It is my belief that the majority of bitcoin users are males. Females, please prove me wrong through the poll.
Moving on, assuming that my belief is correct, the question is how we get them on board?
Let my first state that I think there is a difference in what would attract men and women to bitcoin. Men are more attracted to the avante garde aspect and the technological aspect, while women are more concerned with which technology works best for them now.
They want shinies, they want fast transfers, they might won over by ideology, but probably not the ideology of libertarianism. They want to use the system that their favorite site uses, and they want to use the system their friends use. This by the way probably describes how mainstream males think too.
Lets face it. Bitcoin, in its current state, is not shiny. To make a metaphor, it looks like a very advanced piece of technology with wires going everywhere. Contrast this with the "Apple look".
100 private keys is probably NOT the way to go. It is complicated, and ugly (it could be an option but not standard(
Proposal: One private key should be standard. It should not be in hex, bas64, or anything else ugly. One thing that could work would be a sort of dictionary encoding, where every 20 bits or whatever is mapped to a word. The word in the dictionary would have to be carefully selected to be positive, or at least neutral. If this is chosen, there should be a "generate new address", so that people could click until they found one they were satisfied with.
The websites used with bitcoins are not pretty either (exchanges+this site). Contrast for instance with this:http://www.westernunion.se/web-inf/images/yes/heroAreaCanIAlone013009.swf
this is what the sites should have to attract women, I believe.
Proposal: Find a professional designer that takes a look at the bitcoin client. Preferably one who knows nothing at all about the technology behind. Hide the details of implementation, remember how Object Orientation works
Bitcoins are a lot faster than banktransfers, but they can absolutely not compete with visa/mastercard/paypal in terms of speed. This IS a serious problem.
I think the advice given to businesses should be that they should accept transfers directly, or after one confirmation. If there is a reversal accept that as a fact of life. For sites with few but large sales, this may not be the way to go, but for transactions under 10 bitcoin this should def. be the standard. An alternative would be to pay instantly via for instance MtGox, but that would centralize the system, which I believe we don't want.
Cypher punk is cool, but does not have mainstream appeal, especially among women. We should tone that aspect down, no one cares about it. Thought should be given to whether a more appealing ideology could be retrofitted so to speak.
Suggestion: "Your local business is struggling to survive under the death grip of credit card fees. (Pic of small local store. Beautiful female clerk, with lots of styling looks sad, hopeless). But there is a cheaper alternative. Use bitcoin, support your local stores. (Clerk smiling)."
This might be construed as too patriotic for some. Too balance it we should emphasize how easy it is to donate to overseas charities, and buy from overseas stores.
This is a hard one obviously. We should try to push existing sites to use bitcoins as much as possible (details about doing this are abundant in other threads of course).
We should also try to new stores accepting bit coins to speed up the process. One thing that has been forgotten though, is the focus on stores selling items for women.
Site should have a like button. Encourage users to blog/tweet/comment whenever they use bitcoins for a transaction.