On Monday I'll be back in Lexington KY at the Alltech Game Changers Symposium, giving a presentation on "What Women Want." You may recall I did some "research" on this issue via Twitter and wound up getting a lot of feedback from some of the most influential women on the Internet.
More than one person has noted the irony of a man giving this presentation. But in candor it's very easy to tell you what women want - in the words of a brilliant advertising exec, author, entrepreneur and mom - "women want to be understood."
But here's the hard part - all women are different. And despite what some people in marketing may say, I'm convinced the moment you try to label a woman you've lost her. Sure, many women may share common interests, perspectives, ideas, and values. But that doesn't mean you can treat them the same way.
I'll be talking in greater detail about what this means for people in communications, but if you can't make it to Lexington I'd recommend you start actually paying attention to what women have to say. The good news is a lot of them don't hide their thoughts. Here's a partial list of the women whose blogs I try to read regularly. I think if you look at the blogs in this list you'll realize very quickly that they're all quite different people with different situations. No one message is likely to appeal to all of them, but they may all appreciate a sincere effort to understand each of them.
Liz Gumbinner, Mom 101
Kristen Chase, Motherhood Uncensored
Julie Marsh, JulieMarsh.net
Joanne Bamberger, PunditMom
Stefania Pomponi Butler, CityMama
Joanne Manaster, Joanne Loves Science
Catherine Connors, Her Bad Mother
Christina McMenemy, A Mommy Story
Kelly Wickham, Mocha Momma
Catherine Holecko, Mayberry Mom
Rachael Herrscher, Today's Mama
Heather Armstrong, Dooce
Susan Niebur, Toddler Planet
Tanis Miller, Attack of the Redneck Mommy
Veronica Arreola, Viva La Feminista
Sarah Braesch, Sarah and the Goon Squad
Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess
Mir Kamin, Woulda Coulda Shoulda
Christine Koh, Boston Mamas
Heather Barmore, No Pasa Nada
Thea Joselow, Nutgraf
Carin Bondar, CarinBondar.com
Carmen Staicer, Mom to the Screaming Masses
Heather Chapman, The Mother Tongue