Monday, February 15, 2010

Does Social Media Really Mean Big Opportunities for Women?

Playing a quick game of catch-up on Facebook, I nearly scrolled right past Mashable's post--but the words "social media" and "women" caught my eye. Why Social Media Means Big Opportunities for Women. Does it really?

Last time I checked, the news wasn't so great for women in social media. Traditional gender bias seems to be the exception rather than the rule. Even though women dominate social networks, the gender/salary gap in social media jobs widened in 2009. Yes, there are a lot of mom bloggers out there, but how many are actually making money doing it--as opposed to spending a ton of time networking, making connections, writing blog posts--all for the chance to win a gift card or get a free sample of something?

I definitely don't know everything. What I do know is this: women are being tapped by advertisers and PR agencies as the new influencers. Brands are falling all over themselves trying to capitalize on the fact that women spend money and influence peers. If you are lucky enough to be female, a mom, and have a huge online following, the sky's the limit. Dooce just inked a deal with HGTV; the Pioneer Woman just irked the mom blog world by allegedly getting preferential treatment (and compensation) from Blogher Publishing Nework. But as far as I can tell, the main people making money off the efforts of mom bloggers are agencies for blogger outreach or other coordination efforts. Companies pay these middlemen thousands of dollars; the bloggers themselves rarely see a fraction of that money.

I don't know--what's your take? Am I being too pessimistic or do you agree that maybe Mashable's headline is a bit off-base?

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