Check It Out: Compass/BlogHer Study – Differences In How/Why Women Use Blogs and Social Networking

In their 2009 Women In Social Media Study, BlogHer, iVillage and Compass Media found that women online were twice as likely to use blogs as sources of trusted information for advice or purchase decisions, but turned to social media sites for connecting with friends and family. Women continue to turn to blogs, social networking and online status updating resources in increasing numbers.

Go to BlogHer to read the press release and see the executive summary slides.

I’m still mulling over all the datapoints, but I have to say that I agree — I do comb blogs for reviews and real-life experience with products. Sadly, some bloggers have now been sued for their reviews, which is why you will soon see some fine print on this blog to remind you that any reviews, advice, or opinions on a product on this blog should be considered about as worthy as if they were given by a stranger in the supermarket. I’ll give you a real-world opinion on something, but I’m not a Consumer Reports test engineer — get the picture?

So if you are as geeky as I am about studying the blogosphere, go check out the study, and I’d love to see your comments about the findings here!

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  1. Whitney says:

    Really interesting point regarding blog reviews and their legal standing (especially given that half my planned blog activities could fall into this category…). Are they citing slander? I could understand a need to protect against malicious reviews ( comes to mind–yes, some celebs may be bad tippers, but the people in question may inattentive servers, service as a whole was slow, etc. You don’t hear both sides, and those attacked almost look worse attempting to respond). But there’s a very fine line between protection and censorship there. Sounds like I need to do some research of my own.

    Total subject change: Curious–do you think the results of the survey are skewed by the fact that those polled seemed more Web savvy (i.e., engaged in social media weekly)? I guess I think of my mom, who does e-mail but just learned to text and probably wouldn’t know the first thing about blogging, and wonder if she’s closer to average female consumer as a member of the 50+ crowd or if the trend is more like my 20- and 30-something co-workers, who read blogs regularly. (I’m slowly catching up…)

  2. I believe that the issues with the reviews can be both for positive and negative reviews — if a blogger says a product is great, and then a person buys it and it doesn’t really have all the advertised features, they can sue the reviewer. So it’s reviewer beware, is my understanding. YIKES!

    As for the study — do not negate the power of the Silver Surfers! They are a major part of the Internet population. I’ll admit my mother is more of a user of the traditional side of the Internet (sites, databases, email) than the Web 2.0 part of it, but I have 4 generations of Web users in my family! Three of them have their own web sites, and the last generation doesn’t only because they don’t know how to spell yet — or not enough words to write their own content.

  3. I’ll go over and read the whole report. Thanks for the tidbit on consumer reviews and putting a disclaimer – good idea. For me, a woman, I’ve only recently been checking out blogs for information – although I do check consumer real-life reviews on everything I’m thinking about purchasing, and especially hotels! Those reviews influence my final decisions a lot.

    But … for information on business (for me the Church) … I rely more heavily on books, periodicals, conferences, and white papers. I want to hear from someone I know is credible — and has “been there, done that.”

    It’s one thing to listen to someone about their experience with a hotel. It’s another thing to listen to someone about a business practice or direction. Would it be interesting to find out how people/women make decisions about who to listen to on different levels of topics? I would imagine that is slightly different for women vs. men.