What Discussions Are Most Popular To Men And Women?

April 18, 2012Comments Off on What Discussions Are Most Popular To Men And Women?

Paul Adams quotes the work of Robin Dunbar in Grouped:

"Women talk to form social bonds more often than men. Many of their conversations are aimed at building and maintaining their social network. Men more often talk about themselves or things they want to appear knowledgeable about, often because they are trying to impress the people around them"

This is consistent with our clients over the past few years.

When you review the types of conversations that are most popular, you find a few common rules:

1) Posts with questions in the topic tend to get a bigger response than those without.

2) Closed questions (do you prefer {x} or {y}?) do better than open-questions (What do you think about {x}?).

3) The shorter the post (over 50 words), the more responses (though not always high-quality responses).

4) Bonding and status-jockeying discussions are more popular than conveying information.

If you're building a community, you want to shift the balance of discussions you're inititating/highlighting in favour of bonding-related discussions for women (example) and status-jockeying discussions for men. 

Aside: I strongly recommend you read Grouped: How small groups of friends are the key to influence on the social web.

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