Banner Advertisement

Where are the Wiki Women? – The ConsumHERist

Posted on | September 2, 2009 | 2 Comments

by Delia Passi

A few days ago, a Wall Street Journal blog revealed that a study of Wikipedia users showed that only 13% of contributors to the site were women, and that 31% of just readers of the site were women.  The contributors figure is perplexing to me, and the blog offered nothing in the way of explanation.

If I understand their use of the numbers, they infer that merely 25% of visitors to the site are women, which doesn’t fit well with statistics I found at Alexa.com and Quantcast.com, so I have some doubts about the accuracy of the entire study.  Those two sites indicate that the demographics are much closer to 50/50, although skewed toward male.

Nevertheless it is hard to get past the 13% figure.  Even if the true number is nearly double that, then it is still indicative of a gender difference that is perplexing.

Why wouldn’t women be as interested in posting entries or editing Wikipedia info as they are in using the info?  I found the comments posted on several sites to offer little in the way of insight, although there were suggestions that Wiki editors are a) more nerdish and b) more inclined to work an agenda on the site.  (Since when have women not had agendas?)

I have not used Wikipedia much, even though it is one of the top ten sites on the internet, but I looked at it to see what might cause women not to post contributions.  Technical challenges aside (they say posting is not user friendly), I find the site to be quite dry and uninspiring.

What I think is more of a factor is that women are less competitive than men, and posting on Wikipedia is a means of declaring one’s expertise over and above the others that are posting.  Women are not less knowledgeable.  They are just less interested in sparring with other anonymous experts to prove themselves.

Women find satisfaction and purpose in relationship matters, things that are not well defined and structured, so perhaps they are less inclined to post factual information.

The blog says that a more detailed report on the study will come out later in the year.  I wonder if it will provide details on what kind of entries the genders contribute to. That would be revealing.

Delia Passi, Founder of WomenCertified® and author of Winning the Toughest Customer: The Essential Guide to Selling to Women is a regular columnist on ReachingWomenDaily.  Delia can be reached at delia@medelia.com.

Comments

2 Responses to “Where are the Wiki Women? – The ConsumHERist”

  1. The Gender Gap Strikes Wikipedia « Juggernaut
    September 27th, 2009 @ 5:22 pm

    […] Reaching Women Daily “I have not used Wikipedia much, even though it is one of the top ten sites on the internet, but I looked at it to see what might cause women not to post contributions. Technical challenges aside (they say posting is not user friendly), I find the site to be quite dry and uninspiring….Women find satisfaction and purpose in relationship matters, things that are not well defined and structured, so perhaps they are less inclined to post factual information.” […]

  2. Weekly Round-Up: The Gender Gap Strikes Wikipedia | Gnovis Journal
    August 8th, 2011 @ 10:39 am

    […] Reaching Women Daily “I have not used Wikipedia much, even though it is one of the top ten sites on the internet, but I looked at it to see what might cause women not to post contributions.  Technical challenges aside (they say posting is not user friendly), I find the site to be quite dry and uninspiring….Women find satisfaction and purpose in relationship matters, things that are not well defined and structured, so perhaps they are less inclined to post factual information.” […]

Leave a Reply