Image of Rosie the blogger, based on Rosie the riveter
I’ve been wanting to use this photo for a long time. After rereading the comments on the “Large Gender Gap Evident In Blogosphere” post, today is the perfect day.

Many who commented on the gender gap post were surprised the ratio of male to female bloggers was so large (66.7% males vs 33.3% females). Some doubt the accuracy of the numbers as the survey was done by Technorati, a site that appears to be dominated by males.

But, that’s not the topic for today’s post.

Today we’re talking about female bloggers.

Today’s Lesson

When I started blogging in 2007, I didn’t find a lot of blogs authored by women. I don’t know if it was because of my search strings, the circles I hung around in or if there were less women blogging at that time.

But as we approach 2010, I see the landscape of blogosphere changing. I’m seeing more women starting, maintaining and writing fabulous blogs.

Women are talking about issues that were often only whispered amongst friends. They are writing about the emotionally charged subjects many of us have an opinion on but never voiced. And some women are revisiting their love of writing after putting it on the back burner for many years.

When a female blogger writes about the frustrations of parenting a teen, other mothers understand. If they write  how their BFF (best friend forever) upset them, others empathize. When they share a health scare, other bloggers rally around them.

Blogging for (some) women is a perfect sounding board. When those in their real life don’t seem interested in what they have to say, more than likely in blogosphere they’ll find someone who will listen (and comment), and they feel validated.

Blogs are giving women a chance to find themselves and to help others. A place to share lessons they’ve learned in life as well as a platform from which they can build or expand on their dream career.

Women bloggers are gaining in popularity and are now having their names listed along side popular male bloggers. Women bloggers are being listened to at blogging conventions, on TV (i.e. Heather B. Armstrong of Dooce.com) and in print journalism. Many are also authoring books.

I think women are adding a softer touch to blogosphere. With women sharing their knowledge, their hearts, and sometimes their soul, they are changing the internet forever.

As Martha Stewart would say, “It’s a good thing.”

Today’s Assignment

Do you feel women (in general) blog differently than men?

If you’re a woman, how has blogging enriched or changed your life?

If you’re a guy, are you truly interested in reading and/or commenting on a blog written by a women who is discussing matters of the heart?

I don’t know about you, but I’m really looking forward to the comments on this one. 🙂

signature for blog post.

P.S. For all you girls (and guys, too) , here’s a video (and lyrics) by Martina McBride. Enjoy!

Photo Credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com’s photostream

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Look Who's Talking
  1. Hi Barbara,
    What an awesome lesson this is. I knew about the gender gap…but this big..i had no idea. And technorati is in such shambles right now..i cant find my blog on it anywhere..although i had listed and claimed it a long time back. God only knows what they are upto.
    As for women ..oh werent we always the more heart ones..we still are. Hence we write with heart with love and we touch hearts.
    I know..men might have a problem with our content at times…it might be too “senti” so to say for them…but hey I have so many male blogging buddies coming over and lending their insight on my blog….that i dont see the problem.
    I guess times have changed. Men and women alike are now able to manipulate technology…computers internet etc. So its only natural that the women will gain popularity here as well.
    As for validations, well how often do we get a chance to actually speak to an audience of 100s 1000s ….in real life? But in the blogosphere, we get that chance with every post…and that i think is a Privilege. To be heard.
    Many times my hubby will joke and say “we men simply think its a mans world, but in all honesty you women pull all the strings…we are just too manly to admit it ;)”
    .-= Check out Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s awesome post: Sleepless Nights- Natural Cures =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Zeenat,

      With regard to Technorati, I know they recently went through some type of transition and re-rated blogs. Why they did, I haven’t figured out yet.

      Yes. (Some) women do write with more heart, and like you, I see how that can be a good thing. I don’t think it matters whether our readers are male or female, as we all act positively to love and compassion.

      P.S. Your husband is a smart man. 🙂

  2. “I think women are adding a softer touch to blogosphere.” I’d like to go out on a limb here and speak up for those of us women who are not mommy bloggers and/or do not generally blog about “matters of the heart.”

    I consider myself a blogger who happens to be a woman, writing about topics that do not mark me as a woman blogger and I’m terribly proud of that. I have an equal number of men and women readers.

    I realize how crabby I must sound about this, but I get my hackles up every time I see Dooce used as “the” example of women bloggers. The world must think she’s the only one doing it. She’s very popular with the mommy set, and that’s fine, but there are so many other great women writers out there who don’t have kids or who don’t use their kids’ antics as blog fodder. We’re out there and we do well for ourselves.

    OK, off soapbox now 🙂
    .-= Check out Junk Drawer Kathy´s awesome post: Hi. It’s Windy. Did You Miss Me? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kathy,

      I love soapboxes. 🙂

      I should have elaborated on the “softer touch to blogosphere” as I see it as more than just writing about matters of the heart. I also see how women are changing what blogs look like, how they are writing about issues that are more than just “techie”/make money online stuff, and they’re not afraid of showing their feminine side.

      You’re right, Heather isn’t the only woman and/or mommy blogger out there who has become successful with blogging, but what I do respect her for is the fact when she lands a gig on Oprah or Dr Phil, she is helping to get the word out how any woman, via a blog, can make a difference (and possibly make a decent income, too).

  3. I have to thank and echo what Kathy said above. I’m a blogger who happens to be a woman, and I don’t consider what I write to be gender-based in any way. And please. PLEASE! There are so many worthy women bloggers out there in the media; Dooce is NOT the only one to have made an impact.

    OK, now I will be good and complete my assignment.

    I think some women blog differently than men, but I wouldn’t say this is a general rule. Even if you look only at mommy bloggers — there are plenty of great daddy bloggers writing about the same stuff. As a non-mommy blogger (We GOTTA come up with a better name!), I was surprised to find that many of my readers first thought I was a man (I got by my initials, JD, and used to have a different banner). So, speaking from my own experience, no.

    Blogging has enriched my life by allowing me an outlet for creativity and instant gratification regarding being “published.” But above all, it’s given me the chance to meet a LOT of great people.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi JD,

      You know, as I was preparing this post, I thought, “what if someone were to do an experiment and not reveal if they were a male or female blogger, would that make a difference in how they were viewed in blogosphere, would it make a difference in the comments, and/or inbound links, etc”. Ironically it sounds like that inadvertently happened to you and was basically a “non event” .

      I’m with you on how blogging can enrich our lives. Like you said, we get the satisfaction of being published, and our reach lets us meet fabulous people from all over the world.

  4. It seems to me that most female bloggers share more personal stories (and a LOT blog about their families and kids) than male bloggers do. Now that you brought up this topic, I’m going to give it some thought as I’m reading bloggers. I read a TON by women and men so it should be interesting to see what I come up with! Great post!
    .-= Check out Positively Present´s awesome post: how to bring your shooting star down to earth =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Dani,

      You’ll have to let me know what you come up with after analyzing the blogs you read. From my own reading blogs experience, some blogs are obviously gender specifically written, whereas others, if I didn’t know the author, I wouldn’t be sure.

  5. George AngusNo Gravatar says:

    Yikes.

    Ok, I read things that I find interesting and inspiring to me. I’m pretty much gender neutral when it comes to that.

    Typically, I don’t frequent mommy blogs. If an article catches my eye through twitter or something, I’ll go have a peek. If I like it, I comment. If not, I move along – same as I would any other blog.

    Not sure I agree with the softer touch, though. Some of the most vitriolic things I’ve seen have been on blog sites with a woman blogger. I wouldn’t say more so than men, but fairly equal.

    George
    .-= Check out George Angus´s awesome post: The Book Mender – Part 2 =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi George,

      Yikes, is right. With regard to bloggers (males or females) who are “snarky”; I’ve seen some of those blogs and agree; that type of behavior is not gender specific.

      I think that’s pretty common about what we read. If it’s of interest to us, it really doesn’t matter who wrote it.

  6. CharleneNo Gravatar says:

    My first thought, after seeing the Technorati poll results, was that they must have overlooked we women that blog about things other than kids, husbands, weight loss/gain, BFFs, etc.

    I’m with Kathy…you’re not alone! I’ve been blogging since 2005. I maintain a blog about my life as an independent information professional, another blog about world class customer service, a blog about my internet marketing services company, and a personal blog (this is the oldest blog). My writing doesn’t resonate with women looking for an emotional connection, but appears to resonate with people looking for solutions.

    Having said my part to agree with Kathy, I do read women’s blogs that are personal and heart-to-heart, but they still focus on solutions. When I saw the list of BlogHer conference attendees I shrugged because I don’t belong there. I was relieved when I took the Meyers-Briggs personality test (3 times) and was put in the 1% of women that show up as an INTJ :> That alone should tell you that I don’t write fluffy, emotion-ridden, heart-to-heart content.

    I’m looking forward to seeing research in 2010 showing that in 2009 the number of women bloggers that have blogged for more than a year as increased 10 fold. Because regardless of the content, all women have something to say, most women have solutions to offer, and some women rise above us all as leaders to teach the rest of us how to be better women.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Charlene,

      What beautiful words. I love how you said, “…all women have something to say, most women have solutions to offer, and some women rise above us all as leaders to teach the rest of us how to be better women.”

      I think that’s one thing about blogging that’s so great. No matter what we blog about, or how we blog, what we share will resonate with someone.

  7. JeanneNo Gravatar says:

    Interesting thoughts here, Barbara! I’m still a newbie with blogging, and one of the first things I got excited about was when I received comments from 1) young people (30-ish, 40-ish) and 2) men.

    I don’t think I blog fluffy — I’ve never been into lace and frills, either in my wardrobe or my words — but expressing feelings, emotions, and a search for meaning and truth doesn’t have to be a fluff thing. The men who comment do so with their own feelings, emotions, and wisdom, and I’ve never detected a macho attitude — just thoughtfulness, support, encouragement, respectful disagreement, and genuine discussion. I guess I’m simply enjoying the process — and the connections with individuals around the planet. I also enjoy the camaraderie among bloggers, which I think is often deeper and more meaningful than our face-to-face friends. Am I alone in this? Maybe so.

    I may be an old rascal, but I’ve long ago given up the ‘he vs she’ looking at things, so I guess I was surprised to see it surface here. Once again, you raise questions that I’ve not thought of. You’re a rascal too:)
    .-= Check out Jeanne´s awesome post: Ghost Town Lives Again =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jeanne,

      Yup! I’m being a rascal . 🙂

      Actually I couldn’t help but not bring this subject up as I’m very aware of how some women are still dealing with “glass ceilings” and lower pay (even after all these years) and after reading how “supposedly” there are more male bloggers than female, this post was born and the next logical question that came to my mind was, do we blog differently?

      You mentioned how you feel the camaraderie amongst bloggers is often deeper than with our face to face friends. I see that as being the case in some instances, so no, you’re not alone.

  8. Do I think men blog differently from women? I think men in general see things differently from women. But just as soon as I say that, I must qualify it.

    I am always uncomfortable reading books about what men like, do, must have, or are, compared to what women like, do, must have, and are. I usually am outside whatever box the author has written from. I’m not a part of the greater statistics. Therefore, I don’t expect any one else to be. The statistics are a guide to understanding and accepting everyone’s validity, in my opinion.

    I am a wife and mom, and often my kids and theirs inspire me with a story to write. But my blog is not a mommy blog. I paint. But my blog is not an art blog.

    I just like people. And I observe them. My little blog stories come from watching and responding to folks everywhere, in the everyday process of living. Some of it may be sentimental fluff, but not all. I have a curious mind and it’s a natural instinct for me to draw inferences, connect happenings and thoughts, ask questions, and just ponder things.

    I don’t think my approach to blogging is a gender-thing. Women are considered more intuitive than men, however, that’s just another statistic and doesn’t hold true for all. I love reading technical and otherwise professional blogs by women, and the occasional poetic and artistic blog by men.

    Rather than comparing men bloggers to women bloggers, I prefer to simply read blogs about topics that interest me, written by whomever.

    This blog is one of my favorites coming into my email box. You speak to a lot of issues, all pertinent to our lives as blog-writers, and you ask questions that allow me to think further. Okay. I also relate to you as a woman, another Barbara, and appreciate your intelligence and kindness.

    I don’t read you because you are a woman, but because you are a blogger I like who happens to be a woman.

    Great post, and I’m glad to be back in your comment section. 🙂
    Barb

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you for your kind words Barb,

      It’s great to see you back here again.

      What you said about stats is very true – they are only guidelines which may or may not apply to everyone. And adding to what you said, too often it’s some of those labels (from the stats) that can stunt our growth.

  9. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    I really like how you wrote this post. Good, crisp, engaging writing.

    I follow blogs based on the topic, insight, and perspective. I think the beauty of blogs is that anybody can share insight, independent of credentials, gender or whatever. It levels the playing field. I think the informal conversations also break the barriers where formality could get in the way, and it’s a reminder that edutainment trumps regurgitation of raw facts.

    I also like that blogs are like living anthropology.
    .-= Check out J.D. Meier´s awesome post: Change Rumination or Pessimism to Defeat Depression =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you J.D.,

      It really does come down to that, doesn’t it? We read blogs which feed our needs, no matter whom they’re written by.

      And yes. Blogging does level the playing field.

  10. Lori HoeckNo Gravatar says:

    This is one of the few endeavors I’ve plunged into that doesn’t have obvious male/female stereotypes as part of the culture, such as martial arts, firefighting, and journalism (from back in the day). As Meier writes, “topic, insight, and perspective” matter more.

    Blogging changed my writing style and helped me renew a passion for teaching self defense.
    .-= Check out Lori Hoeck´s awesome post: Tough-mindedness is a will to win =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lori,

      Your comment is a good reminder of how male/female stereotyping can affect us in our real life, but when we blog, many of those barriers disappear.

      P.S. I’m happy to hear blogging renewed your passion for teaching self defense. You’re a power house of fabulous information that can potentially save many lives.

  11. Chris EdgarNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara — it’s funny, my sense is that most of the bloggers I interact with regularly are women, so I guess I’ve got an unusual sample. Or it’s some kind of unconscious Oedipal fixation. I’ll have to ask a psychoanalyst. 🙂

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Chris,

      I’d say you’re hanging around a great group of bloggers. No need to ask a psychoanalyst for help. 🙂

      • Wilma HamNo Gravatar says:

        Hey Chris, you are hanging out with Barbara and me as well and that shows you have great discernment. Now check your body and breath when you think that this is not good. 🙂
        After all the Dalai ama said that Western Women will lead the world into a new era.
        You are in good company.
        .-= Check out Wilma Ham´s awesome post: Questions, the doors to our hearts. =-.

  12. AftercancerNo Gravatar says:

    Do you think maybe fewer women are blogging because they’re busy tending to all of the other aspects of their personal lives? As much as we think we have achieved equality, and in some areas we have, women tend to be the primary caregivers for both their children and their parents.

    I’m a blogger who is also a woman. I write about cancer and I’m just as likely to be writing about prostates as I am breasts, maybe it’s just my topic.
    .-= Check out Aftercancer´s awesome post: To serve and protect =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kate,

      I do agree, many women carry such a heavy load there’s no time left to blog and/or interact online.

      With the topic of your blog being about cancer, your readers are there because you’re providing reliable information and I doubt your gender even comes into play.

  13. PeacefulWmn9No Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara…I’ve been blogging a long long time, and felt a lot of the subjects were too controversial to discuss. Yup, I write some pretty soft things, but with depth beneath the surface…for now.

    I’m putting together two new sites, which is why a few of my blogs have become sparse in the new posts department.

    On the new sides, I want to “blog” like I write when I am not only writing from the heart, but from the soul. I want to address those things that are finally becoming less taboo: spousal abuse (both genders), sexual abuse, broken things inside that can be healed, racism, poverty…some of the dirtier, less positive things I currently blog.

    I feel the stats were off on that one, and it isn’t just mommy bloggers that rule the estrogen side of the web.

    Many of us are single, again, and, middle-aged or older yet (like I am! lol.) We are baby boomers in the “next phase of life.” We are kids of baby boomers whose nests are emptying as kids go off to college. We’ve always been equal in the eyes that count.

    I never did see us as inferior, and I admire bloggers everywhere, men and women…but yes, those stats are off.

    For what it’s worth, my own Technorati rate is a humble 1. What can I say? I’ve done most of my deeper blogging, the stuff that might make some cringe, in private. But…in that process, I’ve learned a lot about healing and turning a disaster into a thing of beauty, regardless of scars.

    Those are the soft things I want to share..but we women have always known that soft is also strong. And so have the men who respect us.

    Karen
    .-= Check out PeacefulWmn9´s awesome post: The Joy of Snail Mail Letters and Cards =-.

  14. PeacefulWmn9No Gravatar says:

    Okay, note to self…always, always proof before you hit the “share it” button. I totally screwed up parts of that comment lol. Sorry for the parts that don’t make sense! They are errors, but I hope the passion inside came through!
    .-= Check out PeacefulWmn9´s awesome post: The Joy of Snail Mail Letters and Cards =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Karen,

      No need to apologize. I know what you’re saying. And you are right. Being “soft” doesn’t mean we are less than. Like you said, being soft is also being strong. It’s being female and being proud of it.

      How exciting you are starting two new sites. Blogging about what used to be taboo subjects shows bravery on your part. I wish you tons of success as you begin your new endeavors. Please do let me know when they are live so I can come by and pay you a visit.

  15. Hi Barbara – Until your last post about the gender gap, I never thought much about the difference between women and men re: blogging style and topics. I’m drawn to blogs that tell a personal story, and then take that story and expand it out into some form of collective insight. These tend to be stories that have universal appeal, rather than strictly falling along gender lines. And there are a lot of good blogs out there doing this, both men and women. I guess you could call them gender neutral blogs. And that has been enriching for me in my own blogging experience, to begin to find an audience that seems to be spanning the spectrum: older, younger, male, female.

    p.s. love that photo and caption!
    .-= Check out Patty – Why Not Start Now?´s awesome post: Dancing Around the Living Room =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Patty,

      Isn’t that great how that works? When we find blogs that meet our interests, it helps for those bloggers to find us, and in the process we build a community of “members” from across the board and from all walks of life. It does indeed, enrich us.

  16. jan geronimoNo Gravatar says:

    My reading list is not defined by gender. Sentimental or emotional writing doesn’t turn me off unless it’s contrived or dishonest. I prefer them raw and uninhibited! Initially, I decide on the basis of topics or headlines. Then I investigate, giving each candidate his/her chance. Then I go back to blogs I’ve resonated with. Perhaps because the blogger is funny, or helpful, or a total opposite of my personality – a perfect complement to mine.

    Guess what, I’m reading lots of women bloggers/writers. A lot of them have become my friends. And I say I’d rue the day they suddenly decide not to blog or write anymore because quite frankly that’s like tearing off your own skin.
    .-= Check out jan geronimo´s awesome post: Read My Lips: Twitter Lists Are Meant to be Exclusionary =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jan,

      That’s a good point. No matter what the gender, if the content is contrived or dishonest, we’re not apt to read it.

      And that’s true, when a blogger writes and it resonates with us, we keep going back for more with no thought if they’re male or female.

  17. I’m not sure there’s a big difference between how women and men blog. even “mom bloggers” and “dad bloggers” read pretty much the same to me. I’ll have to think about it some more.
    .-= Check out vered | blogger for hire´s awesome post: Stupid Beauty Trends =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      You’ll have to let me know if you do see a difference. I’m thinking maybe we should do a blind study. 🙂

  18. Many of the blogs I read are written by women. But I’m not half as worried as Chris is… is it a crime for a man to be attracted to women’s…

    thoughts?

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Miguel,

      No, it’s not a crime to be attracted to a woman’s thoughts. In fact, I see it as just the opposite. Men and women can learn a lot from each other.

  19. I do hope men don’t read female blogs other than they would male ones – though there is research to suggest they do. Men follow more men than women on twitter for instance, whereas women follow men and women equally. The result: men get more pr.

    As for my blogging: I don’t think I’m particularly ‘sensitive’ or ’emotional’ in how I blog about religion and spirituality, but my perspective is female – how could it not be?
    .-= Check out Katinka – All Considering´s awesome post: Spiritual newsletter – Religious symbolism, organised religion vs atheism, global warming … =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Katinka,

      What fascinating facts – about Twitter.

      What you said is so true, when we’re female, we are going to be providing a female perspective on whatever we share.

  20. I’ve never thought of this either. I think if we blogged differently we would have noticed by now right??? Not sure Barbara but I’m going keep the question in mind as I read this week.
    .-= Check out Tess The Bold Life´s awesome post: Nothing Changes Until Something Changes =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tess,

      LOL, even I will be looking for signs of a difference. We’ll have to meet back up and compare notes. 🙂

  21. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Yikes! I believe you have hit an atomic button. But that is ok! I am with the group who blogs with intent to share information and it is not in the “mommy” world. In all sectors of life, there are women who make a difference and in bloggersphere, there are many.

    So, to say women bring a softer touch …. I say the picture says it all.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Linda,

      *smiles* Good point. The photo doesn’t necessary show a softer side to female bloggers, but the story of Rosie the Riverter says a lot about women who came before us.

      What you said is so true. There are many women who make a difference in real life as well as blogosphere. And just think, we can too. How cool is that?

  22. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barb!
    I’m attracted to blogs that make me think, share insights and perspectives that may, in some cases, differ from mine or expand my thinking, or even make me question things. I try to offer the same thing to my readers and the topics are very eclectic. I don’t care who is writing them, male or female. Well, enough of MY choice here, I need to answer the question.

    I haven’t been in the blogosphere a year yet, but I have noticed that there are some women blogging blah – their daily stuff, no purpose, no message, just a laundry list of their day. The few I’ve run across don’t bother to respond to comments, nor do they return visits. They write almost daily and it doesn’t take long for me to realize this woman just needs to write it out, for herself, not for anyone else. This is perfectly fine, I’m not condeming – just saying I personally get nothing from it and move on!

    I haven’t stumbled across any men doing this. I read some very cool daddy blogs, but haven’t yet run across a man just dribbling out a daily whine.

    This isn’t meant as anything but my personal observation. I think blogs are a delightful way to interact with people, learn about other cultures and beliefs, and expand your horizons. I’m thrilled to be here!!!

    By the way, after really looking at my blog, I do have more men than I thought! I’m a balance freak I guess – level the playing already! We ALL have stuff to share! I celebrate the differences in our male/female thinking and think this would be a pretty boring world without them.
    .-= Check out suzen´s awesome post: Live This Very Moment and Dream On =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi SuZen,

      I hear you. I’m thrilled to be here, too. How other than with blogging would we be able to meet so many people from all over the world, learn from them and like you said, expand out horizons.

      And yes, it would be mighty boring if we were all the same. Reading anything that expands our brains is great for our growth process as well as for learning to share joy and have empathy for others

  23. Hi Barbara,

    I love that photo. It is cool how they used the infamous image and applied it to blogging. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

    As for the difference between male and female blogs….I think there is a difference in terms of style but that is what makes it all very interesting. Blogging is a great teacher for it shows you have varied people are when it comes to certain issues.

    I have always said on here that blogging has been a huge blessing for me. It made me realize what is my calling in life and made me realize what I am good at. Blogging is sheer bliss.
    .-= Check out Nadia – Happy Lotus´s awesome post: My November Dose of Tough Love =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Nadia,

      I’ll echo that; blogging is sheer bliss.

      When we see the different style used by bloggers (male or female) is does add variety and keeps things interesting. Thankfully we don’t have rules that say we have to blog in a specific way.

  24. I would also echo what Junk Drawer Kathy said. I consider myself a travel blogger who happens to be female. I’m not a mommy blogger, and I don’t write about “matters of the heart”. My topics are largely determined by how they fit into the region (U.S. Midwest) I cover….museums, parks, festivals, bridges, lighthouses, regional history, B&Bs, etc. I see my blog, and my audience, as pretty gender-neutral.

    I went to BlogHer this past summer, and while it was a great experience in many ways, I did feel a little out of place. There seems to be a real rush among advertisers to pursue the mommy blogger demo, and that seemed to set a certain tone (intentionally or not) at BlogHer.
    I believe some folks really miss the point that women bloggers aren’t a monolithic group, and some of these “best of” blogger lists that come out fail to include many excellent women bloggers (remembering some recent online discussions on this point when “best of” lists of tech and adventure traveler bloggers appeared with a notable absence of women on them).

    I’ve been blogging a little over a year at this point. I wrote for local newspapers, magazines and newsletters for many years, but the print markets have pretty much dried up around here. Blogging allowed me to get my work out before new potential clients, I’ve gotten a couple of jobs because of my blog, and it’s opened the door to several possibilities I never considered for myself when I was just writing for print media.
    .-= Check out Dominique-Midwest Guest´s awesome post: Photo Friday: Still more photos from Indiana’s Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dominique,

      That’s interesting how you observed some folks appear to believe all female bloggers are the same. If that’s the case, I find that to be terribly sad.

      Like you, I wonder how some of those lists are compiled. Do they only include blogs the author reads or are they truly searching blogosphere to find the best of the best?

      That’s awesome how blogging has brought you work.

      P.S. I was just on your blog and see you spend time in my home state of Michigan.

      • I tend to write a lot about Michigan…because I live in Michigan 🙂

        I picked my niche because we do travel a bit around the region (lots of places we can do in a day or two), and it made sense to me to write about the areas I visit most frequently.

        I started the blog because I’ve always wanted to write about regional travel, and I hoped it would help bring me work. I’ve had some “opportunities” that weren’t worth considering, but I’ve gotten a couple of good, solid opportunities that came because people found my blog and offered me writing work. My blog also resulted in an offer to teach a class at a writers conference (something I never considered in the past!)…it will be a first for me when I teach the class this next spring.
        .-= Check out Dominique-Midwest Guest´s awesome post: Photo Friday: Still more photos from Indiana’s Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum =-.

  25. Wilma HamNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara and all.

    I have been a member of BlogHer for 2 years and I do think there is a tendency in women bloggers to write about drama in their lives.
    I have seen quite a few blogs about depression, post natal spychoses, cancer, trans gender and other numerous health issues and people do share quite intimate details and they get a lot of attention of fellow sufferers.
    The tone of those blogs can be very emotional.
    As I have been lukcy to have not suffered health problems, I do not resonate with those blogs although I can see that they might help others to express their upsets and get help.
    The drama might of course attract readers rather than a dry medical report perhaps?
    I have not seen men writing about health problems that way or seen many blogs about personal upsets or health by men at all. Hmm, but I haven’t looked either. Maybe Chris and Tom have?

    The impression I get that these female topics are huge and very personal to women AND that writing about it can be a release.
    Those blogs look to me to be a replacement of articles in women magazines.

    Dooce is to me a blogging form of those weekly ‘humurous sharing of my life’ column I’ve so often seen in a women’s magazines.
    I must admit I do enjoy those as entertainment, like obviously many other women. I like cartoons as well 🙂

    I do like the humorous ones about being a parent too, and I see lots of dad’s and mom’s doing those. They are obviously to me written by people who like writing and some are indeed well written and humorous, just as the ones in magazines. Those bloggers must be thrilled to be able to have their writing published.

    In my field of living life differently there are just as many men as women as far as I have seen.

    I as some other commentors, like to (read and) write blog posts where some personal stories are shared to ilustrate a point and the posts are an informative guide with interesting explanations to encourage people to look at how things can be done differently to enhance the quality of their lives.
    I do not use drama as I am not a writer at heart; I just want to report interesting topics in a pleasant format and do not aim to write juicy essays. I don’t think I could even if I wanted to.
    Like you and Tess and SuZen, I am too straight for that and thus Chris you are safe with us.

    Thanks Barbara, interesting to observe these things. Love Wilma
    .-= Check out Wilma Ham´s awesome post: Questions, the doors to our hearts. =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Wilma,

      Thank you for explaining more about BlogHer. I’ve seen a lot of information for it online and even signed up for BlogHer, but haven’t taken the time to grasp the concept. However, after reading Dominique’s comment about attending a convention and now yours, I’m getting a better idea of how it “works”.

      I agree. Female blog authors whom write about issues that are currently affecting them are serving a purpose in blogosphere. Many are going through exactly the same thing, but may not want to take time to blog about so if they identify with what is written in a blog post, via commenting they can share their story, too.

      *smiles* I like your reply to Chris.

  26. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    I think I face more judgment and discrimination on taking an alternative view rather than being a female sharing my emotional woes. What is more important to me is to be authentic without too much melodrama. I write to inspire myself in the way forward. Hopefully, my readers will resonate with the same messages in the content that I share too.
    .-= Check out Evelyn Lim´s awesome post: Make Peace with Time =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Evelyn,

      You’ve raised a good point. Sometimes it’s WHAT we write about that attracts judgment and discrimination rather than WHO we are. However, anyone who follows your blog knows you’re authentic and even if they don’t agree with your topics, will realize you’re a good person to the core.

  27. Dennis EdellNo Gravatar says:

    Honestly, yours is really the only blog I read that I don’t consider “marketing”, at least not all the time. Now, on the gender issue from a slightly different angle…

    Although up to this point men may dominate the blogging world, woman have always dominated the direct sales field; however, as more and more woman see the advantages in adding blogs to their direct sales businesses, they may just bust out up the middle…

    …while still dominating the DS field for a long time to come. If you do the math here, woman will clearly come out on top eventually. 😉

    (hence the niche I’ve chosen, hehe)
    .-= Check out Dennis Edell´s awesome post: Crisis Averted – Hosting Paid – Please Read! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dennis,

      You’re a smart man for doing your homework and finding out women dominate the direct sales field. And I agree with you, women will bust out of the middle and soon be leading the pack.

      I’d say you have yourself positioned perfectly. 🙂

      • Dennis EdellNo Gravatar says:

        The DS thing certainly doesn’t take much homework, lol. I’ve been in DS/CS my entire adult life though.

        I’d say woman in DS are considerably smarter then men thinking they will make it big in IM….the right DS company will make you money a LOT quicker then any blog.

        And like I said, now that they ARE taking their businesses online with sites and blogs…the math is really quite simple.
        .-= Check out Dennis Edell´s awesome post: What Is Your Favorite/The Best Affiliate Marketing Forums? =-.

  28. BunnygotBlogNo Gravatar says:

    This is a tuffy. I started blogging as an outlet. I was working to hard at my day job. In actuality it has become a empowering experiences. I vent, I share freely and throughout it all find recognition to my feelings freeing me somewhat to how trivially they really are to a degree.
    Writing down your true emotions and putting them out there for all to read then you read it back and for some reason what you had been feeling and what has appeared in the text has changed. To me writing is a great way to clear the mind, it is a self given response to the reality in your life and not superficial.It is spiritual growth and acceptance to who you are.Cleansing of the soul.
    About the men thing, they always get recognition first. Or maybe we should just show them up. I am not going to go rampage on feminism. I feel women freely share more.We are more open to discuss problems and life.Where men are more private and have this brotherhood.
    Blogging forms unities. I think most men are agreeing with this.
    I truly think we are together on this blogging thing. I think men and women are receptive to an open front when blogging. A lot is being shared.
    .-= Check out BunnygotBlog´s awesome post: 12 On Blogging: Katie Clemons, “Making This Home” =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Bunny,

      That’s true, isn’t it? When we put our thoughts on paper (or in a blog post) it does clear our mind. It’s like it empties our mind for fresh information.

      I agree. Both men and women are uniting because of blogging. No matter what we’re sharing, it’s out there for others to learn from.

  29. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I’ve noticed that women in general are more open when they blog – especially when it comes to personal issues like health scares.

    But on some blogs, I couldn’t tell the gender of the blogger – especially if they have an unusual name. Do you remember when I thought Osako was a man? It was really embarrassing.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Catherine,

      Good point. I do remember when you thought Asako was a guy. And Nez too, he confused us with his pen name. But, they were both great writers with blogs that held tons of value. Sadly they’re both on hiatus or no longer blogging.

  30. I think as with all stereotypes….it depends.

    Yes, more women tend to write more emotional posts…and more men tend to write more edgy posts. But with that generalization, I’ve come across guys who could double as romance novelists and women who would put Bill Gates to shame with their business acumen.

    I simply write as I feel…and read what I want. Those whose blogs resonate with me…I continue to follow. That’s all.
    .-= Check out Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach´s awesome post: The Great Canadian Moose Riders – Today’s Humor of the Day =-.

  31. DaphneNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, thank you for starting this conversation. I definitely agree that many women bloggers write about things that resonate with other women. Personally, I started blogging about marriage, unemployment, and depression because I wanted to share with others and to find a community that would listen to and support me. I wanted to learn from others going through similar experiences. I wanted to get people thinking and questioning and speaking up about the things that are often taboo or whispered about, as you said. I think that problems are smaller when we have others to stand behind us and next to us, encouraging and supporting us and sharing wisdom with each other. It is all so much harder alone.
    .-= Check out Daphne´s awesome post: The Great Clothing Clean-out Project =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Daphne,

      You’ve put that so well I’ll say ditto and re-quote you. “I think that problems are smaller when we have others to stand behind us and next to us, encouraging and supporting us and sharing wisdom with each other. It is all so much harder alone.”

      Yes, it is much harder when we feel we’re alone.

  32. DotNo Gravatar says:

    Today’s lesson was on… how to generate comments! Good job! Yay for the women and men who took issue with the premise.

    Men’s voices are always heard in our culture, but as we’ve learned in so many other areas, such as literature, art, music, news, we have to speak for ourselves and promote ourselves to get heard.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Dot,

      That’s very true. If we don’t speak up, we’re don’t get heard. Fortunately with a blog, we get the opportunity to put it out there. How awesome is that?

  33. Gotta love Rosie the Riveter! I think the comments here that reflect content over gender ring truest. Solid, well though out content from a personal perspective is really what we’re all about when we blog. Produce that, and I think our ‘voices’ will continue to resonate with our readers.
    .-= Check out Florida Mortgage – Kevin Sandridge´s awesome post: Florida Mortgage Weekly Update: What’s Ahead for the Week of November 9, 2009 =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kevin,

      Yup! That Rosie is quite the gal.

      I agree. It’s not what gender is behind the words, it’s what the words are saying and how they make us feel, think and react. That’s the secret of great blogging. 🙂

  34. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    Wow Barbara you really hit upon a topic here…

    I just wish there had been blogging when I was home with 3 small children and one was hyperactive with Oppositional Defiant Disorder….I wrote in my journal but really had no one to talk too….

    I think as more women understand blogging, just like facebook it will become the same ratios as the society is now….so many of my friends are still stuck in reading magazines

    @aftercancer….the word cancer just makes people afraid they will catch it…no lie! Just knowing that I have had cancer makes people shy away .

    I think a blog might be slow starting but might eventually draw folks in?
    .-= Check out Patricia´s awesome post: Food as a Spiritual Practice =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patricia,

      You’re so right with that statement. Can you imagine how different things would be if we had blogs 20 or 30 years ago? Many parents were like you, worrying, wondering and often not having someone who identified with them. Now, parents can go online and within minutes find others who are facing the same problems, plus often find the perfect solution.

      I agree. As more people begin to “get” what blogging is, it’s popularity will increase immensely.

  35. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara.
    I am surprised by these numbers. And up until 6 months ago I would have thought there was a difference between how men and women blog. But now I believe that in a lot of cases it would be difficult to tell if a blogger were male or female. I once mistook a personal development blogger for a male, when they were in fact, female. I’ve read heart-felt posts written by men, and strong fiesty posts written by women… there’s a real gray area with blogging in this department as far as I’m concerned.
    .-= Check out Davina´s awesome post: 93 Million Miles From Home =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Davina,

      That’s true. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the gender of a blogger. If they use a pen name, how would we know for sure? Or like JD said, she used initials and many assumed she was a guy. And we can’t make assumptions based on the topic of the blog. But it can be embarrassing if we comment and say “she” or “he” and we get it wrong. Yikes!

  36. “some women are revisiting their love of writing after putting it on the back burner for many years” This is wonderful, yes!

    I have actually thought 2 bloggers were women when actually they were men, one because he spelled his name with an “ie” at the end instead of the traditional “y.” Luckily he never did find out I thought for months he was a man. But the other guy, whoops, that was embarassing.

    And I am surprised to hear you only started blogging in ’07, to me you seem much more seasoned than that.

    Cheerio!
    .-= Check out Jannie Funster´s awesome post: Mystery Blogger “Over The Top” Meme` =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jannie,

      I like that, too. How many are revisiting their love of writing and doing it with a blog.

      You’re right. Some of the names people use can be confusing. But, unless they give us a hint, how would we know?

      March of 2010 will mark my third year of blogging – then onto year 4. WooHoo.

  37. Hi Barbara,

    Before I wrote my first post at Life’s Little Inspirations, I thought for sure my entire audience would be women. I didn’t think that with a name like that a single man would be interested enough to click. Boy was I ever shocked when my first ever comment was from a MAN!

    And it never really did tip very heavily one way or the other, it seems that both men and women go through life with the same need for an inspirational pick me up now and then. Surprised me to find that I harbored that tiny prejudice and I learned to get rid of that bit of gender bias and open myself up to be willing to see the soul in men too. It isn’t just for women anymore 🙂

    We attract what we project I think…our physical gender isn’t the issue, it’s our soul interests and heart thoughts that are coming through, much louder then our words.
    .-= Check out Wendi Kelly-Life’s Little Inspirations´s awesome post: San Francisco Simple =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lori,

      You’re right. Many times we do assume if we write what we think is a “girly blog” we’re only going to attract ladies, but like you said, men are also interested in those subjects.

      I like how you ended your comment and do agree; we attract what we project (good and bad), and that’s not gender specific.

  38. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. this a really interesting topic – as you’ve elicited q & as from your blogging friends. Personaly I read the things that interest me – I like to learn, to improve myself .. so I guess most friends here have blogs I respect and relate to.

    I love cooking .. but most of the blogs are commerical or frankly dull – there are a few really interesting ones I enjoy (one in particular). I wouldn’t look at Mommy blogs, or kids blogs .. don’t have = don’t do! Same for male blogs aimed at the macho man, or cars etc etc ..

    If a man started a blog would he be aiming high and powerful, would he be more pushy to succeed? Obviously not all! Would they tend to be research type blogs .. I’ve come across those, some are really interesting .. but most are too dull.

    I wasn’t sure what to do, nor am completely sure .. but I mull things over, as I nurse my little blog along .. I don’t come from a journalistic background .. therefore my mind is clear to opportunities – these are the best blogs and some are definitely here.

    I heard today an interesting comment after watching the Armistice Service at Westminster Abbey, with the full British cermonial respect for our fallen in World War 1, when so many men lost their lives. At that point the world as we know it today changed – women got the vote, and started to be respected, as the commentator said “women wore the trousers” .. I’m sure we’re still finding our feet – but the net and blogs have opened the door that much further = we all now do have voice.

    The other point that I think is advantageous to women .. are that we are often left holding the baby literally .. and in this regard there is not support by society for the women, who truly do need help because of their disabled child, or a child that has a major problem. A friend has one, and the father just upped and left, and this woman has to care for her child 24 hours a day, work, do the paperwork for any support and fight for her rights … usually (and not always) it’s the women who have this challenge. Now is a good time where they can ‘expose’ and just chronicle their lives and the difficult time they face.

    We, who do not have these challenges, can learn from others ..

    I love your blog, I love your readers’ blogs and I dont’ care M or F .. as long as I find them interesting and they suit me .. and people will reply to my comment left (as I know you do!!).

    Thanks to you all .. Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Hilary,

      What you said is very true. Women who in the past didn’t have a voice, now do. And even if what they or a man writes doesn’t interest everyone, chances are, there are readers out there who can empathize with them.

      Thank you for your kind words, Hilary. Like you, gender doesn’t matter to me either – just give to good content.

  39. Blogger DadNo Gravatar says:

    I would’ve thought the opposite were true as nearly 90% of the blogs I read are by women.

    When it comes to matters of the heart, I think women probably blog more about such topics as *most* women are more in touch with their inner selves and less afraid to express their emotional sides than guys. However, there are also plenty of introspective guys out there.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Blogger Dad,

      That’s true. We can find both female and males bloggers who get in touch with their inner selves. What I find is (some) women are more descriptive of their emotions than most men. (based on the blogs I visit)

  40. Hi Barbara, thanks for your post. I agree with you. Now a days females can do things that men can’t. They are the forcing element behind males and vice verse. But before posting thinks like this keep in mind that,it wont hurt the readers especially men. I liked your note very much. You can see it in the comments. Thank you.
    .-= Check out propane burner´s awesome post: Using Propane Burner =-.

  41. Barbara, I respect girls and the actions they do. I am sure that girls can do things that are impossible to men?
    .-= Check out propane gauge´s awesome post: Propane Gauge Guide =-.