Amber Gordon is the founder of Femsplain, a site for women and anyone who identifies as female. She's hilarious and a delight and came in to talk with us on the podcast about trolls, Denny's, and the new announcement about a social platform within Femsplain.
Femsplain started about a year ago while Amber was still working full time at Tumblr, but had been talking with friends about the idea for a site where women could talk to each other. "I was feeling really uninspired at my previous job, just telling brands "don't post memes". I had wanted to start my own company, even when I was a kid." She had saved up bonuses from being on the Tumblr sales team, which she used to fund the site at first and be able to finally quit her job to concentrate on the site full time.
[Fun fact: Amber used to run Denny's social media, and pretty much started the whole 'brands saying bae' trend. "I was the first brand to run the Tumblr as if it were any teenagers' blog," she said. I" took the inspiration from when I was a kid and what I would blog about. I was into pop punk, so I would take Brand New songs and remix them into lyrics about Denny's."]
Amber has a programming background so she was able to build out the site, staying up late and working on the site all night after she got off her day job.
To make Femsplain able to pay writers and cover its costs, the site did a successful Kickstarter campaign. However, the Kickstarter attracted a downside: feminist trolls. The site had a DDOS attack, and Kickstarter received lots of messages complaining abut it (Kickstarter reached out to Amber to let her know they weren't paying attention to the messages).
Femsplain is rolling out a new ambitious social platform that aims to create a healthier comment and discussion forum. "We're trying to build basically a better Reddit, but for niche communities," she explained. "We're getting rid of comments because comments are garbage. Instead we're rebranding them as a discussion group." Sign up for the new Femsplain platform here.
The idea of women sharing their experiences is core to the site. Amber explains: "life is so much better when you can take from other people's lives and enrich yourself." 👏👏👏👏👏
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Katie Notopoulos is a senior editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Notopoulos writes about tech and internet culture is cohost of the Internet Explorer podcast.
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