SkinnyScoop Bets That There’s an Oprah in Everyone

A new social Web site, called SkinnyScoop and built around lists of recommendations, has two X chromosomes in mind.

Aimed at women, it encourages them to create custom lists on a range of topics, from the best local eats to stylish maternity clothes, and then compare those lists with others.

CEO Eden Godsoe developed the idea while pregnant with her first child, after a friend sent her an Excel spreadsheet comparing different baby products. Apparently, women make 85 percent of their purchase decisions based on friends’ recommendations.

From there, Godsoe began thinking about how women in her life utilized the advice of friends before making a purchase. Her goal, she said, is to “move those offline interactions that women share online.”

The site’s slogan, “Unleash your inner Oprah,” is a clear nod to media star Oprah Winfrey, who is known for launching products into the stratosphere by listing them as one of her favorite things.

“There are already a lot of sites that allow you to look for aspirational things, but SkinnyScoop focuses on what’s actionable,” Godsoe said.

She separated SkinnyScoop from sites such as Pinterest and Polyvore, noting that they play off users’ fantasies rather than realities. The site’s partnerships with brands and companies mean users can make social lists of, for example, books from Amazon, rather than just pictures of books they like from around the Web.

Although the site does not prevent men from registering, it’s clear that SkinnyScoop is made and run by women, for women.

“We had to be something to someone,” Godsoe said.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work