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MyLittleParis: How A Newsletter For Girlfriends Became A Huge Internet Hit

It took only a few years for this little start-up to become a digital 'what-to-do' phenomenon: without any advertising, it has 800.000 readers and growing...

Nicolas Rauline

PARIS – It's the success story of a French start-up that has set Parisian inboxes abuzz for the past few months. Providing local news while at the same time giving useful tips and promoting e-commerce, MyLittleParis has broken the boundaries of traditional newsletters. Sent for the first time "to 50 friends' four years ago, MyLittleParis has since become a real buzz machine -- and a profitable business.

The website is read by more than 800,000 people, nearly 500,000 of whom have subscribed to the newsletter. All of this achieved without any kind of public advertising.

"I wasn't expecting it to be such a success," says Fany Péchiodat, the young founder of MyLittleParis. "At first, I just decided to do it because I wanted to share my tips with my friends, and I was a bit fed up with conventional newsletters."

Six months and 10,000 subscribers later, Fany Péchiodat quit her job as head of sales in a cosmetics firm to devote herself completely to the project. She created a start-up company, with an initial 5,000 euros in capital. "The key was to expand without ever losing the original spirit", she says. "Now we're writing to 800,000 readers but each one feels like they've received an e-mail from their friend." This explains why MyLittleParis's newsletter gets opened more than the average and why click rates go as high as 12% - compared to the typical 1%.

The secret of MyLittleParis lies in its particular advertising method: Once a week, the newsletter is specifically devoted to a partner, in a sort of advertorial that allows the start-up to keep control of what's in the e-mail and how things look. For example, to promote trips by train to London, MyLittleParis issued a newsletter telling its readers about its favorite restaurants in the English capital, and slipped in mentions of deals offered by the advertiser in the different articles. "It is more effective than traditional banners," says Péchiodat.


The start-up now employs about 30 people: one third in the editorial team - including five "dénicheuses' (spotters) responsible for finding top tips and good deals - one third in the commercial team and one third in the technical team. MyLittleParis has also expanded by adapting the brand to other cities like Lyon and Marseille and by launching themed sites devoted to children (MyLittleKids) and weddings (MyLittleWedding), as well as creating a male-oriented version of the website (MerciAlfred.com).

In terms of online media, Péchodiat and her team have invented a unique model by adding e-commerce to their activity. Every month, subscribers can receive MyLittleBox, a package of various cosmetics, books and surprises for a monthly fee of 15.50 euros. Launched four months ago, the "box" has so far attracted more than 25,000 women and could represent 40% of the site's revenue in 2012. The turnover of MyLittleParis may soon exceed 10 million euros.

Read the original story in French

Screenshot – MyLittleParis

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

Settlers, Prisoners, Resistance: How Israeli Occupation Ties Gaza To The West Bank

The fate of the West Bank is inevitably linked to the conflict in Gaza; and indeed Israeli crackdowns and settler expansion and violence in the West Bank is a sign of an explicit strategy.

Settlers, Prisoners, Resistance: How Israeli Occupation Ties Gaza To The West Bank

Israeli soldiers take their positions during a military operation in the Balata refugee camp, West Bank.

Riham Al Maqdama


CAIRO — Since “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood” began on October 7, the question has been asked: What will happen in the West Bank?

A review of Israel’s positions and rhetoric since 1967 has always referred to the Gaza Strip as a “problem,” while the West Bank was the “opportunity,” so that former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s decision to withdraw Israeli settlements from Gaza in 2005 was even referred to as an attempt to invest state resources in Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank.

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This separation between Gaza and the West Bank in the military and political doctrine of the occupation creates major challenges, repercussions of which have intensified over the last three years.

Settlement expansion in the West Bank and the continued restrictions of the occupation there constitute the “land” and Gaza is the “siege” of the challenge Palestinians face. The opposition to the West Bank expansion is inseparable from the resistance in Gaza, including those who are in Israeli prisons, and some who have turned to take up arms through new resistance groups.

“What happened in Gaza is never separated from the West Bank, but is related to it in cause and effect,” said Ahmed Azem, professor of international relations at Qatar University. “The name of the October 7 operation is the Al-Aqsa Flood, referring to what is happening in Jerusalem, which is part of the West Bank.”

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