Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The gender of the Blogosphere -- an Unscientific Survey

Long Suffering Spouse teaches Spanish to junior high students and one of the most difficult concepts they struggle with -- year after year -- is that every noun in Spanish has a gender.

*WARNING* I am about to attempt an illustration of this point. Native Spanish speakers in particular, be ready to cringe. *YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED* Thus, it is el gato, the cat, male in gender, even when the cat is female.

I didn't understand it either when I took Spanish.

But thinking about that led me to think about the 'gender' of the Blogosphere. Saturday I joked in my bloghopping post about experiencing a sex change operation... because the person who bloghopped me referred to me as a "she" (is that too many pronouns?) in her blog. On the other hand, at first blush, it seemed a safe assumption.

Women write most of the blogs I visit regularly. Not all of them, of course. There's Captain Picard and Dr. A, Chris from Thermal,and Ben and Bennie. And of course Sarge -- but he fell into the habit because of his blogging bride Bee. I believe that to be true of Barb of the blockbuster blog (say that 10 times fast -- g'wan now, I dare you!) Skittles and her husband Mike. And then there's professional comedy writer and sometime baseball announcer Ken Levine. Or Josh, "The Comics Curmudgeon".

I've lost you now among the exceptions, haven't I? We lawyers tend to do that.

But most of the blogs on my blogroll are written by women. And there's a huge community of popular "mommy blogs" such as Suburban Turmoil.

Indeed, I was prepared to state this morning unequivocally that the gender of the Blogosphere should be feminine... I was going to argue that the women are so dominant here that our miniscule male presence can be ignored entirely which is why the women feel so free to speak their minds... on any and every topic... and using any words they feel like using. I was going to cite some of the comments I've been reading... anything by Mist1... oh, I had a dandy post taking shape as I was coming to work this morning on the train.

And then I opened my email. And saw my Sitemeter stats for the week.

I had 531 hits this week -- 76 a day.

Paltry figures, to be sure, next to Barb's 442 -- but, put it this way -- since I first started tracking with Sitemeter, I've had about 3,900 hits total. This week represents over 13.6% of that entire total.

This latest upsurge in traffic is due, without question, to Sgt. Michelle Manhart, USAF. My post about her appeared January 12. Traffic shot up on January 13. And I had only one AP photo with my post... not the pictures that ran in Playboy.

Now, none of these new visitors left comments. They presumably were disappointed quickly and left. But my suspicion is that all (nearly all?) the Google searches for Sgt. Manhart were from males.

And I realize there are a lot more male bloggers out there doing political blogs.

I've mostly shied away from politics here. It's not that I don't have opinions. I have lots of them... but here I'm trying to attract readers. I'd accept acolytes, of course, but my wife would not allow me to have any groupies. So I want readers -- and political opinions tend to put off potential readers.

Besides, my red meat conservative acquaintances think I'm a Commie Pinko hippie radical freak. My true believer liberal acquaintances think I'm a heartless souless running dog reactionary. I'm afraid that may make me... middle of the road.

And you know what you're most likely to find in the middle of the road, don't you?

Road kill.

No, I'll continue to steer clear of politics.

But there are men are out there in the Blogosphere. And they're certainly running Google searches. (On the topic of searches, Ken Levine's Sunday linkbaiting post is more shameless than anything I've ever done. And funnier, of course. Although he left out Sgt. Manhart. And Chrissy Popadics. I'll have to leave him a comment on that....)

But in the meantime, I'll leave you with my irregular feature, the Unscientific Survey: What gender do you assign to the Blogosphere? Feel free to explain your answers.


Ben and Bennie said...

It's definitely Borg. You have now been assimilated (sorry Cpt. Piccard for stepping onto your territory).

mist1 said...

I get a ridiculous number of hits a day from people looking for advice on how to unclog a sink or for product reviews about the vibrating panty.

I feel sorry for the poor bastards when they come across my blog.

I keep politics out of my blog. I also try to keep anything informative out of my blog.

Rose DesRochers said...

Maybe you should search blog search and see how many men blogged about Sgt. Michelle Manhart, USAF? Results 1-10 of about 196 for 'Sgt Michelle Manhart USAF. Wowsers!

In July of 2006, The Pew Internet & American Life Project published a survey of bloggers titled, A Portrait of the Internet’s New Storytellers.

The report said that the Blogosphere was evenly divided between men and women

Anonymous said...

Opps, sorry I forgot I was signed in to blogger. I have a blog post on this, you can read if you are really interested.

SQT said...

Ships are usually referred to as "she." So maybe in the spirit of equality the blogoshere can be male.

I may be one of the women who author a blog, but a lot of my visiters are male. But I don't have a "mommy blog" so my content might be more male friendly.

Lawfrog said...

Hmmm...an interesting question. I will have to think on it.

By the way, thanks for mentioning my blog in one of your postings! I really appreciate that, it's fun to see someone else reference my blog.

Enjoy your snow. I'll be dodging the freezing rain down here in H-town.

Anonymous said...

It's all politics, stamp collecting, or physics.

I try to do all three.


Cynthia Bostwick said...

The blogosphere, like any decent Diety, is niether male nor female, she intoned, but a universal, all-encompassing wonderous blend of all things bright, beautiful, male and female. How's that for high minded?

You, however, are da man. Great post, el blogo.

Smalltown RN said...

First off, let me congratulate you on your Blog of the day award!

Now I think some of your observations are dead on. Like you, I have noticed that most of the political blogs are written by men. I too have to admit I have made the mistake of thinking a blogger was a female when they were a he..oops! Fun post curmudge...thanks...keep on blogging!!!

Barb said...

You're a guy, right....?

Claire said...

Erm my only observations so far are the same as yours, with men also having more technology and sports themed blogs as well. The mommy blogs also have ended up being really good reads, which surprised me, so they should be given a chance.
Claire aka female blogger.

Anonymous said...

I am inclined to think that Blogging maybe the well overdue male domain of revenge for the decades of assertations emanating from the femine-ists.[Similar to Islam-ist..the 'ist' being derogatory.]
In fact it ist about time that we began re-asserting ourselves as 'male'. Being of that gender persuasion or preference has been somewhat daunting over the past two decades to the point where my part of the home is referred to as the Butler's Quarters.
Furthermore being a 'man' and thereby labeled 'coward' by many 'ists', I can hide behind the safety of my keyboard with my female mouse and espouse any load of rubbish I wish without fear of violence or loud reproof.
Like 'logging'and flogging, blogging is predominantly a male expression. PLEASE don't copy this to my wife!!!