According to a recent Rapleaf study,
while both sexes still use social networking sites in huge numbers,
women are the ones holding down the fort. I have known that the ladies
“get” the social part of social networking (and online learning
interaction) a heckuva lot better than us guys. Auren Hoffman will help convince you . . .
He suggests we should expect social networks of the future to cater to women and alienate men.
conducted a study of over 30 million people to see how they’re using
social media. While the trends indicate both sexes are using social
media in huge numbers, their findings show that women far outpace the
men. They predict that this gender gap on social networks (and
increasingly in all of social media) will only widen with the next wave
included mostly what was referred to as Social Networkers (those with
1-100 friends), about 13 million in all, or 80% of the sample. They
found that in this group
- Women have on average 62 friends.
- Men have on average 57 friends.
- Women are more likely to be “Social Networkers.”
Do these findings support those of Schler, Koppel, Argamon & Pennebaker – Effects of Age and Gender on Blogging,
which found that male bloggers write more about politics, technology
and money, while female bloggers discuss their personal lives – and use
more personal writing style?
It appears that they do.
As we noted in The Emergence of The Relationship Economy,
there is good reason to think that networking comes naturally for
women. Traits that are considered feminine in our culture , like
cooperating, building relationships, helping, and developing others,
are not surprisingly also those necessary in (effective) networking.
Traditional male traits like directing and controlling get nowhere in
networking, and may get you blacklisted in social networking (Forret
and Dougherty, 2001).
For both men and women, success in
networking depends on understanding and capitalizing on our individual
strengths, and supplementing individual strengths with the strengths of
those in our networks. The connectivity afforded by online social
networking provides many opportunities for improved relations.
In The Relationship Economy, everyone has the opportunity to win, but maybe the guys will have to ask for help.
What do you think?
M. L. and Dougherty, T. W. (2001). Correlates of networking behavior
for managerial and professional employees. Group & Organization
Management, 26(3), 283-311.
Hoffman, A. (2008). The Social Media Gender Gap. Business Week, available at http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/may2008/tc20080516_580743.htm
Schler, Koppel, Argamon & Pennebaker (2005). Effects of Age and Gender on Blogging. Available at http://lingcog.iit.edu/doc/springsymp-blogs-final.pdf