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Marketers Courting Moms Online

Moms are apparently using their high-speed internet connections to replicate the neighborhood social circle - and websites aimed at mothers are popping up all over the web, writes the New York Times. Meanwhile, existing mom-focused sites are adding features they hope will draw new users interested in connecting with one another. ClubMom, for one, which previously focused on offline rewards programs for mothers, will introduce an online social networking service next week, after finding success earlier this year with a blogging site.

Most of the sites are ad-supported, with advertising from the makers of everything from minivans to children's medications, although some are pitching goods directly to moms. For example, ClubMom advertisers include Johnson & Johnson and Home Depot.

JotSpot, a site started by the founders of Excite.com, recently introduced a free website-building service aimed largely at mothers. And, earlier this year, LillianVernon.com, the housewares site, spun off Lilly's Kids, which marketed to mothers who want to buy children's gifts.

Executives from MeetUp.com, a social networking business that helps groups organize offline events, report that more than 50,000 mothers have joined groups through the site since its inception. Groups of stay-at-home mothers are especially active, with nearly 34,000 members. Many of those are in sprawling cities like Houston and San Diego.

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