Blogs are for Blokes

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus
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Are men better bloggers?

John left a comment on my blog last week that made me think.  I’ve been thinking about it ever sense.

“Facebook and Twitter are for women. Blogs are for blokes, but what worried me was the following bit. That seemed incestuous at first? I mean making money from your friends isn’t nice. But making money with your friends is beautiful. That’s why blogs are for blokes, and Facebook and Twitter are for women. Women don’t understand beauty. They appreciate it. But they don’t understand it. That’s why the best artists are blokes. See what I mean?”

I’m feeling controversial today and it is all John’s fault. John’s a Brit and so he has a different take on many things from my American sensitivities. John is a youngster who tortures his body by running marathons but even with all that and the amazing ability of the Brits to take a common language and render it almost unintelligible at times, he makes me think. Today was no exception. He asserted something that rocks the bedrock of American intellectuals and wanna be intellectuals. He asked whether I think that men make better bloggers while women are drawn to Facebook and Twitter.

I’ve been cowed by the feminists since the 70’s

Now I survived the feminist movement of the 70’s and charted my way through the increasingly feminized work environment through my career. I know what you can’t say (unless you are prepared to face charges of sexual harassment). I know that men now have absolutely no protection from any woman who decides to take them down because no corporation has the balls to buck Gloria Allred in the forum of public awareness.

I know the drill

I know that women can do anything they want and that their plumbing has nothing to do with ability, intelligence or their place in the world. I have been so numbed to the laws of nature that John’s question hit me like a cold mackerel. The only issue remaining was to decide if I had the guts and the honesty to engage the question. Are men and women different? We already know that Men are from Mars and Women from Venus. Could it be that Men are from Blogs and Women from Facebook? John says yes. Am I ready to take a stand? The answer is a definite maybe.

The American view is simple

It may be a simple question for a Brit like John, but in America we like to pretend the world is simple. Everybody is absolutely the same. Black is just like white. Women are just like men. Crazy people are just like sane people. People in wheel chairs are just like walkers. Blind people are just like sighted ones. We are taught to disregard differences. So through the long years since the 70’s here in America, women haven’t been women, they have been oddly shaped men. It has been a trial for both sexes and society’s loss.

Not working for an employer helps you see thing straighter

Retirement frees people from this selective blindness. I have been discovering and savoring the delightful differences between the sexes forbidden when I was in the workplace. Now I can complement a woman without fear of a lawsuit and observe that woman don’t see the world quite the way I do but it is still OK, in fact it may be great..

So what do I think?

So with this new freedom, I am prepared to engage John’s question: Are men better suited for blogging while women are better suited to Facebook? You would think that this would be a great thesis for a PhD but it probably won’t happen in the US because intellectuals don’t study questions when they already know the answers. And they all learned the answers in kindergarten. Without those studies, I must fall back on my own experience. What it tells me is that John is right. When I get on Facebook, 90% of the communication there is with women. I have only a few men who use Facebook to exchange information with me. Blogwize is it the reverse. There are plenty of women bloggers but they tend to be inconsistent both in theme and activity while men hang  tough- if they hang at all. When it comes to bloggers who are in for the long run, more of them are men from my experience.

John, this bloke thinks you are right.

So that is my answer for John. It is limited in scope and anecdotal in nature. It is a generalization not a scientific study. Finally, it says nothing about the relative value of one sex over the other. Men and women are delightfully and frustratingly different. I’m happy at this stage in my life to be free to observe and appreciate those differences once again. And now that I have exposed my bias, I’m ready to hear what women might think. But maybe I will have to put this on Facebook to find out.

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{ 29 comments… add one }
  • Bob@JuicyMaters January 31, 2011, 11:22 am

    I think it depends on the topic. The top blog in th country for the last 3 years is a blog startd on May 1, 2005…by a woman. She talks about women stuff…basically a one-sided women’s gab-fest…stuff I couldn’t (wouldn’t) touch, but it works.

    You can’t argue with 28 million hits a month.

    http://www.thepioneerwoman.com

  • Margie January 31, 2011, 12:39 pm

    I’m a woman. I’ve been blogging for a year. I tried Facebook first – I find it inconsequential. I’ve never tried Twitter, but I don’t see how 140 character “soundbites” constitutes conversation.
    For me, this isn’t a Male-Female question. It is a matter of how much time and effort an individual wants to put into their writing, and how willing they are to communicate with strangers.
    Margie’s last Blog Post ..Postcards from the Eggs – Winter

    • Ralph January 31, 2011, 2:04 pm

      I never meant to make this a black and white issue. Your points about effort and openness are excellent. Like I said. I have been steeped in the equality fiction that workplaces demand and I was attempting to explore the more general differences between the sexes and apply it to social media since those differences are not recognized at work. There are great woman bloggers.
      John’s question gave me a little room to explore the topic and put in my observations but the final judgment still to come. I wis I was hoping for a little discussion and maybe a little give and take. Thanks for adding your thoughts.

  • Hansi January 31, 2011, 12:55 pm

    It’s Men, hands down, no arguin’ about it. I checked out Bob’s link to Pioneerwoman.com. If what he says about millions of hits a month is real, it only goes to prove that women are interested in girlie-shit, and girlie-shit only, with no room for anything of substance other than the newest Super Bowl recipe. They only thing girlie that wasn’t on that Blog, was a post about her god damned cats: probably didn’t go far enough into the archives to read that one. Men blog about real stuff; a woman sure didn’t draw the cartoon at the top of your post Ralph.
    Hansi’s last Blog Post ..Love It- Or Leave It

    • Ralph January 31, 2011, 2:05 pm

      Hansi,
      I think she touches Bob’s sensitive side.

  • Bob@JuicyMaters January 31, 2011, 1:06 pm

    Hansi…complain all you want…give all the excuses you like…but two things don’t change:

    1. Ree is female.

    2. She has a wildly successful blog.

    Regardless of why…regardless of how…that’s the bottom line.

    • Ralph January 31, 2011, 2:06 pm

      Bob,
      Does that make her the Oprah of blogging?

  • Heather January 31, 2011, 1:45 pm

    Ok, no. I disagree strongly.

    And not just because I’m a female blogger (ok, maybe a little, we all have our biases).

    Personally I think its fucking ridiculous (censor if you wish) that we’re even having conversations like this still. Women and men are different, fundamentally. Applying those differences to entire internet activities is a bit much for me to swallow, particularly when there are Lots of people bucking the trend on both sides of the gender divide.

    Some men like facebook and would never dream of touching blogging with a 100ft pole. Some women hate to be confronted with Facebook, its requests, and constant need to ‘keep up with the family’.

    Personality types are the difference here, not solely gender. What we should really be saying is that women like to connect with people on a more personal level than men seem to on the surface. How this is done will vary with the woman, however it may be that the majority find it easier through Facebook. We’re busy. We have other commitments. Usually, if we’re following the social norms (restricting, horrible stuff).

    As for you Hansi – women can blog about whatever they god damn please. Mine is on 3D, I dare you to find anything girlie on there that wasn’t meant to be a joke.

    … Wow, I seem to have been rather irritated. I blame all the testosterone in the area. Anyways, carry on everyone.

    • Ralph January 31, 2011, 2:08 pm

      Heather,
      Must be that raging estrogen.

      • Heather January 31, 2011, 2:22 pm

        Must be. Hormones are tricky things.

    • Dave Doolin February 3, 2011, 6:01 pm

      ” What we should really be saying is that women like to connect with people on a more personal level than men seem to on the surface.”

      Which is total, irrevocable bullshit widely believed and widely spread.

      This has resulted in women who are *incapable* of forming deep, meaningful relationships (and there are plenty), *believing* that they can, have and are forming deep, meaningful relationships.

      With such belief comes a redefinition of language, and a contextually driven model slanted towards a female’s opinion. That is, the female’s opinion is more important because she is female, regardless of any available, objectively measured material truth.

      Which is at the heart of the matter, really. Objective, measureable, material truth is such a masculine, even patriarchal notion…

      Not picking on you Heather, but you’re smart enough to take a step or two back and see this for what it is.

      • Ralph@retirement lifestyle February 3, 2011, 6:16 pm

        Dave,
        Did you learn that at Berkeley?
        Ralph@retirement lifestyle’s last Blog Post ..60′s Nostalgia- The Moon Landing

        • Dave Doolin February 3, 2011, 7:03 pm

          I pull my punches in Blogistan.

          Not willing to suffer the consequences of going all out. Yet. Consider this a view through the keyhole…

      • Heather February 4, 2011, 3:02 am

        Yes sir *salute*

        ‘Seem to on the surface’ was the key part in my sentence. I’m aware that guys feel as deep if not deeper, it’s just different. If memory serves we’ve had this discussion before.

        Though I’d like to point out, still, that I don’t believe gender is a good measure of most things. On a physiological level we’re structured differently; muscle growth and distribution, supposedly where the connections are in our brains (not totally willing to buy into that), and what our supposed roles were according to the historian people.

        Frankly most of the time I don’t care to make the distinction, I do get a bit annoyed when gender is used to apply limits on what we’re ‘normally meant to do’.
        Heather’s last Blog Post ..News from the Frontlines

        • Dave Doolin February 4, 2011, 7:23 am

          No worries. As Ralph will assert, I’m exposed to this “conversation” daily.

        • Ralph February 4, 2011, 8:03 am

          Truthfully Heather, I don’t either. I just can’t help railing about feminism from time to time.

        • Heather February 4, 2011, 9:12 am

          I must admit I’m not a huge fan of feminism either (as a movement at least). From what I know and have been exposed to it’s seemed to turn into sexism for women. Not cool either.
          Heather’s last Blog Post ..News from the Frontlines

  • Bob@JuicyMaters January 31, 2011, 1:50 pm

    Damn Hansi…I think you pissed on Heather’s Cheerios..

    • Ralph January 31, 2011, 2:14 pm

      O maybe her haggis.

      • Heather January 31, 2011, 2:21 pm

        Probably the haggis 😉 though I do love cheerios….

  • Hansi January 31, 2011, 3:02 pm

    Old Randolph-boy sure stirred up a hornets nest on this one. Looks like everyone’s been offended. Way to go Ralph
    Hansi’s last Blog Post ..Love It- Or Leave It

    • Ralph January 31, 2011, 3:58 pm

      Hansi,
      I feel so PC.

  • Bob@JuicyMaters January 31, 2011, 4:05 pm

    Hansi, he has no choice but to suck-up…he’s got a wife to answer to…Happy Wife, Happy Life.

    There are advantages to being single.

  • Bob@JuicyMaters January 31, 2011, 7:41 pm

    Frankly, I’m with Casper.

  • Bill Murney February 1, 2011, 2:23 am

    The top and bottom of it for me (no, not Casper) is that men make better bloggers because in general they post on a wider variety of topics.

    I am very selective where I spend my online time and 99% is spent visiting guys blogs, so that shows where my vote goes.

    Bill
    Ashton-under-Lyne, UK
    Bill Murney’s last Blog Post ..The Battle Of Trafalgar – Modern Version

    • Ralph February 1, 2011, 7:48 am

      Bill,
      Duly noted. I think there may be an answer based upon statistics (which I don’t have) but the truth is that each of us makes our own decision. You like men bloggers and Bob likes Pioneer Woman. It is inexplicable.

  • Retired Syd February 5, 2011, 5:58 pm

    Hmm, interesting question. According to Technorati two-thirds of bloggers are male, so certainly there’s an argument that more men are drawn to blogging than women. But that may be changing. I’m taking a blogging class on Saturday mornings and out of the 25 or so participants only 2 are men. So perhaps women are just getting started.

    My only other empirical evidence is that I’m the blogger in my family–my husband is the Facebooker (whatever the verb would be there.)

    My personal favorite blogger is a woman, Penelope Trunk. The topic (careers) doesn’t interest me in the least. She’s a great writer though, a skill too many bloggers lack, sadly.
    Retired Syd’s last Blog Post ..How to Practice Retirement While Youre Still Working

    • Ralph February 6, 2011, 7:49 am

      Syd,
      Thanks for the stats. I never even thought to check Technorati. Your family certainly gives the lie to my assertion, at least as a generalization. It is also interesting that your favorite blogger doesn’t write to a topic of interest for you. You just savor the writing. Blogging is just like life, there are no simple answers and what looks like simplicity is actually very complicated.

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