Firstly an apology – I have been absent from this blog I realise for about a month (maybe just over a month) I’m sure you weren’t all weeping into your cappucinos but it’s not good practise to simply leave a blog and jet off as I did to New Zealand for a holiday with no explanation. Well, that’s my excuse -I’ve been in New Zealand on holiday. We took the holiday because of another event that’s been rather on my mind recently – I am pregnant. So I think that’s 2 pretty good excuses for not rushing to update my blog in the last four weeks. I hope you will excuse me.
And now on with the post.
For a long time I have thought that there is something about certain social media spaces that leaned more towards one gender than another. When I first joined Twitter I was struck by the kind of people I was linking up with and the kind of early adopters I knew in my network. They were all male. It struck me at the time that maybe this light-touch first past the post form of updating was particularly attractive to men rather than women. After all, it’s not about deep engagement but about long aquaintance, which can of course lead to deep engagement, but usually in a different kind of social space like a blog for instance.
On Facebook on the other hand I always had a more balanced gender divide. In fact I was invited to join by a female. And the stats at the moment suggest that it is a more female populated than male populated environment. There are more females (55.7%) than males (42.2%) on Facebook – 2.2% are of unknown gender *
So now I am on Foursquare and of my massive 31 friends only 4 are female – 12%. Quantcast backs this gender bias up with their assessment that only 42% of users are female. And none of the women in my network post a jot. What’s going on?
It’s another light touch update system not unlike Twitter. It’s kind of a boasting environment and its mildly competitive. And it’s a new frontier.
Being the pop-psychologist I am here’s what I think – It’s the light touch, it’s the competition and it’s wanting to be at the new frontiers that make it an environment more exciting to men. One of my female co-workers who Twitters a lot, said that it took her a while to see the point in Twitter and add it to her life. Maybe men don’t need a point they don’t want the handbook they just want to get their hands dirty.
Anyway, it’s an interesting thing to investigate for the purposes of placing social media activations in new and developing networks.
Oh, one other thought I have had – maybe I just have a lot of male friends…