Gender-Neutral Blogosphere?

My friend Mark Daniels raised an interesting question this week. He finds that most of those who comment on his site are women. I find that most of the commenters here are men. Incidentally, neither Mark nor I have any problem with the imbalance.

Before meeting Mark, my theory had been that the blogosphere, like talk radio, has a primarily male audience. What I realize is that like political talk radio, it is news and political blogs whose audience is primarily male. At least that's what I've assumed to explain the imbalanced ratio (at least in those who post comments). I could be wrong. That's happened before :)

Here's part of the comment I left for Mark in response to the question he posed about the disproportionate numbers of female readers to his blog.

1. Pre-packaged. Your content varies and is approachable regardless of one's previous knowledge about any given subject. If you've got women who are moms reading, their computer/research time is extremely limited and (if they have young children )relegated to approximately 10 minute segments. Your posts are user-friendly in that way. Perhaps it's the teacher in you :)

2. Content. You cover a broad range of content. I have found that I have more women responding on my "non-political" days now. Not that they can't comment on politics. Maybe the non-political strikes our relational capacity. I don't know. I do know that even I have loved the kind of discussion (like the Pet Peeve day) that has ensued on those days. Many more women were engaged on that topic.

What are your thoughts?


At 11/04/2005 06:34:00 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Lores, I visit your blog and comment because I have a crush on you, but if you ask me, I'll deny everything.

At 11/04/2005 07:26:00 PM, Anonymous sleep-deprived said...

Both points one and two hit the nail on the head for me. It's a rare occasion when I can sit down for an extended period of time to write. As usually happens, I sit down to write, and something comes up and I have to tend to the little boys (not yet 2 and 3 1/2). I leave the computer...usually just deleting what I've begun to write. Or I sit down to write and the baby decides he's hungry again...repeat above.

While I enjoy reading the news posts, I have a feeling of vested interest in the gender issues. And the lighter issues lend themselves to quicker comments. Plus, I have help on the weekend :)

Speaking of interruptions...it's the baby this time :)

At 11/04/2005 08:15:00 PM, Blogger Mark Daniels said...

First of all, you should know that I'm flattered.

It will be interesting to see what other feedback you receive to this question.

Have a good weekend.

Blessings in Christ,
Mark Daniels

At 11/04/2005 10:04:00 PM, Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Hmm....I seem to visit the blogs I do, irregardless of blogger-gender. Mark Maness found me, within minutes of my first post, I believe. Stunned me. Through him, I've found some of the other people whose blogs I frequent. I believe that includes yours, Lores.

So, I don't really have an answer for why you have more male visitors and mark daniels has more female ones.

Of course, that pretty photo of yours in the profile corner of the page could indeed explain some of the visits....

I guess I come here due to habitual familiarity, your insight, and my familiarity with some of your readership. So there's a sense of community.

At 11/04/2005 11:29:00 PM, Anonymous david said...

I used to visit quite a few blogs on a regular basis--both left leaning and right leaning--but it was not really conducive to a decent discussion of political issues. If you disagreed with the position of the particular owner of the blog, you got "shouted down". I first heard Lores on the Sean Hannity show a few months back and while she was definitely conservative, she had a grace and style about her that was engaging. (As opposed to Hannity, lol) So she got a plug for the blog and I've been stopping by ever since. The main attraction for me is that, here, people can disagree without being disagreeable. I am sick and tired of what passes for political discourse in this country. From the radio talk shows to the television pundits, they are all trying to outdo each other with how nasty they can be. The bottom line for me is that I think the reason people come by here is because of you, sweet Lores. Simple as that.

Now we can all break into song: Sometimes you want to go, where everbody knows your name. And they're always glad you came...

At 11/04/2005 11:31:00 PM, Anonymous david said...

Oh, and I forgot my Friday sendoff: Que dios los Bendiga.

At 11/04/2005 11:32:00 PM, Blogger Jaymeister said...

Speaking for myself personally: I'm very selective about where I post comments. For example, I try to avoid posting on religious topics, for reasons I've explained elsewhere but won't get into now. On political issues I tend to only comment if I either have an opposing opinion, or one that concurs from a sufficiently different angle that I feel contributes something to the discussion. I'm not really into "Amen corner" type comments. But I also avoid commenting to a post in which the belief system at its premise is so far off from my own that the discussion seems irreconcilable. But if the topic is something fun and/or trivial, I'm all over it! The gender of the blogger is of no issue to me. (But Lores would probably enjoy a female conservative blogger in Canada who does a blog called "Small Dead Animals".)

I like to come here for the same reason as Mark M. Hey, if there's hope for Carville... :-)

At 11/04/2005 11:48:00 PM, Anonymous aj4runner said...


I can't believe that you are not into 'Amen Corner'. It is just amazing! Check it out here:





At 11/05/2005 01:47:00 AM, Blogger Jaymeister said...


Touche! THAT is the Amen Corner I can get into. If I can arrange for Tiger and Weirsy to join, would you be up for a foursome?

At 11/05/2005 02:00:00 AM, Anonymous Dave Lucas said...

I tend to get more comments from women... some men get upset that I often link to and praise female bloggers! Go figure! Well, it's no secret I really enjoy your blog Lores, as well as Michelle Malkin's and Wendy Cheng's and a few other ladybloggers... there are more than a few guys in my blogroll...

At 11/05/2005 04:29:00 AM, Anonymous aj4runner said...


Yes, I'd even walk all the way there from here in Colorado with my golf bag on my shoulder for an opportunity to play there with Tiger, Weir and yourself.

Figuring that I can walk about 50 miles a day divided into say 1500 miles... please give me one month's notice if you are going to hold me to my declaration of walking all the way there. ;)



At 11/05/2005 04:33:00 AM, Anonymous aj4runner said...

Just based on observations I'd say the participation on the blogosphere and internet is roughly about even between men and women, girls and boys. In fact I do not know of anyone, male or female, who isn't on-line and expressing themselves somewhere on the web.

At 11/05/2005 05:35:00 AM, Blogger Jaymeister said...

What a dream come true that would be. I'll volunteer to carry you and both our golf bags from Colorado to Georgia for that. I still have the photo of Tiger putting the green jacket on Mike as the background on my computer. I hope he gets himself healthy and back strong next year.

As for the topic at hand (sorry for the digression, Lores), I actually know very few people who look at blogs, much less participate in them. The ones that do are all male. I try to encourage people to get involved in blogs, even non-political ones. (Or especially non-political ones on some days.)

At 11/05/2005 07:29:00 AM, Blogger JCOsmom said...

Lores, I think your male bloggers have made it QUITE clear why they blog here..(I think the appropriate cliche would be to say "You go, girl!") For me, as a woman who occasionally chimes in here, I know I avoid some of the political discussions because I have nothing to add. Your male contributors (and some females) do an excellent job on their research and facts. I don't have the time to research all those stats and know enough to contribute to much of the political discussions here.(I even had to stop writing this to help my coughing son. And so it goes...Sleep-deprived, I'm with you!) I do my best to keep informed enough to vote or to have a general discussion with someone if necessary. However, any chance to give my opinion on a topic that involves morals or just plain common sense and I'm in!

At 11/05/2005 09:14:00 AM, Blogger Lores Rizkalla said...

Ok, so I have to admit that I'm not sure how to reply to some of the comments. First, I feel like I need to say that I didn't post this in order to get compliments. I thank you for the very encouraging--and even flattering (blushing)--words you shared.

It is, for the most part, as I suspected. I have found that for the most part the political blogosphere is gender neutral and doesn't care whether a male or female is writing what they are interested in reading.

Dave: I'm surprised that you have had guys give you a hard time for linking to women bloggers! That's the first I've heard of such a thing in the blogosphere. Dave, tell your friends that this is now the 21st century and they are welcome to jump in any time now! :)

sleep-deprived and JCOsmom (aka Kim): thanks for the mom perspective. i, for one, love it when you chime in on any and all topics!

david, aj and wordsmith: i always appreciate your input as well. it has become quite a little community, huh? :)


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