The Warc Blog

Why don't girls blog?

Posted by: Judie Lannon, Editor, Market Leader

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Technorati tells us that the female blogging population in Europe is about half the size of the male blogging population. Why? They don't give specific breakdowns by country or indeed subject matter, but my observations in the UK - particularly in the marketing communications world - is that women aren't much in evidence (Mumsnet and all the personal/makeup/sex/relationship blogs don't count).

What are the obvious reasons? Women don't talk as much as men? Women don't write as much as men? Women don't think as much as men? Women aren't employed in the 'thinking' jobs as much as men? None of these work.

In market research (where about 50% are women with equal numbers in senior jobs) write up a storm. Look at the papers from the MRS and you'll see just as many female authored papers as men, and lots of winners of awards are women. High status participation is pretty equally shared. Again, look at the IPA Effectiveness Awards where men and women are also about equal (although a few more of the big winners are men and men dominate judging panels).

How about who is employed where? The APG tells us that roughly 50% of planners are female and women comprise 30% of the membership of the Marketing Society – not quite equal but a sizable minority.

Deborah Tannen in her book ‘You just don’t understand me’ (a terrible title which suggests needy whining when, in fact, the book is quasi-academic and psychologically sophisticated) has one central insight that she illustrates by dozens of examples. This, in my view, comes closest to an explanation. Women talking to each other search for what she calls ‘intimacy’ - common threads, shared beliefs and experiences. Men talking to each other search for hierarchical positioning cues: is his taller, better looking, richer, bigger job, more successful with women, etc. Being seen in print is one of those cues.

Men and women even Twitter differently although for both sexes, the level of banality is about the same. I'm with Rod Liddle who believes that Twittering is for middle aged narcissists. (Except when you are reporting a revolution).

Anyway, what's so great about blogging? Give me a well argued, evidence based case any day rather than the wittering and blathering and opinionated rubbish that passes for most blogs. (sic)

23 November 2010 13:03

 

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