Facebook for divorc

A new social networking site targets ex-wives and women heading for Splitsville.

Published September 11, 2008 8:28PM (EDT)

Radiohead. Dogs. Knitting. What do these three things have in common, besides their fairly universal popularity? Well, each has its very own social networking site, of course! Though most of us connect through more general outlets like Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn, the sheer number of special-interest social networks is staggering.

It isn't terribly surprising, then, to hear about the launch of First Wives World, a networking site for divorced women and those who are considering or in the process of ending their marriages. Beyond allowing divorcées to communicate with one another, First Wives World includes blogs, fiction serials, polls and "relevant news." A section called "Experts and Resources" offers advice on everything from sex and health to money and careers to divorce-related legal help. Anticipating that some users may not be as tech-savvy as your average Facebook user, the site also houses video tutorials on social networking for newbies.

Initially, I wanted to hate First Wives World -- probably out of some combination of social networking fatigue and skepticism about products targeted to women in vulnerable situations. But when I actually visited the site, I was pleasantly surprised at how sane and useful it seemed. What woman (or man, for that matter) navigating such an expensive, confusing and emotionally wrenching ordeal couldn't use some advice and support from others who have already been there? Though First Wives World does occasionally includes the kind of self-help mumbo-jumbo that also plagues ladies' glossies (readers can learn about "spiritual divorce" and receive sex tips from an astrologist), the site's overall tone is friendly, positive and constructive. If only MySpace were so practical.

By Judy Berman

Judy Berman is a writer and editor in Brooklyn. She is a regular contributor to Salon's Broadsheet.

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