My mom bought Sassy for me because she thought the alternative women's pub was innovative, cutting-edge, and overall, a better influence on her impressionable pre-teen daughter.
A little over a decade later, when I got to assist Kara Jesella & Marisa Meltzer, authors of How Sassy Changed My Life, on their "love letter" to the long-gone mag, I realized I wasn't the only one who wished Sassy was still in print. Still, none of us thought we'd see our beloved mag resurrected ... But, lo and behold, the day has come! Sassy and JANE founding editor Jane Pratt launched xoJane.com today, and it's pretty much any Sassy geek's dream come true.
As Fast Company notes, Sassy was a mag that acted like social media before social media even existed.
The vibe of the mag was the same as a blog. You got to know the editors on a first-name basis (Jane Pratt is just Jane to all of us old-school fans), and there was so much first person POV in the mag, you thought you were BFFs with the writers. Basically, it's a no-brianer that the concept should translate smoothly from page to monitor. Even if the last printed page of Sassy appeared in 1996. So, clearly, Jane was hella way ahead of her time.
I gotta say I'm impressed mostly so far with the fact that Jane seems to have done a stellar job Web-ifying what we loved the most about the old magazines. (For that reason, I'll bet she's sure to retain the old audience and find readers from a younger generation. Whatta smartypants.)
For instance, in lieu of Jane's editor letters, we get "Inside Jane's Phone," which can be found on the site's banner. It's like Jane's personal FourSquare, Twitter feed, Facebook, etc. on steroids. It's an actual view of Jane's iPhone ... We get to see texts, emails, photos, etc. Yeah, obv she got a text from R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe during the White House Correspondent's Dinner. And today, she's gotten "Congrats!" emails galore. It brings that feeling of being "constantly connected" to someone you want to "follow" to a whole new level. In a word, it's revolutionary.
And just in case you were thinking, "Whatever, it's just another women's magazine site offering up the same news of the day I can get anywhere," think again. Everything on xoJane.com is exclusive, original content. And everything xoJane.com features has a personal perspective. So again, we'll feel like BFFs with the staff. Except, this time we'll actually get to follow, interact, comment, and share instantly. Because now the technological world that Sassy was built for actually exists!
To this life-long consumer of women's mags, it almost feels like Jane has finally cracked the code to what's been missing in the transition from print mag to web. And if other online mags can implement even just an ounce of Jane's ingenious, I have a feeling the future of editorial content for women will be brighter than ever before.
Did you read Sassy or Jane? Do you think you'll read xoJane.com?
Image via SAY Media