March 14, 2004

Women and blogging

Is it just my imagination, or is there still conflict about this topic? Ezra at Pandagon, for example, claims that women blog less than men.

Not from where I'm sitting in Salon blogs -- and certainly not in the blogrings I've visited.

What about you? What do you think is different about women and blogging versus men and blogging?

Why do you think there is a much smaller percentage of women bloggers in the Top 100 Blogs?

Why do you think there are more female than male bloggers (according to a Perseus blog survey this past year), yet there is a continuing misperception that women blog less than men?

Is it the style of writing used by women which impacts perception or their content, the subject matter about which they write?

And why are some folks rather terse on this topic? The fact that some folks are rather hostile in their responses tells me there's an underlying issue that merits exploration. So does the fact that this issue keeps popping up without satisfactory agreement across bloggers and readers.

I'm all ears. Fill me in.

Posted by rayne at March 14, 2004 8:36 PM

i know only my opinions... the blogs i like the best, the ones i read the most, are from women bloggers. because i'm a woman? likely. there are only a small handful of male written blogs that i like. (and my fave male written blog is from a friend who's gay, so go figure that one out...) i wish there were more male blogs that kept my interest.

i don't believe that we're better writers, whatever better means. or that we're more prolific, either.

the women i know who blog are actually sharing their lives with their readers. with few wonderful exceptions, i'm not finding that in male blogs. i guess i like reading about those lives.

Posted by: alyssa at March 14, 2004 8:48 PM

My best female friends all blog, but their content is all over the map.

http://steph.journurl.com/ is a blog about personal discovery, philosophy, and spirituality.

http://news.journurl.com/users/sydney_t/ is almost completely focused on her politics.

http://journals.gardenporn.com/users/lisa/ is dedicated to gardening minutiae.

http://pursedlips.com/ was one of the earliest sexblogs.

In fact, the biggest male/female gap *I* see is in the relationship/sexuality realm. Women seem to blog their sex lives far more extensively than men. As someone who has hosted a lot of sexblogs since 1999, I can say that at least 90% have been generated by women... men don't even provide marginal competition in that area. Although I suppose the rise of pornblogs may swing things back the other way eventually.

Posted by: Roger Benningfield at March 15, 2004 12:19 AM

I find it interesting that male political bloggers like Ezra whose involvement in blogging probably postdates 9/11 and InstaPundit seem to think that blog and political-blog are synonyms.

So many of us are in tiny little pools looking at the other people in the same pool and wondering where all the other people are.

It's obvious that the Truth Laid Bear's stats are skewed by their original source and the fact that they are driven by a page-count system not everyone uses.

It's also likely that the Technorati ranking is biased toward types of blogs likely to show up in the Technorati ranking (starting with the technical issues of pinging weblogs.com and/or having and RSS feed, etc. and going on through the approaches to blogging that tend to draw the most incoming links and the most visitors).

Posted by: xian at March 15, 2004 8:34 AM

Hey, thanks for turning me on to gardenporn, Roger.

Yeah, I'd be interested in knowing whether the gender gap is as great once you factor out political blogs. Are women blogging on a wider range of subjects, and maybe not attracting the feeds and search engine traffic that a political/current affairs blog would attract?

Posted by: Amy Stewart at March 16, 2004 10:15 AM

Speaking of garden porn, True Dirt's been waking up this spring.

Is there a good guide to garden blogging and websites?

(Plus, define politics. The personal is political, my sisters.)

Posted by: xian at March 16, 2004 3:32 PM

A study last fall found that the *average* blogger is a 16-year-old girl.

It seems to be a distinguishing characteristic of the warbloggers that blogs didn't exist before they discovered them, and that there are no blogs of any consequence outside the warblogger circle.

Says more about them than the rest of us.

Posted by: tom at March 16, 2004 4:51 PM

In response to Xian-- list some garden blogs on my blog, and a link to a more comprehensive and ever-growing list of garden blogs. Check it out. I'll take a look at True Dirt, too.

Posted by: Amy Stewart at March 17, 2004 11:03 AM
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