Is social media more of a female activity?

09 February 2011

I was intrigued to see a post this week on my Facebook page from a trusted colleague Leon Benjamin reminding us that it was predicted back in 2004 at Ecademy that the network would be female.[1] He was commenting on a video by Johanna Blakley about social media and the end of gender on TED.[2]
She was explaining the disconnect between old ad rates, still based on demographics, when in fact social media tells us much more about shared interests which do not follow the old rules of traditional media. Johanna shows us how women outnumber men in every age demographic using social media. This is having a big impact on traditional media which must adapt or die. Fast Company had a great article last month on the crisis in advertising and compares it to “its first creative revolution since the 1960s” claiming the ad industry might get left behind.[3] 
Boing Boing in 2007 also showed that the number of US female internet users had surpassed that of men rising to 51.7% back then.[4] However those of you that have watched the film about the history of Facebook called “The Social Network” might have been led to believe that the key players in Social Media are predominantly male. However it is clear that there is a growth of women in the social media space and from my experience in travel and leisure they are the most active force on many social media sites and make up often more than 80% of the active fan base.
The Times reported back in September 2009 that there were about 1million female entrepreneurs in the UK generating about £4.4billion in revenues.[5] If anyone has any more up to date figures then do please share.
As the Los Angeles Times covers the story this week of Arianna Huffington who has just sold her website The Huffington post to AOL for $315million[6]  I thought I would trawl through the web to highlight some of the many women that are active on the internet and would like to start a list of those women and powerful female networks that you know are really active in the online world. Many of the lists focus on US women so it would be great to feature some women closer to home.
Here are some interesting lists I found for starters and do add your suggestions below
A list of Top 30 Female Internet Entrepreneurs[7] put together in May 2009 by Michael Dunlop at Incomediary with many interesting comments and quips from readers.
A list of Female Internet Heroes published by The Next Women[8] website which is dedicated to women on the internet and headed up by Arianna Huffington who is described as one of the women who transformed the image of the blogger from a male geek to an opinion former.
Top 10 Female Food Bloggers on Twitter that You Need to be Following[9] from The Internet Chef
Twitter’s top 75 Badass women from Bit Rebels
Youtube video featuring the top 20 US internet female entrepreneurs[10]
Top 100 women of history on the internet[11]
ABC News featured the “Top 50 most popular women searched on the internet” per google search results in May 2010. No surprises that Lady Gaga came out top but maybe a surprise that a guy came out at no 7.[12]
Hope you enjoy the lists and do share your comments and suggestions too.

[3] Fast Company Mayhem on Madison Avenue Dec –Jan 2011 page 110
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