Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Women Taking More Time Out Online

NAPSI-Kids and tweens may be the groups most associated with spending all their time online, but the truth is they are hardly the biggest or most engaged users. That title belongs to women. As women balance the tightrope of careers, families and time for themselves, 77 percent of 18 to 54 year-olds are going online each month, according to 2007 MRI Data. Companies like Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group have responded to this trend by providing engaging sites for women like Shockwave.com (www.shockwave.com) and ParentsConnect.com (www.parentsconnect.com).

Whether it’s playing games online for stress relief or to exercise their brains, women 35 and older have grown to become one of the largest demographics of online casual gamers. A recent study by Harris Interactive found that 67 percent of women play casual games at least four times a week and about half (47 percent) play every day. Fifty percent of women would rather play casual games online than go to a movie or spend time cooking.

One of the leading casual gaming sites for women 35+ is Shockwave.com, which features popular games such as Daily Jigsaw, Word Roundup, InkLink and Blocky 2. Shockwave has held focus groups that have found that women prefer to play online games that require little commitment and are easy to play, as opposed to more involved console games or games with complex scenarios. Shockwave caters to women gamers by offering a large variety of puzzle, word and card games, as well as easy-to-play strategy and action games.

In addition to gaming, moms today are also spending time online looking for tips and advice and day-to-day support for the challenging issues that they face as parents. Nickelodeon’s ParentsConnect offers an online social community built around editorial and user-created content. ParentsConnect features reliable expert information and parent-contributed tips, product recommendations, advice, and recipes. It also extends the lifecycle of support beyond the traditional “new mom advice” websites by covering all parenting ages and stages, from pregnancy through raising kids into their teenage years. ParentsConnect is for real parents offering professional advice to help with all stages of parenthood.

There is no doubt that the internet has become a huge part of women’s lives. Sites like Shockwave and ParentsConnect are among two Web destinations where women are increasingly turning for entertainment and an online community today, whether it’s to indulge in online games after the kids have gone to bed, or to surf for reliable parent-to-parent information.

Today’s playground, the Internet, offers ways for women to play and ways for moms to connect and support each other.

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