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E-Business Secrets
Brian Livingston
How Men And Women Differ In Paying For Web Content

A new study by Content Intelligence, an e-commerce market research company, shows many similarities between men and women in Web surfing behavior, but striking differences in their willingness to pay for access to the contents of any Web site.

According to the report, entitled "Men vs. Women: How They're Different (on the Web)," about 30 percent of men who've used the Web for four years or more have paid for Web content, but only about 15 percent of such women have.

This is unfortunate because "Females now dominate the online population," the report says, citing figures showing that 51 percent of American Internet users are now women -- the same percentage as the U.S. population as a whole.

"The bottom line for Web content players is that women control the majority of the consumer purchasing dollars in the United States," the report states. "Every other major medium considers capturing female users critical to building an audience and attracting advertisers."

According to the study, 26 percent of all male Internet users (of any length of experience) have purchased Web content, while the figure for all females is only 12 percent. The difference is partly but not entirely explained by men's subscriptions to adult entertainment sites, as shown in the following table:

Men Women Type of Web content purchased

55% 23% Adult content

33% 14% Industry-specific business site

20% 16% Online database (e.g., Nexus/Lexis)

12% 07% Premium music/video

12% 06% Special/premium news

05% 00% Premium sports information

24% 42% Other (includes verbatim comments)

That huge "Other" category may be the key to attracting women to pay for specialized content. Respondents named such destinations as and genealogy sites, but no single response gleaned more than 1 percent from the women polled.

The report concludes, "Opportunities (albeit niche ones) are out there for those looking to develop a pay content model that does not include adult content." For example, the women polled were more likely than men to have bought pay-per-view television programs, indicating a willingness to pay for some content on demand.

The report is available for $99.

Men vs. Women: How They're Different (on the Web):

A Report by Content Intelligence

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E-Business Tech Review: Ditch Those Bulky Power Adapters

It drives me nuts to pack for a road trip. Every device seems to require three bulky cables: one that plugs into the power transformer, another that plugs the transformer into the wall outlet, and a third one that plugs the device into my laptop.

Now you can get rid of some of this bric-a-brac with a brilliant idea: Charge your cell phone using the USB port of your computer and leave the cell phone's transformer behind. Because USB ports supply power as well as data, this works with all kinds of cell phones and won't run down your laptop's battery (as long as your laptop itself is plugged into a wall outlet). has these useful USB power adapter cables for all Nokia, Ericsson, and Motorola cell phone models, and each cable is only 12 bucks.

USB-to-Cell-Phone Power Cables:

Click on or search for "USB Cables" (without quotes)

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Livingston's Top 10 News Picks O' The Week

1. Anti-terror bill amended in some Internet aspects

2. Web users object to plans to patent Net standards

3. Majority have cell phones and growth will continue

4. Satellite downloads online music to customers

5. FBI warns e-commerce sites of weak service providers

6. Cell phone dead? Soon you'll be able to wind it up

7. Credit card companies blamed for chargeback problems

8. Videoconferencing cell phones launched in Japan

9. More Web spending now, but with quick-payback focus

10. To err is human, a "friendly 404" error page divine

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E-Business Secrets: Our mission is to bring you such useful and thought-provoking information about the Web that you actually look forward to reading your e-mail.

About The Author: E-Business Secrets is written by InfoWorld Contributing Editor Brian Livingston. Research director is Ben Livingston (no relation). Brian has published 10 books, including:

Windows Me Secrets:

Windows 2000 Secrets:

Win a book free if you're the first to send a tip Brian prints:

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