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Connect.women does more for C&W than for charity

Opinion:When supporting a good cause isn't good enough

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It would be easy to deride today's launch of connectwomen.com as an attempt by the corporate sponsors and others to create a powerful new Net brand on the back of an incredibly worthy cause. So I won't. Such a cheap shot would even be below The Register's sometimes subterranean levels of decency and integrity. But I can't help wondering if Macmillan Cancer Relief could have done better financially out of its partnership with some of the leading lights in the corporate world. The fact is a new vibrant portal has been created that could become a magnet for a large, powerful and influential audience of women. Unlike so many others, it's mainstream, familiar and approachable and appeals directly to one of the Net's fastest growing groups -- women. In terms of virtual real estate, its value could rocket 80s style if connectwomen.com lives up to its high expectations. Question is, does Macmillan have an option to cash in on future growth? And what about Cable and Wireless' offer to donate £1 for every new sign-up to its Internet Lite package? Sure it could net Macmillan £100,000 -- or even £500,000 -- in additional and much needed revenue. But the value of each new Internet Lite user to Cable and Wireless could be 1,500 times more than its £1 donation, if you compare it to the recent valuation of Freeserve. That's not a bad return. It's a ground-levelling fact that there can be no one reading this who hasn't been touched by cancer in some way and at some time or other. Cable and Wireless and others should be lauded for helping Macmillan Cancer Relief raise cash and awareness. I just don't want this valuable and vitally important charity to miss out on the future -- that's all. ®

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