Is blogging a guy thing? In a recent blog post on the Oxfam blog From Poverty to Power, Oxfam advisor Duncan Green asks this question, citing the prevalence of male bloggers and blog commenters in the development world. Even though I tend to stick to lady blogs like Jezebel and Feministing for my procrastination reading, Green finds that a lot of those who are active in the policy blogosphere, often even on gender specific topics, tend to be men. The preponderance of men in the policy blogging sphere is probably related to men still dominating a lot of the upper echelons of policy world, especially where political experience or economic expertise is involved.
Internet gender domination extends beyond blogging in particular to other internet information sources. Wikipedia found that a huge majority of their article contributors are men – in a 2010 study they conducted, they found that 15 percent of their contributors are women. (On a side note, despite their efforts to try to increase the participation of women, Wikipedia recently delineated two groups of American authors to “American novelists” and “American women novelists,” going so far as to remove women authors from the first group and adding them to the second, so that the list of “American novelists” consists almost entirely of men.)
The From Poverty to Power post describes gender differences that might affect someone’s blogability. Assertiveness and self-assuredness aren’t always considered the most attractive qualities for a lady, but they sort of are needed for good blog writing style. So if you are socialized to be a bit more deferent, putting yourself out there in a blog format might not come as “naturally.” However, as one of Green’s discussants points out, ladies are quite active on Twitter. So what do people think? Do social and cultural gender differences influence the likelihood of ladies blogging (other than lady-specific blogging)?