Blogs have come along way. We know this because women say so.
According to the 2009 Women in Social Media Study by BlogHer, iVillage and Compass Partners, women are nearly twice as likely to use blogs than social networking sites as a source of information (64%), advice and recommendations (43%) and opinion-sharing (55%). It's not that they don't use social networking sites, it's just that they use for conventional means, like keeping in touch with friends and family.
Overall, the study, which surveyed, sampled and compared the activity of approximately 3,000 U.S women ages 18-77 aimed to distinguish the behavior of women participating in four social media activities: blogs, message boards/forums, status updates and social networks and indicated different motivations women have towards actively using different social media platforms.
Figure 1. Participation by Active U.S. Women in Social Media by Age Group
It's not news that women are using the web, but it is interesting to see their activity increase along with their comfort and trust levels. Because they are regarded as trusted sources of information, blogs now wield considerable influence on consumers' purchasing habits -- 45 percent of survey respondents stated that they decided to purchase an item after reading about it on a blog.
Blogs, Not Magazines
Once the mainstay of traditional women's readership, magazines and newspapers are no longer the preferred staple. Instead, blogs, online news and other online publications are receiving their attention. But it isn't just other people's blogs they are reading.
Of the 42 million women engaged in social media weekly, 55 percent of women participate in some form of blogging activity, 75 percent participate in social networks such as Facebook or MySpace and 20 percent use Twitter.
Figure 2. Power of blogging as a Social Media Activity
Blogging into Active Users
A high degree of overlap among social media activities by women was also highlighted by the study; women who blog are significantly more active across all forms of social media, compared to a third of respondents who said they do social networking don't engage in any other social media activities on a weekly basis.
Figure 3. Many Women are using Multiple Social Media
Why does this study matter? It sheds light on the changing attitudes and behaviors of women. And women tend to have a lot of influence the marketplace. For what can we attribute their shifting behaviors? While some may point to the economy, or friendlier, more easier to use web technologies, there is only one obvious answer: Oprah