Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Blogging Women - Why the Fuss?

I'm interested in all the talk recently - and even not so recently - about women and blogging.

Here's an article from last year, and here's another one from last year. Phil wrote about it earlier this year, and I noticed just this week that Marketing Profs' Ann Handley brought it up again.

I responded to Ann's question: "Why don't more women comment more on blogs...?" in response to the many previous responses she got to that question. I'm trying to be objective, but I sensed a definite defensive tone from some of the respondees. Among those with an attitude was this one (posted by a woman):

"I think maybe it has to do with the blog's subject matter. This blog (Marketing Profs) is about advertising and business, which is very much a linear world, logical, and therefore appealing to men. Plus it's traditionally been a male-dominated field. Perhaps if you blogged about how your 2 year old spit up on you, or about the next Carrie Underwood CD, women would be emotionally moved to post."

And this one (posted by a woman):
"Usually I scan the first paragraph and move on. I have too many other things to do (family, job, charities) then to spend hours reading blogs on the computer, and commenting on them."

And this one (also by a woman):
"Several of you hit the nail on the head. As a small business owner and mother of school-age children, I am far too busy either (a) doing actual work or (b) taking care of kids or (c) doing laundry or (d) three or four of 100 other things on my "to do" list to take time to find the blogs, read the blogs and post comments on the blogs. I tend to be more "answers-oriented" when it comes to blogs -- I only get on when I need to read others' opinions on an issue, whether it's marketing, advertising, business, breast cancer, parenting or other. Then I form my own opinion and deal with the situation as appropriate. I have many male friends who have nothing to do except blog while their wives clean up the kitchen and get the kids to bed. I would guess that's why you have more men than women.

"My networking with colleagues tends to happen face-to-face, another thing that's particularly important to the women I know."

And this one (that's right, another woman):
"As a woman in a leading marketing roll [her spelling], I don't have time to respond to blogs. I liken it to playing video games entertaining but really a waste of time.

"Granted there are exceptions where a strong comment is worth the effort. Yet, I have never had a client thank me for taking the time to blog.

"Why was I motivated to comment on this blog? Simple - I didn't want the squeaky wheels to get the grease without understanding why they were getting it."

And this one (again a woman):
"I hate to say this but I think some men have an innate need to make everyone listen to everything they want to say where women have learned the art of introspection and only sharing those key, important nuggets. This might go contrary to the popular stereo-type of women being chatterboxes -- but then again look at who proliferates that stereotype in real life. That's right...chatty men."

So all these comments about how women don't have time to waste blogging and commenting on blogs were made by women who for some reason made the time to respond to Ann's question.

I have found blogging to be extremely important to my business for many reasons; but maybe I'm not representing my gender accurately. I don't have a husband and I don't have children, so I apparently have more time to "waste" on the computer.

I've formed relationships with many people through my blog which have or will lead to business. In addition I've gotten support and ideas for completing my book, a goal I may never have achieved without the comments I've received on my blog - most of whom are male, by the way.

So I don't know the answer to the question "Why don't more women comment more on blogs...?" I just know that, like I commented there,

"I KNOW people of both genders are ready for non-gender-specific conversation and blogging - regardless of the gender of the blogger - is a GREAT way to connect!"


At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice coverage of this topic. I am new to blogging, but have been noticing that I come across more men bloggers/commenters than women. I've heard the same is true for podcasting. I am not sure why there is a gender difference. I have to say I was quite surprised at the sexist and stereotyped responses to this issue! Perhaps because I surround myself with like-minded people, I forget that we still have a long way to go in our society. Thanks for sharing this. I promise to make a bigger effort to comment on blogs - maybe we can shift the imbalance.

At 6:04 AM, Blogger Jodee Bock said...

I'm convinced that is the way we will make a difference, Kirsten - by BEING what we believe in (see my post from today - July 6).

Thanks for sharing your comment here! You've added wonderful energy!


At 2:14 PM, Blogger Siona said...

Is it really true that women don't comment more? I'm admittedly ignorant as to the gendered makeup of the blogosphere, and in truth it surprises me to hear that men tend to comment more; I'd be inclined to guess that women would relate more to the relational aspect of this variety of writing. My inclination is that it has a great deal to do with the content of the blog, and that more personal writings might end up with more comments by women.


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