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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!

JuiceBoxJungle — the New 300-Pound Gorilla?

Is JuiceBoxJungle.com social media’s new “It Girl”?

BlogHer’s Elana Centor is making waves with her article, “Can Juicebox Jungle Succeed Where Twitter and Facebook Have Failed? Monetizing Social Media.” (Read the article.)

In the same week, Entertainment Weekly referred to JuiceBoxJungle as where “the Carrie Bradshaws of the world go when they start breeding.” (Read article.)

The site debuted its first video February 11 and is already raising eyebrows — both for its business model — and on Yahoo’s Shine, for it’s counter-to-other-media stance on parenting topics such as TV time for kids (read blog posting).

How It Works

JuiceBoxJungle (JBJ) produces weekly online video clips about parenting topics, and then invites bloggers to write about these topics and embed the clips into their posts. These posts are then brought back to the JBJ site, where JBJ visitors can read them and rank them. The relationship between JBJ and the blogger is win-win:

  • JBJ provides “starter topic” content
  • Bloggers then provide follow-up content to flesh out the topic and keep the conversation going
  • JBJ provides a way to drive more traffic to the blog sites by publishing the blog posts — JBJ visitors discover new bloggers they may become loyal to
  • The blogs also drive traffic to the JBJ site
  • The media player the JBJ video plays in can be coded to include the Amazon affiliate code — which either uses the JBJ Amazon code or the individual blogger’s code — for example, in my post last week, it uses the caffeineandaprayer.com code — should anyone choose to shop at Amazon.com for parenting books directly from the player, this site would get a tiny percentage
  • What I Like About It

    I tried JBJ out for the first time last week.  Having been in the television news business, I found the idea intriguing, and wanted to see how this push-pull model would work.  From just one post, I did indeed receive some additional traffic to my site.  Am I “monetizing” (the hot buzzword in the blogging world!) my site yet?  No, not really, not yet.  But this may be a step in the right direction.

    Just as there have always been content providers for drop-in articles for newsletters or radio shows, content providers for web sites are a smart idea.  This is an even smarter idea — a way to get a conversation going, and then to help drive traffic, and even to help make use of “monetizing” programs you may already have.  I’ve had my Amazon affiliate status for a while and haven’t even put up anything because I frankly didn’t know what to do with it — last week was my first experiment with it because it gave me my first relevant opportunity to do something with the code.

    As to Elana Centor’s original question — I would say that Facebook, Twitter, and sites like JBJ each have their place and are different tools used in different ways.  At the moment, Facebook is one of my top referral sites for this blog — not a surprise since I “share” each posting with my network on Facebook.   I don’t tweet much (although I have finally given my JavaMom persona her own Twitter account – caffandaprayer), but one of the fascinating uses of Twitter in business is how companies are using it for customer support.  (See Network World’s Tweet to Compete.)  I have signed up to be a JBJ VIP and you will probably see more JBJ videos on this site.  I like what I have seen of their videos so far — smartly produced, humorous, and down-to-earth, and I think you will, too.  I think we can start some interesting discussions based off some of the topics.  

    Social media, social networking, Web 2.0 — whatever you call it — it’s going through some interesting changes and I, for one, and thrilled to be a part of it!  While working in Silicon Valley in the ’90s, I saw many giants rise and fall, so I expect the same this time around as well.  I won’t even dare to predict who will come out to be the next champion — but I will say that JuiceBoxJungle is one to watch!