New website is better for two

By Larissa Gula

Relationships. They can give singles headaches and frustrate couples. But for one Pitt alumna,… Relationships. They can give singles headaches and frustrate couples. But for one Pitt alumna, they are inspiration for her new online publication,

Founded by editor Natalie Bencivenga and managing editor Joseph Vineis, twoday magazine is taking the step from a monthly webzine to a full-time website and operating magazine Jan. 18.

Bencivenga, a Pitt grad, described twoday magazine as a progressive publication that could affect changes in relationships of couples of all ages.

“Nothing [in other magazines] really fused … questions about dating, about gay and straight dating,” Bencivenga said. “[These are] the questions that never get asked and never get answered in magazines … I think we’re still very isolated even when we have a partner. This is a way to change it up a bit.”

The new site features material that couples can read together rather than separately, which sets it apart from the typical print style magazine. The publications will provide a guide for couples that can be updated daily.

The magazine targets people age 20 and older, according to Bencivenga. Otherwise, nothing limits its audience.

“This magazine … deals with the greatest subject in the world — love,” Bencivenga said. “We can all relate! College students especially, because they are just finding their footing and what they want in life.”

Twodaymag, based in a New York office, launched its revamped website on Jan. 18. It now includes new articles about restaurants, places to go together, interactive articles, quizzes, contests to sign up to together and other information, according to Bencivenga.

On the magazine’s website, three major sections — Live, Love and Play — aim to make couples’ relationships more engaging and exciting.

“Live” focuses on current events and stories about real couples. The topics featured put a couple’s spin on topics seen on the front page of The New York Times. They include people caught in the debate over gay marriage, people in relationships in Iraq and even debate over the basic budgeted gift in the current economy.

“Love” explores a couple’s relationship status, offering tips such as how to deal with break-ups, being engaged and sex.

Play offers reviews and insights on things to do and places to go on any given night.

Bencivenga’s inspiration for the site came together slowly. She graduated from Pitt in 2006 with a double major in biology and philosophy and a minor in chemistry.

She was not committed to her original goal — a job in women’s health — but her reflections within her majors contributed positively to the content of twoday magazine.

“The great thing is, with my philosophy and science background, I had a great way of merging my right brain-left brain,” Bencivenga said. “It just expands your mind and makes you more open, which is great when looking for love and wanting to talk about it [such as in a magazine].”

While in New York, Bencivenga began editing Vineis’ proposal for a small magazine. The two eventually paired up to redo the entire magazine idea. Bencivenga eventually narrowed the redone and renamed magazine’s sections down to Live, Love, Play.

Bencivenga explained that this format allows for the interactive items that she has plans for, such as a comic called “Little Black Dress” about single girl’s dates. She believes everyone will find something to relate to on the website.

“I am on a journey and believe others can benefit from my mistakes and my victories in love,” Bencivenga said. “We all need that person in our lives that can give great advice from a place of experience. I am that person, and my goal is to enrich other people’s experiences in love.”

The magazine’s staff includes 10 staff writers and an advertisement department. Despite Bencivenga’s attachments to other print magazines, she accepts technology as the new thing and as a “greener process” than using paper and ink, and has no plans for the magazines to move into print.

“It just makes more sense,” Bencivenga said. “We have a Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. You can share articles on your own. You can print them. I think the future is definitely online, unfortunately for print.”

Twoday magazine is “an ever expanding, ever changing process,” according to Bencivenga.

“It’s all about bringing people and bringing them together,” Bencivenga said. “Hopefully we will build it [the magazine] up. We want a radio station, video, blogs. We want a lot. This [launch] is just the start-up to see the reaction.”

Bencivenga is confident in the direction this launch could take relationships.

“Love is the big mystery, right?” Bencivenga said. “Everyone deals with this on some level, so what better way to unite them then through this idea?”