Work at home Mums create first Australian site for parents and families
Box Planet was created by Vanessa Skipworth of King Island, Tasmania, and Kylie Ardill of Umina, NSW, in an effort to provide valuable, geographically specific information for Australian families after both Kylie and Vanessa became increasingly frustrated with the lack of available Australian based material online. Both with backgrounds in online commerce and content provision they set about planning, mapping and then building Box Planet.
Vanessa and Kylie, who come from different states and non city communities, are yet to meet or even speak to the other. They utilised internet technologies such as ICQ, Instant Messaging, Email and the world wide web to communicate throughout the process of the development and creation of Box Planet without the need for speaking on the phone or meeting in person during the creation of the site.
Skipworth says, "It is amazing in many ways with the use of the Internet and it's associated technologies that we can come from outside a capital city and from the comfort of our homes launch an Internet site of this quality and value to the community without having met, in other ways this is day to day life to us and is not amazing but simply a way of being."
Recognising a gap in the online Australian market Vanessa contacted Kylie via email and invited her to join her in the project. Having met online three years before the pair had individually developed their own online businesses, Bearskins Surf Wear for Vanessa and an online parenting magazine targeted toward a U.S based audience for Kylie, Spilt Milk.net.
Combining Vanessa's online commerce experience and Kylie's editorial experience they set to work mapping and planning the site for two months. The process of building the site and coding the HTML and required CGI scripts and testing required an additional four months.
Ardill says, "Six months later we have a site for Australian families and parents nothing like Australia has seen so far online. We aim to provide content that informs, inspires and entertains parents as well as providing guides and ideas on family friendly places to go. We're proud of what we have been able to do and we believe that Australian families will enjoy visiting the site regularly."
With content updated weekly Box Planet includes projects for the home and garden, information on education in Australia from pre-school right through to Adult Education, Star Signs from well known astrologist Tanya Obreza, family news from around the country, movie and book reviews, message boards for each state and zone of the site, experts to answer readers questions, online shopping and a break down of statistics, news, information and reviews for each State of Australia. A strong sense of community is pervasive throughout the site.