Why don't more women comment more on blogs...?
In the seven weeks since we launched the MarketingProfs Daily Fix, I've been reading a lot more blogs more closely. I've noticed an overwhelming number of male "commenters," but far fewer female commenters. Evidence purely anecdotal, and from a single observer.
Just for kicks, I checked the Daily Fix blog logs. Since it launched several weeks ago, 447 comments have been left on 191 blog entries (posted by 33 authors) and on 647 news stories. Of those 447 comments, 50 were from me, so I eliminated them off the top, since... well, it's my baby, so of course I'm extra chatty and involved.
That means that of the 397 remaining comments, about 134 were from women. I say "about," because some judgment calls were involved: I based my unscientific research on the implied gender of a commenter's first name, and there were a few gender-neutral names belonging to people I haven't met.
Anyway, so far, 33.75 percent of the Daily Fix commenters are female and 66.25 percent are male--that's a 1:1.96 ratio of male to female commenter, close enough to 1:2. In other words, two male commenters for every female commenter.
I know--so what? Well, there is a point to this.
My good friend and marketing-to-women consultant Andrea Learned, who writes for this blog as well as her own, has long said that women in general are less linear and more "connective." In a recent blog post, she writes about the differences in how men and women shop online.
In part: "Women scan," she writes. "Men Dig." "Women expand the mission," she says. "Men stick to the mission."
So I'm wondering... if women are less linear, and blogs (and their billions of offshoots, side conversations, and tangential links) make them about as un-linear as content gets, why aren't more women into them? And if women are so connective, and blogs are so connective, why wouldn't women be chiming in more?
It's possible that women are reading blogs but aren't commenting on what they read. Or it's possible, as my friend Mack says, that women are commenting in spades on some blogs (like Heather Armstrong's dooce.com) but not on others.
But, in either case, why do blog comments appear to be dominated by men? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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