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Men and Women Use the Internet Differently

Kristen Fowler Lindsey - Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Pew Internet and American Life Project released a fascinating study late last year on Internet use of men and women.

The big news is that Internet use by women has drawn very close to that of men. 68 percent of men are internet users versus 66 percent of women.

Though overall use if about even, the types of activities that men and women do online are markedly different:

  • Men log on more often, use the internet for longer, and are more likely to have broadband access.
  • Women are more intense users of email -- they are more likely to use email to connect with friends and family, they exchange more stories and jokes via email, and they feel more strongly that email is a communication medium that improves their lives.
  • Both men and women use the internet as a major source of information. Men seek financial or political information and use search engines more aggressively.
  • Women seek out information that interests them, like health and religious information, and they are more likely to use interactive sources, such as online forums.

Full details of the report are available at the Pew Internet and American Life Project website.

Thinking about how this information effects your business can enable you to look at your web business approach and see if you are catering to your target market as effectively as you could. For example, if women are your primary target, keeping in mind their comfort with interactive, communication-based means for obtaining information is something that you could adapt to.

Have you made any specific changes or structured your web business particularly to match your target market's online behavior? Let us know!

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