wowOwow is a free daily Internet website created, run and written by Lesley Stahl, Liz Smith, Joni Evans, Mary Wells, Sheila Nevins, Joan Juliet Buck, Whoopi Goldberg, Julia Reed, Joan Ganz Cooney, Judith Martin, Candice Bergen, Lily Tomlin, Jane Wagner, Jean Chatzky, Cynthia McFadden and Marlo Thomas.

Many of us have known each other and been friends for a long time. Liz, for instance, met Candy in the 1960s when Candy was new to New York and an unknown actress. Candy and Lily worked together on “Murphy Brown” and found themselves in a mutal admiration society. Mary Wells and Joni Evans became instant old friends when Mary was writing her first book. Lesley and Peggy met at CBS News in 1982 the day Dan Rather called in sick. Peggy wrote a daily broadcast for him; Lesley found herself subbing for him; they pitched in and a long friendship began.

So: we go back. And for years we have been talking to each other about everything under the sun – our families, our work, our worlds. No matter what was happening in our lives, we made the time. We’ve shared what we think, observe and experience each day.

And now we want to share it with you.

A while ago we decided to go on the Internet with our conversations and make them available to everyone who might be interested. Why? One reason is that like a lot of people we have more to say than we have places to say it. Another is that the Internet allows us to talk about things we think about but don’t normally talk about in public, and touch on areas we’re rarely asked about. We also are all of us at a time in our lives when we feel we have much to share in terms of experience and encouragement. And we mean to encourage. We also mean to be frank.

It means a lot to us that the largest number of people coming on to the Internet now are women like us – women who, to use a cliché, weren’t born yesterday, who are in their prime, who are involved in the world and have a bent for changing it as much as living in it. Women who want a place to look at issues in a new way, or gossip a little, or learn more about eachother, or ponder how to make the world better. Women who live varied lives, as we do.

Lesley is a broadcast journalist, Whoopi, Candice, Lily and Marlo work in show business, Liz—our grande dame of dish—writes about it, Peggy is a political columnist, Julia Reed and Joan Buck are writers and social commentators, Sheila Nevins invented the modern television documentary for HBO, and Joan Ganz Cooney invented Sesame Street. Mary Wells invented modern advertising and lives on a boat in the Med. Joni Evans published over 100 bestsellers and Judith Martin is the muse behind “Miss Manners.”

The thing about modern women is that they all have varied lives. But here, we hope, we can offer some commonality. And some fun, too.

The heart of our site consists of The Conversation – a new, brief, conversation made available each day, a conversation that a number of us will take part in on any given day. We’ll post the transcript. In time, we’ll post the audiotape. Heck, if we manage to wrap our heads around technology we’ll be offering a videotape. But that’s for later. For now, The Conversation, by transcript, and various posts from our contributors. Liz on who she saw last night and what they said; Peggy on the political event she attended, or the Broadway show. Julia Reed on what she saw, Joan Buck on what she thought, and Marlo Thomas on what got her engine going this morning. We’ll be posting daily.

We hope you come by. We hope you stay awhile. We’d like you to become part of The Conversation.

We close with a thought from Lesley Stahl, who pondered for us why exactly we talk to each other. She said, “There’s some deep, atavistic need women have to get together with each other and talk. It’s as essential to us as food, shelter and love. Maybe it’s something ancient leftover in us from when the cavemen went off to hunt, and we sat in a circle with each other back at the cave, waiting. When we go a long time without this kind of female conversation we feel deprived. And when we do sit and talk, we feel better.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.