I accept the challenge presented by Blake’s Think Tank, and present my opinion as to why it matters–specifically in Arkansas media–that more women are online than men.
Who are our key media communicators and influencers online in Arkansas: men. And yet a good portion of their readers are likely women. How easily do you think those readers could be swayed to read a female writer who was delivering quality information with a woman’s style of communicating (more friendly, likely more unbiased, a focus on the details in addition to the big picture, incorporation of back-story making the entire piece more personal and personable)? My opinion is that it would only take one strong female media personality online to convince female readers to switch.
Women (across the country and in Arkansas) make the majority of household decisions: what to purchase, where to spend the money and how much to spend. (The only area where they don’t rule when it comes to purchasing power: beer.) More time is going into researching online before buying. And, the opinions of “people like me” are the most trusted. Local media are missing the boat by not touting a female opinion leader in their online spaces. Women want one in Arkansas. And, I am not just talking about mommy-bloggers. Or political gurus. Or movie reviewers. Or business influencers. But we do need all of those. We need to have representatives for women in all stages of life and backgrounds in Arkansas communicating through our media outlets online.
Quality matters. And, personality matters. Men have figured this out. The few women that I have found writing online for our media in Arkansas are conveying neither. Women: tell us who you are and why we should listen to you. Then, deliver on that by providing quality content. You will get the readership. And the men will have to stop ignoring our presence in Arkansas.
I get a little fired up about wanting female representation on lists in Arkansas (although I am happy to have only one officially named on this list). And, I should be fired up: there are more women than men in the state, and as it turns out, there are more women than men online, too:
“eMarketer estimates there are 95.9 million males online in 2009, or 48.2% of the Internet population, compared with 103.2 million females. Although the US Internet population will continue to grow, by 2013 males will make up just 47.9% of the online population, and at 105.9 million users will still be the minority.”
To be fair, the article states that men spend more time online than women. But we all know that is because women are much more efficient.
This fictional Internet-Age Writing Syllabus and Course Overview had me laughing out loud. A highlight:
“Students will learn time-saving tricks, like how to construct an 800-word blog entry in 30 seconds using a simple news article and copy-and-paste. And, as an exercise in the first-person narrative form, students will blog intimate details about their lives, their studies, and their sexual histories (with pictures), with the intent of being linked to by gossip sites and/or discovered by future employers.”
Ms. Adverthinker is a bit of a compulsive magazine reader: at last count, I believe my subscriptions totaled 13 magazines at home and five at the office. And, Wired is one of my favorites. I have not yet received my May issue, but after reading the NY Times article about the puzzle embedded in the issue, I am very excited:
“…the intent of their new issue, created in collaboration with Mr. Abrams [is] to immerse their audience in a series of riddles — some announced, others not — that were buried just deep enough for the readers who wanted to dig them up.”
At a time when publishers are struggling to keep readers engaged in print editions of both newspapers and magazines (and thereby sell advertising), this idea is brilliant. While the larger puzzle has already been solved, Wired says that there will be additional prizes for subsequent readers that solve the puzzle and there are still a few codes that haven’t been cracked yet.