I've argued many times in the past about the importance of women, and specifically moms, as a powerful economic constituency. In addition to the million-and-one other things they're doing, they're making many of the buying decisions for their families. According to data compiled by eMarketer:
At the end of 2005 there were an estimated 32 million mothers online in the US, accounting for more than 18% of the total Internet population.
The number of mothers online is expected to increase by 14% between 2005 and 2010, rising to 36.6 million.
Women more generally represent almost 52% of the online audience. They communicate more online than men, typically have larger networks and perform more transactions than men. For example, women were the source of 58% of e-commerce transactions between 4/04 and 4/05 according to research performed by comScore.
Furthermore, according to comScore (via MediaPost) well over three quarters of the online moms are visiting social media sites. This is entirely consistent with offlline "word of mouth" behavior and it's why sites like InsiderPages, Judysbook and even ShopLocal to a degree skew more toward women.
Those online media seeking to attract women to their sites (e.g., newspapers, yellow pages) should think seriously about adding or beefing up (so to speak) their community tools — not in a perfunctory way but in a way that adds real value.
Here are some of my earlier posts on online moms.