Smartgirls.com, a website created specially for teenage girls, has a new owner and a new address: the University”s Institute for Research on Women and Gender and smartgirls.org, respectively.

Paul Wong
Ronda Alexander, Tiffany Marra, and Krystal Smith will run the new smartgirls.org website.<br><br>PHOTO COURTESY OF THE INSTITUTE ON WOMEN AND GENDER

“SmartGirl hadn”t been updated for several months. Now there are thousands of new posts and other updated material for girls to check out,” said program manager Tiffany Marra in a written statement.

The IRWG took over the site in late June after the site expanded too far beyond the its founding company”s ability to maintain it.

“I was incredibly impressed [by] the U of M”s ability to corral the resources to take on this important project, their commitment to learning more about and listening to girls, their commitment to involving more young women in technology, and their ability to create a multidisciplinary endeavor in a university setting, which is often an administrative nightmare,” said Isabel Walcott, who started the website in 1996.

While smartgirls.com will remain essentially the same a site to allow adolescent girls the opportunity to express themselves the IRWG is making a few changes to the website.

“The thing we”ve already done is to change smartgirls.com from a site which supported itself by doing market research,” said Abby Stewart, director of the IRWG.

“[Now] it”s only to do with girls self expression that”s still there which is most of it, but the market research part is gone.”

One of the major changes the IRWG is making is to build in a web mentoring component where University students will be able to work with the girls on writing reviews that they can post on the website.

“We think that U of M students can interact with girls on how to think about the writing of those reviews. We hope to make this an opportunity for U of M students to learn how to mentor another person in a really empowering way,” Stewart said.

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