Mumsnet is a great community website for pregnant women and mothers to share information and stories.
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Sam Norman: There is no doubt that even the most confident parents will have a few sleepless nights over some of the more difficult parenting problems. Things like finding the right childcare, working at what to do about vaccinations or getting your child out of nappies can be really hard work. Justine Roberts and Carrie Longton set up mumsnet.com to help answer some of those questions. Well, welcome to the Baby Channel. How did you two meet in the first place? Carrie Longton: We met at antenatal classes believe it or not. We were sitting there very nervously without -- Sam Norman: With your first baby. Carrie Longton: Yeah, first baby quite sometime ago -- Justine Roberts: I meant two, I think I meant two, I was expecting twins and one was incredibly premature. So at one point I remember the teachers saying; now when you have a show it will be like this and I said I have had one. Sam Norman: And she went right. Carrie Longton: And we didn't see her again for quite sometime. Justine Roberts: And arrived with two babies. Sam Norman: You must be quite an impressionable women there? Justine Roberts: Yeah, we then went on to be friends and meet up; continue to meet up for year before we started mumsnet. Carrie Longton: And that group of friends who we still meet up from our antenatal group was kind of part of the genesis for the idea for the site. Sam Norman: Oh I see. Carrie Longton: The idea that we got a lot of our support, encouragement and advise and really practical advise from each other because no matter what sort of career you have or what walk of you life you are from or how much money you have got, there is nothing so much leveling as a new baby and you are going through the same problems wherever you live, you are going through the same sort of issues and that's how we got one of the ideas for site. Sam Norman: So when exactly was the weaker moment, when did you decide that? Justine Roberts: It was that -- by a Florida pool side, I know it ended up being like one of those terrible holidays that change your life. My husband and I had bravely decided to embark on a holiday and it was November and we went to a well known and won't be mentioned child friendly resort in Florida and the childcare was no less than catastrophic, really it was. The woman who was looking after our children had been hired as a cook three days earlier and laughingly described it as well. But basically no parents could use the childcare. So it slightly spoiled our mood for holiday and we sat around the pool side after it with these other complaining parents that wouldn't it have been nice to have known about this, prior to booking the tickets and prior to leaving and surely we should be using the internet to find these sort of things out. And from that grew the idea, well, if we are talking about holidays, let's talk about all the other stuff that parents buy. And it was at that time when everyone was starting a .com company and we thought well this would be a great one to start. So I went home and discussed it with Carrie and she -- Carrie Longton: She bought me into it and I sent my first e-mail. Sam Norman: And from that you have got two books, haven't you? And two books and -- Justine Roberts: Two books and a magazine. Sam Norman: And a magazine. Justine Roberts: We have done TV shows. Sam Norman: So it sounds perfect and everything is quite successful. Justine Roberts: It has mostly been successful in sort of organic kind of way. I mean we arrived on the .com scene just as the .com blew up in our faces and actually we did at one point say we are going to raise five million pounds and we went to see venture capitalists with a business plan that really made no sense at all and then b.com failed and that was all out of the window. So we raised a very small amount of money and have grown organically by word of mouth and the real success of mumsnet has been the way mums have passed on the word really about mumsnet and we now have a 150000
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