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The Web is Increasingly a Girls World
Web 3.0 Next Gen Internet Dominated by Women
martinibuster




msg:3580966
 10:46 am on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

According to a report in the NYTimes [nytimes.com],

Research shows that among the youngest Internet users, the primary creators of Web content (blogs, graphics, photographs, Web sites)... are digitally effusive teenage girls.

Among the interesting observations are that men don't have the same aptitude for growing sites with new content that women do, and that the social aspect of the web is a more natural fit for women than men.

Does this change anything? Any implications for the future of where the web is headed and who we're addressing?

 

kaled




msg:3581148
 3:05 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Girls and women chat more and are generally more sociable than men. They are less inclined to be interested in solving technical problems, etc. but given that the knowledge required to get "online" has been diminishing (i.e. men have been working hard to solve technical problems and make it easier) then there is nothing surprising in women being successful in the internet environment. Additionally, women have been showing a tremendous aptitude in advertising and marketing for decades so it's hardly surprising that they should be good at growing websites.

Kaled.

pageoneresults




msg:3581157
 3:14 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Great topic MB and perfect timing too!

Does this change anything? Any implications for the future of where the web is headed and who we're addressing?

Since you've let the cat out of the bag, I guess I'll have to share. I've been targeting a female niche and we are getting prepared to do first launches in regards to that niche here shortly. I've also been bringing on more female peers as that particular niche needs female finesse which I quite don't have at the moment. ;)

I'm tellin ya, the ladies are doing a bang up job. There's this whole "chick" movement on the SEO side and I'm really digging the fact that women are a strong force to contend with in our industry, bravo! We have quite a few ladies here at WebmasterWorld too. :)

Stylesheet Switchers come to mind in this instance. I've been fiddling with him/her stylesheets and we are having lots of fun in the process. Two big buttons on the home page; "For Her" and "For Him". Or vice versa, it depends on the predominance of the target audience and whether it is male or female. You want to make sure you put those in the proper order. :)

varya




msg:3581239
 4:26 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Whoa! Back up and check the sexism at the door please. There are, no doubt, many societal and cultural reasons why the percentage of women in many technical sciences has been lower than 50%, but an inability to solve technical challenges until men make it easy enough for them is *not* one of the factors.

Women have been actively and intimately involved in computers and software development since Ada wrote the first program.

jimbeetle




msg:3581265
 4:47 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

They are less inclined to be interested in solving technical problems, etc. but given that the knowledge required to get "online" has been diminishing (i.e. men have been working hard to solve technical problems and make it easier)

Uh oh, if you hear footsteps behind you, duck. It might be a certain webmaster woman -- or a passel of them -- carrying a very big stick.

kaled




msg:3581446
 7:20 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

...but an inability to solve technical challenges until men make it easy enough for them is *not* one of the factors

I said that women are "less inclined to be interested in solving technical problems" - I did not say they lacked ability. For the record, I have four sisters including one who used to make seriously big bucks as a contract programmer, but even she has no interest in solving technical problems (beyond that necessary for work).

Boys and girls are different (just ask any parent) and men and women are different - there's no point pretending it ain't so. I am all in favor of equal rights, equal pay, etc. but I will never subscribe to the idea that men and women think the same way, want the same things and have the same interests - that's just absurd.

There will always be exceptions - I'm merely talking in broad generalizations.

Kaled.

martinibuster




msg:3581534
 8:35 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

According to the article, it's the young women and girls who are growing their social web enterprises because according to their experience (as quoted in the article), this generation of males don't have the patience for it.

If this article points to a real trend, it might be worthwhile to step back and think about the next wave of projects and how they will fit into this demographic.

Pew Internet Study PDF [pewinternet.org]
According to the above study, 93% of teens are online, and two thirds of those online are creating content online. Of those, 55% of the content creators are girls. Boys content creation activities tended to cluster around uploading content to video sharing sites. (Pretty useless, imo).

ZydoSEO




msg:3581611
 10:05 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)


The study makes total sense to me. Women are more sociable than men. They like to communicate more than men.

I knew there was a reason I love surrounding myself with women... They are going to deliver me into the age of Web 3.0!

I'll drink to that Rog!

trinorthlighting




msg:3581823
 4:31 am on Feb 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

We have seen a huge pick up in sales this year from females so we do notice this trend.

janethuggard




msg:3581831
 4:59 am on Feb 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have been repairing and building my own machines for ten years. I have a long list of clients, 99% of them men . . . and I haven't been a "girl" for about 50 years.

I run a network of websites that are in excess of 30, successfully enough to run a home, care for a disabled adult daughter, her child and a husband with heart problems... while growing my network.

One of my critics wrote on a website once "this is a woman who throws up websites like most women fix their family supper." It was suppose to be an insult to me, but I found it to be an insult to "most women".

It is not just "girls" that are taking the web by storm, us old bags have been doing it for years, in my case going on 16 years.

The key is for women to not spend all their time fixing supper. I leave that to my husband, one of the best cooks around.

In this household we each contribute what we do best, there is no roll playing. We work together for the mutual success of the family unit. It is much like a company in that respect. That is why it works, and we continue to succeed.

The problem is, many men are so focused on networking other young males, they really haven't noticed that a huge portion of the web is dominated by women, many of us who have never relied on a man to make things easier for us.

I seo my own sites, other's sites, and wouldn't ask a man for technical support to fix my machines or sites on a bet. I break it, I figure it out and fix it... and from what I have seen, I do it with alot less whining than 'most' men.

graywolf




msg:3581832
 5:04 am on Feb 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

I may not be a female but I have been known to play one regularly on the internet, and I create lots of content when I put my mind to it ;-)

Seriously do people really believe the data that people give about A/S/L on the internet? Both of my children are girls and they've been taught to fill in bogus info whenever they come to a website that asks for that kind of info.

martinibuster




msg:3581860
 7:31 am on Feb 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

...do people really believe the data that people give about A/S/L on the internet?

Michael, you raise a good point. This is what the Pew Internet Project says about their methodology:

In eligible households, interviewers first conducted a short interview with a parent or guardian, then interviews were conducted with the target child.

The people contacted were from a pool that had participated in previous studies, since 2004. So they already had some data about the interview subjects going in as well.

webdoctor




msg:3581893
 8:52 am on Feb 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

I will never subscribe to the idea that men and women think the same way, want the same things and have the same interests - that's just absurd

Why would anyone subscribe to the idea that all men (or indeed all women) think the same way, want the same things, and have the same interests? Surely that's equally absurd? :-)

swa66




msg:3581937
 11:05 am on Feb 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

I will never subscribe to the idea that men and women think the same way, want the same things and have the same interests - that's just absurd

Why would anyone subscribe to the idea that all men (or indeed all women) think the same way, want the same things, and have the same interests? Surely that's equally absurd? :-)


Once you get the emotions out of the way you can see it in two ways:
  • statistically there is a significant difference. Of course there are exceptions, statistics seek trends, not individual deviations from the trend.
  • biologically women and men are different and the hormones that trigger the differences also act on our personality emotions etc. The human machine runs on hormones to do what it does and those are different in men and women. Surely that's enough of an explanation to accept the statistical difference.

    That said differences are good! If we were all the same it would be extremely boring.

    And for those trying to find offense: different does not mean better or worse.

  • webdoctor




    msg:3581965
     11:44 am on Feb 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

    statistically there is a significant difference [between men and women...]

    I'm not quite ready to accept this claim without seeing some data. Can't help it, I have a science background... :-) In any case, what kind of difference(s) are you talking about?

    I recently watched a (light hearted) TV show where they were attempting to assess the assertion that "mean are better than women at (reverse) parking a car because men have better spatial skills".

    To cut a long story short, the show ended up "demonstrating" that this assertion is false.

    In their study, they found that people who have better spatial skills are indeed better at parking, but they found no correlation between being a men and having better spatial skills.

    sonjay




    msg:3581968
     11:49 am on Feb 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Girls have always kept diaries. Now they blog.

    Boys used to hide dirty pictures under the mattress. Now they share them on the Internet.

    Boys plays video games, girls go shopping. Now they do those things online.

    Teen behavior hasn't changed, merely the technology they use.

    What does this "shocking new trend" portend for the future? My guess is, we'll see the boys grow up and start their own internet-based businesses with the goal of making money, while the girls will work for them as content creators.

    So is there anything new here? ;)

    hannamyluv




    msg:3581991
     12:47 pm on Feb 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Whoa! Back up and check the sexism at the door please.

    As a woman who is routinly outnumbered by men at any tech event I go to by 20 to 1, I can say this is not sexism at work. We are a growing group, but we aren't there yet.

    As far as usage online, the woman thing makes sense. As a woman, I find the internet helps more with my "traditional" roles (not that my husband doesn't share 50/50 in our house) in the house. Recipes, advice on everything from child rearing to gardening and chatting over the virtual fence. It also fits in well with my work (well, duh, I know) but for most women, this is the case. It is an extension of our regular lives as a whole and fit in well with our busier lives.

    There was a thread awhile back about how your basic Web 2.0 design was a "female" oriented design in color and softness. Perhaps designers inherantly knew something.

    buckworks




    msg:3582021
     1:34 pm on Feb 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Is the kind of content that's created by chatty teenagers of much interest to anyone but themselves and their peer group?

    I'm having trouble seeing any commercial implications here ...

    hannamyluv




    msg:3582043
     2:04 pm on Feb 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Is the kind of content that's created by chatty teenagers of much interest to anyone but themselves and their peer group?

    Nope, but what a HUGE group it is. Did anyone see the Featured Euntrapanuer on Yahoo this past week? 17 year old girl who made millions creating MySpace pages for other chatty teens.
    [potw.news.yahoo.com...]

    People fail to realize how much disposable income teenagers have. They either have a part time job or their parents credit cards and absolutly no bills. They spend money like there is no tomorrow because they have no concept of what money really is yet. A lucrative market if you tap into it right.

    Clark




    msg:3582045
     2:06 pm on Feb 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Ah a good fight between the sexes. I knew this was gonna be fun by the second post. There are so many sexist lines begging to be dropped...

    I recently watched a (light hearted) TV show where they were attempting to assess the assertion that "mean are better than women at (reverse) parking a car because men have better spatial skills".

    When being tested, the women probably did not put on makeup in the rearview and brush their hair, which is more likely to happen in real life, so this is hard to study in a lab environment.

    varya




    msg:3582050
     2:13 pm on Feb 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Of course there are differences between men and women...I certainly wasn't saying that acknowledging such difference is sexist. I was referring specifically to this comment, which sounds like "there, there, dear, of course women can be successful now that men have done all the work to make it easy."

    They are less inclined to be interested in solving technical problems, etc. but given that the knowledge required to get "online" has been diminishing (i.e. men have been working hard to solve technical problems and make it easier) then there is nothing surprising in women being successful in the internet environment.

    SEOMike




    msg:3582053
     2:18 pm on Feb 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

    When being tested, the women probably did not put on makeup in the rearview and brush their hair, which is more likely to happen in real life, so this is hard to study in a lab environment.

    HAHA! Wow! This IS a fun thread!

    I can believe that girls are the biggest content creators. Just watch the cell phone ads... when there is someone that can't possibly shut up and needs like 10 million minutes and unlimited text messages, it's almost always a teenage girl. I know it's true. I've been in front of them in lines before and I don't think they ever get tired of talking. They must have extra tough vocal cords. Can't wait till my 4 year old girl is one... <sigh>

    Besides, boys are playing video games. Most of their time is probably spent on XBOX live or something. That's the internet to them. Now... how long till Microsoft does CPM on XBOX Live? They could quickly do that product placement thing in their own games. Why not have a coke while ripping off some daemon's head? But I digress...

    Girls have the gift of gab. It's nothing negative. It'll be interesting when the net is mostly about what some girl wore to school that day or how cute someone's new puppy is. Oh, and what are we going to do when the whole net is in that texting language they use?

    [edited by: SEOMike at 2:19 pm (utc) on Feb. 22, 2008]

    ambellina




    msg:3582082
     3:11 pm on Feb 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

    When being tested, the women probably did not put on makeup in the rearview and brush their hair, which is more likely to happen in real life, so this is hard to study in a lab environment.

    That's insanity. I ALWAYS brush my hair and put on makeup while driving. I can't be bothered to pause by something silly like parking. Sometimes, by the time I get to work, I've put on 12 layers of foundation, and completely brushed my hair out of my head. I keep a spare wig in the office for those occasions.

    Much of this thread is eww.

    kaled




    msg:3582083
     3:12 pm on Feb 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Varya, it is a fact that men are responsible for the vast majority of technical advances that resulted in the internet and that trend continues so that they are also responsible for the majority of recent innovations that have made things easier. It isn't sexist to say this because it's true. It's also true to say that black athletes dominate sprint events in athletics (e.g. 100m) and white athletes dominate swimming events - this isn't racist, it's merely a clearly observable fact.

    I worked part-time as an ice-steward for over ten years. In that time I worked with many lads and lasses. On the whole the lads were much stronger skaters but that certainly did not always make them better ice-stewards (some were absolute rubbish). In fact, on balance, I probably preferred to work with female stewards.

    Men and women have different physical skills and different mental skills. In my experience, sexists either don't recognize the skills of the opposite sex or they over-value the skills of their own sex. Recognizing that differences exist (and being up front and truthful about it, including past achievements) is not sexist. I'm inclined to think of the relationship between men and women as mutual symbiosis - there are differences but neither is more important than the other and both sexes benefit.

    Back to the subject of this thread...

    Sonjay said
    Girls have always kept diaries. Now they blog.
    Boys used to hide dirty pictures under the mattress. Now they share them on the Internet.
    Boys plays video games, girls go shopping. Now they do those things online.
    Teen behavior hasn't changed, merely the technology they use.

    I think that is an excellent summary.

    Kaled.

    ember




    msg:3582370
     7:54 pm on Feb 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

    I am a "girl" (woman, actually) and really don't care for the techie side of the web. I do enough to get by. I enjoy writing and adding content the most. So I guess the article is true.

    graywolf




    msg:3582428
     9:22 pm on Feb 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

    In eligible households, interviewers first conducted a short interview with a parent or guardian, then interviews were conducted with the target child.

    So what that really means is this

    of Parents who allowed Their Children to be interviewed Girls Created More Online Content than Boys

    I'm just of the opinion that statisticians and report makers can coax any result they want to out of a set of numbers, if they frame it properly.

    Now ask yourself this someone claiming to be from the PEW research groups calls you during dinner, saying they are doing research about childrens activities online, and they'd like to know if you have a child in the house, and if they can talk to them. How many people would hang up the phone or say no for fear of introducing a possible pedophile stalker into their child's life? I know I would ...

    twinsrul




    msg:3582445
     9:52 pm on Feb 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Wow this "discussion" is going downhill fast....

    kwasher




    msg:3582592
     2:23 am on Feb 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Is the kind of content that's created by chatty teenagers of much interest to anyone but themselves and their peer group?

    I'm having trouble seeing any commercial implications here ...

    webkinz?

    Perhaps that is more pre-teen.

    RibaRiva




    msg:3582744
     11:37 am on Feb 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

    I am a "girl" (woman, actually) and really don't care for the techie side of the web. I do enough to get by. I enjoy wr:iting and adding content the most. So I guess the article is true.

    I'm in Janethuggard's demographic and I like every single aspect of running my three-year old site except maybe linkhunting and billing advertisers. The techie side of it fascinates me but I get more bucks for my time by adding content. As my background is in journalism, it's easier for me to write pages than new php code for my forum but if I had time I would love to learn php, asp, javascript and the rest. If I were a kid again I'd go for a computer science degree rather than law, something else that women were supposed to be not too interested in 35 years ago.

    night707




    msg:3582777
     12:34 pm on Feb 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Girls are great with internet publishing because they love communication and exhibiting their skills ... no one can stop or disturb and unlike in a men`s world they can compete freely.

    I have met a few of them and all i can say, it`s a great development.

    This 41 message thread spans 2 pages: 41 ( [1] 2 > >
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