The data visualization Web site Information is Beautiful recently took a look at gender on social networking sites. The site shows (quite beautifully) that, in the words of the Web site, chicks rule when it comes to sites like Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, and many more.
Information is Beautiful was interested merely in the presentation of this data, which came from a Google ad planner. But CNET writer Chris Matyszczyk draws some very different conclusions:
"One might also conclude that women simply resort to more virtual contact because their real world physical everyday life leaves them rather more dissatisfied than it does men. Lately, there seems to have been much evidence that women are increasingly miserable.
"Celebrated and, one might have imagined, happy women such as Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post ((The Sad Shocking Truth of How Women Are Feeling) and Maureen Dowd of the New York Times (Blue is the New Black) have lamented the lot of Lot 's Wife, Mother, Sister and Daughter. Might misery be driving women to MySpace?"
Matyszczyk writes a column called Technically Incorrect for the site, so it's easy to assume he's being controversial on purpose.
On the other hand, he raises an interesting connection. According to the data, Flickr gets 6 million more monthly female visitors than male, and that trend follows through many popular sites. The question this seems to raise is, if women are visiting social networking sites, what sorts of sites are men visiting?