Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Women and Ebooks--veinglory

In the wake of Oprah endorsing Kindle Lee at Squawking Tech writes about Kindle and women--quoted in part below:

"Why Women May Be Key To Driving Adoption"

Um, because we are half the human race, and the majority of readers?

"It’s a pretty interesting move since Oprah’s audience isn’t full of typical technology early adopters."

Interesting assumption. Is it because they are women? Because they are either on time off or home-makers? Because they like talk shows? Is there some data here or is this fact considered self-evident? Because the hot ebook market is romance and I suspect that early-adopter readership would overlaps fairly heavily with Oprah-philes.

"While her endorsement is unlikely to make the Kindle a mainstream hit overnight, it may be a sign that women are a critical demographic for the device."

Y'think. Because who knew that women in their middle years were important consumer except for... well, everyone trying to sell something. I used to conduct surveys for a mainstream radio station that was trying to attract the listeners that every single one of their advertisers most wanted, that being women in their 20s-40s.

"For women, however, the Kindle’s cost/benefit ratio is far more favorable. To begin with, a purse is a much more convenient place to carry a Kindle than a pocket or even a briefcase."

Because very woman has a purse, it gets issued at birth along with your vagina--for fear that otherwise a girl might grown up keeping her cell phone and loose change in there instead. I get it now, females may drive Kindle sales because we like to put things in bags. (p.s. briefcase? How Mad Men)

"My girlfriend usually carries everything from a book and an iPhone, to a pair of shoes, in her purse. Fitting a 10 ounce Kindle in wouldn’t take much extra effort."

Isn't it fortunate that his girlfriend happens to be the archetypal female so that one anecdote about her can represent the motivations of an entire gender. A paragon of statistical normality who not only has a purse but one large enough to store spare items of footwear, and possibly a clue-bat (which any respectable iPhone-owning female who be using on him about now).

"Still, women aren’t immune to the Kindle’s high price (which is $50 off under Oprah’s special). However, if Amazon can bring the price of the Kindle down over time, women may be key to driving long-term adoption."

Translation: 1) Women notice how much stuff costs (um, yeah). 2) If you want to make a lot of money you might want some female customers (no shit). How is it that in the modern era the female consumers can still be considered an anomaly whose relevance to marketing a product requires explanation with reference to our obvious ignorance of all things technological and love of accessories (a.k.a. I love the Kindle, but will it go with my belt?).


kirsten saell said...

Holy crap, that guy rubbed you the wrong way, LOL.

But yeah, the condescension is irksome at best, infuriating at worst. And just stupid any way you look at it...

veinglory said...

Sorry, was my bitch showing? The blog post isn't that bad but, well, women using ebook readers is hardly a new and mind-blowing idea.

kirsten saell said...

I'm just not used to seeing this side of you, Emily, LOL. I think I like it. :D

Ann Somerville said...


Women are the ones doing all the reading, and all the writing, but even though our oestrogen-addled brains are too untechy to cope with gadgets (grrr, I want to hit this man with my iBook), we are the natural burden carriers of the race, so we'll pick up the Kindle for that reason? And not because we, duh, love to read?

If he wants a place to stow his own Kindle, I think I can think of at least one.

kirsten saell said...

Have bag, me want Kindle...


tcastleb said...

Dude, I was on a panel at Worldcon this year about e-books and e-publishing. The moderator ran away with the panel, said stuff about not expecting women to take to e-books and readers so much, and the females in the audience wanted to slug him for that same condescension. Grrrrr. And I HATE purses.

Anne D said...

Says in a small voice "I love purses, and would so coordinate my sony ereader cover"... But then again, my GF and I are the biggest tech whores I know. Seriously... new gadget on the market and we lust after it until one of us gets out grabby little hands on one..

Stacia said...

Wait, you mean I don't have to keep my money, make-up, and cell in my vagina? OMG I didn't realize! I am going to be so much more comfortable from now on.

I hate purses too, actually. I keep stuff in my pockets whever I possibly can (and I admit, I also am lucky in that I have a man who also has pockets, so when I'm not wearing something with pockets I can make him carry my stuff.) I carry them when I have to, like when I am carrying books or when I'm out with both my girls and so need to keep a stock of crayons/Barbies/snacks/juice boxes, but... Yeah. What you said.

This is hysterical, Emily.

Spy Scribbler said...

Ohmigosh, how IRRITATING that guy is! First of all, all women do not wear purses! In fact, I now wear a purse, for the first time in thirty-five years.

Why? Because I bought a Kindle, LOL.

I fail, however, to understand how the purse makes the cost/benefit more favorable to women as opposed to men.

Helen said...

First off, I thought my vagina WAS my purse. But the only thing I put in it is my husband.

Second, yes, I like things in bags. Especially snot-nosed gender-biased tech reporters who don't know their ass from a hole in the ground. Those kind of people need to be stuffed into bags. And then dumped into the nearest pond.

Third, I don't want a Kindle because I want an e-reader and an e-writer. THAT would be a technological innovation in my opinion. The closest I can come to that is my Sony palm pilot, which I can do simply word processing on with an add-on fold-up keyboard (it's so small, it fits right into my vagin- uh, my purse!). And I can read e-books on it as well, and there are even some nifty little graphics programs I can use with it (although I haven't had time to try one out yet). Unfortunately, my palm pilot is a bit old, and not set up for wireless connection, so I can't surf the net with it or read blog feeds (if I could, I'd have the perfect e-reader/e-writer). Think I will ask for an upgrade for Christmas.