Shopping for gifts for men should be an Olympic sport. Seriously. It's the hardest thing some of us do all year. Where can we look to connect with the male psyche before even thinking about gifts? How can we tap into their wishes when they, more often than not, don't want to reveal them? I found a few sites that can help. And with Valentine's Day around the corner, and all of our gift ideas tapped by the holidays, I'm sure we all could use some inspiration. So, whether he's your average dude, metro man or wannabe chef, here are a few sites that will help you on the path to the best gift ever.
For the Chef:
TheDomesticMan, founded in 2010, is a destination to get into the minds of men who love spending time in the kitchen and at the grill. This is a category of man that is expanding like crazy. The kitchen is no longer just a woman's place, hallelujah! Russ Crandall, owner of DomesticMan.com says:
I think my honest and unfiltered approach to cooking is a good reflection of what goes through a man's mind when he's in the kitchen. And, you'll get a man's perspective on which kitchen tools a man actually finds useful (hint: I don't have any cute peelers).
For the Average Guy:
AskMen, founded in 1999, is one of the oldest sites for guys on the internet. But don't let its age make you think that it is outdated. You couldn't be more wrong! This site is constantly tapping into what real guys think about. Sometimes it's not what us ladies want to hear, but like Guillaume Jaillet, Marketing Manager at Ask Men says, "It really is men talking about what they want." They recently started putting together gift guides for guys in their 20s to early 30s, from sporty to geeky. Their 10 guides for the holidays received an astounding 12 million page views. So, they are doing something right!
For the Metro Man:
I'm not sure if anyone actually uses the term metro man anymore, but it fits the bill for the audience of UrbanDaddy. Paul Underwood, Editorial Director at UrbanDaddy.com says, "UrbanDaddy speaks to the affluent and urban young male whose passions are to be the 'first-to-know,' and a buzz-worthy lifestyle of food, music, nightlife, travel and entertainment."
They also know that most guys don't plan ahead, so they came out with their award-winning The Next Move mobile app, "which can guide you to a great bar or restaurant -- in over 30 cities -- even if you met your valentine at 7:48 p.m. on February 14." This is useful for procrastinators everywhere, male or female.
For the Runner:
Whether he runs for fun, or is training for a marathon, runners are all about their shoes. RunBlogger is an amazing resource created by Peter Larson in 2009, an ex-biologist with an obsession for running science, to test and review running shoes and share his philosophy of running with the world. He's a proponent of barefoot running, but don't worry that's not all he writes about. If you want to get your runner a gift that he'll never forget, be sure to read a few posts here first.
For the Geek:
Founded in 2006, TechnaBob is the place to go for the geek in your life. Now, chances are that if you are looking for a Valentine's Day gift for a geek, you are a geek yourself. But, if you're not, then you need to get up to speed with TechnaBob before picking up a Doctor Who koozie. Their claim? "We try to offer something a little different from all of the other tech news blogs out there, digging under rocks that aren't already uncovered, and always with a bit of wit and whimsy thrown in." So, whether your geek is into Star Wars, video games, gadgets or gags, this site will help you tap into the source.
I plan to shout out great sources for men on a regular basis to help everyone out there be better gift givers. Because, let's be honest, men will never become better communicators. Do you have a source that you like to use before making your shopping list? Please share!
Dana Holmes is a lifestyle, gift and etiquette expert and contributor to the Gift Rap Blog. She has been working in trend forecasting and gift recommendations for the past decade. Dana loves making occasions special with her unique gift ideas, tips and touches. She has been interviewed by The New York Times, Associated Press, Fox & Friends, TODAY in NY and many more.