Affi Assegaf (Brilio/Retno Wulandari)
Started as an occasional blogger, now Affi and her friend are organizing the biggest, first-ever online women community.Retno Wulandari 19 February 2017 10:00
Female Daily is arguably the biggest women online community in Indonesia with its two millions users, 18,000 forum threads, 4.5 millions posts, and around 450 new members each day. The website gives women a platform to share their experiences and seek advice for various topics, from make up to breast cancer.
The website has a humble beginning. It was only a personal blog when Affi Assegaf and Hanifa Ambadar started it.
Affi is now Female Daily Network's editorial and community director while Hanifa becomes its CEO.
We met Affi to hear her story.
Can you tell us how did you start Female Daily?
Hanifa and I met on the Internet around 2005. We both had our own blogs, but Hani started hers earlier than me, around 1999. She was living in the US back then, where the blogging world had developed and was more advanced than in Indonesia. Hani’s blog was quite specific to fashion and beauty. As for me, around the early 2000s, my blog was filled with daily stories, but since I worked in the cosmetic industry, I also wrote many things about beauty and makeup.
Hani and I used to put comments on each other’s blog. So after sometimes, we decided to join forces to start a new blog about fashion and beauty called Fashionese Daily. In 2007, we started Fashionese Daily. We received good response and we ended up opening a forum. The audience’s reaction that time was overwhelming. The forum’s members, threads and topics continued to grow.
Why did you decide to make a forum instead of a blog?
Since the first time we launched the blog, our readers’ reaction was very enthusiastic. They posed many questions to our comment column in each post. Initially, we tried to answer every question one by one through the comment column. But the questions got overwhelmingly piled up and it made us difficult to answer. Not to mention some unrelater conversations in each post. So, Hani and I agreed to make a forum to accommodate readers’ aspirations and questions.
Surprisingly, the forum boosted our growth. The number of our members, discussion threads, and posts grew very quickly. We didn’t even have to promote the forum. People just came and joined. Until today, our forum remains the backbone of our community.
Did you have an intention to make the forum commercial from the beginning?
Not really. Although people in the US had already seen some commercial blogs that time, Indonesian blogs hadn’t entered that stage yet. We managed the blog from a distance as we had our full-time jobs back then. We love to write, we love to share our thoughts, so it was just a hobby. But then Hani and I saw the chance, and after many discussions, we eventually decided to take it to a new level and make it commercial.
So then in 2008, we changed Fashionese Daily's name to Female Daily, Hani returned to Indonesia for good, and I quit my job as a public relation manager at MAC Cosmetics and focused on building the website and community.
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