a strong desire for self-expression." Based on these findings,

Elle.com was created with the baseline Women of the World Celebrating Life and Style.

Elle.com is an international English-language flagship site targeted to women of similar socio-cultural backgrounds who share a taste for innovation, modernity, fashion, beauty and a sophisticated lifestyle. It is an audience that is particularly attractive to advertisers in the fashion, beauty and luxury sectors. For this venture Elle.com has also forged Internet partnerships with CNN Interactive and Lycos, Time Out and voila.com (France Telecom).

High Interactivity and Special Services
With Elle.com, the Elle Interactive Network has created an affinity portal with eight topical channels and special services. The site is built on four pillars: Daily News on fashion and lifestyle, Community and Services, Shopping, and a direct link to Elle magazines and web sites. Editorial features are updated daily or weekly by Elle journalists and user contributions. Over 20 forums offer users the chance to discuss, exchange information, participate in quick votes and talk about other women who are shaping our world: each month, users may elect a Woman of the Month, based on Elle.com portraits and user submissions. This interactivity allows users to become full-fledged editors and journalists; their contributions of articles and photos are integral to the content of the site. For example: during the summer launch period, users will be posting entries from their travel diary, thus bringing the Elle.com community along on their adventures.

"The real interest of the Internet is reader influence," explains Paquin. "Unlike the traditional press, every single user can participate and bring something to the table."

Features include: Style (seasonal fashion collections, exclusive interviews and favorite addresses); Beauty (products and expert advice), Health & Fitness, Women's World (current issues and humanitarian organizations), Friends & Lovers, Culture (art, books, film, music), Travel and Horoscope.

Services and Shopping
Elle.com is committed to being a practical tool, that offers women a wealth of addresses, practical tips and shopping solutions. Among the services that will be featured: Expert Advice: professional input on navigating the murky waters of modern courtship (Friends & Lovers); Paris-based personal trainer-to-the-stars Alex Denis of the Hotel Costes provides fitness pointers and case studies of selected clients. Cultural Agenda (weekly updates of events and happenings in 10 world capitals, with a handy listing of favorite bars, restaurants, clubs, shops and salons, and must-see exhibitions). Travel Agency (destinations, practical tips, weather reports and currency exchange). Best Shopping sites: a directory of the best shopping sites selected by Elle.com.

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