Catster.com is one of the largest online communities, if not the largest, for cat people. With 1.6 million monthly page views, 550,000 unique visitors and 51.705 Facebook fans, there’s no doubt Catster.com is the real deal.
What’s even better is that Paws’ mom is joining Catster.com as a contributor to Cathouse Confessionals. My first article was published on Dec. 26, and is linked below.
According to their website, Catster.com collects helpful and hilarious information for cat lovers. A resource for real cat owners who passionately argue the merits of catnip at dinner, have very real opinions on vet costs, and are willing to devote their time and financial resources to please the creatures that really run their households.
Since Dogster.com launched in January 2004, and Caster.com in August, 2004, they have become the fastest growing pet destination on the internet and are now a top-five overall pet destination. They were so successful that in 2010, SayMedia purchased both sites in April 2011.
According to their website, they now serve over three million photos for over 450,000 uploaded pets by 500,000 members; Dogster and Catster serve more than 22 million pages a month to over three-quarters of a million visitors
That’s pretty wow to me, and I’m thrilled at becoming a contributor to this popular cat destination. According to Managing Editors Vicky Walker there are about 20 regular writers, plus a rotating cast of one-offs and occasional experts.
Being able to present information in a helpful and humorous way exhibits a very different writing voice for Paws’ mom, who usually writes in a more serious manner. As a traditional journalist, she’s heard the – never use I – preaching from the higher-ups for years. Everything must be he or she, and attributed to a source. That’s objectivity.
It certainly is objective, but it can become limiting; maybe at time, even boring. Catster.com offers the ability to breathe new life into my writing system – facts, humor, conjecture, reflection, and more.
When I met with Managing Editors Vicky Walker and Keith Bowers at the Cat Writers Association’s conference in California this past November, they told me they didn’t want traditional hard news stories, they wanted stories. Being creative in a world of search engine optimization (SEO) is almost unheard of anymore. Creative fun headlines and first paragraphs are being disbanded for keywords that search engines like Google will find.
Needless to say, I’m excited about this new opportunity to write about factual events with a humorous twist. Isn’t that what creative writing used to be about?
It’s taken a lot of work and talent for these two websites to make these sites internet sensations. It should not be any surprise that Catster’s Editor-in-chief Janine Kahn comes with an impressive background, in addition to being an avid pet advocate. The award-winning journalist got her start as a Web scribe at the LA Times, moving on to run the online editorial operations for Village Voice publications SF Weekly and OC Weekly.
Not surprisingly, she’s editor of Dogster.com, which their website says is the largest online community for dog lovers, with 3.7 million monthly page views, 1.3 million unique visitors, and 105,000 Facebook fans.
Founder Ted Rheingold, San Francisco entrepreneur founded Dogster.com and Catster.com to connect dog and cat owners. Focusing on his user base, integrating advertising within the site, and controlling costs have allowed him to build a successful and profitable start-up.
In an interview published on the website, on post on May 2, 2006, he says the ideas came from seeing his wife visit rescues just to look at pictures of the dogs. He then noticed people sharing their dog photos on the phones and in their emails. He thought why don’t I make a website, a place where anyone can share their photos with everyone else. The rest is history.
Have you visited Catster.com or Dogster.com? What do you think of their pet community? What do you think about their featured Cathouse Confessionals? And what do you think about writing in first person (the I, my, mine words)? Please share your thoughts, and please stop by and check out my Cathouse Confessionals, as well.