Because they don’t have friends! – so said Freda Ross Head Teacher of Pencaitland Primary School on Tuesday when I pointed her towards my blog entry on SELS. The disciplinary papers are in the post!
But does she have a point ?- the majority of exc-el bloggers are male. Why are women more reticent to blog – or do they just have more friends?
I think part of the problem – if indeed it is a problem – is to do with the idea that blogging has a technical focus. If this is the case this I think we need to do everything in our power to overcome this barrier by focussing upon the process and the value of communication – as opposed to the technological background
I’d like to think technical focus would be bottom of most women’s list of why they don’t blog.
There are numerous reasons why women do not blog . I think the top reason every woman will give you is time. I have however taken up the challenge and created our school blog this week if only to add to the small number of female bloggers.
Its interesting though your point regarding technology boys and girls in our schools do definitely use technology differently and prefer different aspects. I suspect girls prefer chat rooms and as women we prefer to email and text since its more private. Blogging after all is too public for many women.
Why are most CEOs, managers and senior promoted staff male? I think that whatever the reason for that might be will be the same for the reason there are so many more male bloggers. Blogging, though, implies you’re vocal, which is traditionally a female quality – all the research says so , at least.
I don’t think it’s just because I don’t have any friends :smile . We are learning so much at the moment about the different ways that boys and girls learn. In particular about the impact that ICT has on boys motivation as well as their learning. There is something about having an audience and something about the presentation amongst a variety of other things that are really quite hard to define. My son is sitting his Highers this year. He is a very clever young man who will do very well but his written work is appalling. Give him an online space to do his work and it changes dramatically. Boys and presentation? Put it online and see the difference. Perhaps a redressing of the balance in relation to communication skills is afoot! Men and blogging? The same chemistry seems to be going on.
P.S. there are lots of excellent examples of female bloggers.
This female is really enjoying blogging! 2 reasons: 1) I work on my own most of the time so don’t have anyone to talk to during the day except on the phone/Skype; 2) I can say a lot of things I’ve been thinking without worrying about that bored glazed expression that comes over peoples faces. After all, you choose/don’t choose to read. If I had a real job (!), I wouldn’t have time… But then I probably wouldn’t use the technology either as it’s that that lets me work on my own.
btw Ewan – you should have read Guardian G2 earlier this week – they wired up a male & female reporter for sound for a day & found both spoke approx the same number of words… Myths & legends
I spotted that piece, although she had forgotten to turn her recorder on for two hours. But there are always fewer women at tech or blogging events, too. I was pleasantly surprised on Wednesday’s online info conference in London with the 50/50 split, but then it was back to the suits on Thursday at Mediatech. I’ve got to go and catch the train back up to Scotland, but someone might want to run a wee check on the sex of the top 100 bloggers. I think lots of women blog, as many as men perhaps, but I’d be keen to see who the most prominent ones are and fgind out why.
Ewan hit a nail on the head which helped me consolidate my feelings on this issue. He mentions, “tech or blogging events.” I’m not sure if these are two names for the same type of event, or two discrete phenomena.
Were I to attend an event about, say, public speaking or inventive uses of radio, I could feel sure that communication would be at the heart of the matter. Currently we are enjoying new, rapidly changing technology and necessarily, the tools themselves feature heavily in the debate. I very much doubt that women are frightened away by the technology involved, but I could sympathise with those who might walk away, were it to seem that the technology was the raison d’être of the exercise.
To construct a clumsy parallel: if you were invited to go for a drive through stunning country scenery which car would get in – one where people would enthuse about the view – or about the car?
I agree with you, Alan, but most of the blog and tech events I tend to go to are with the people making the tools that make online relationships possible, so there has to be certain degree of talking about the tech and design aspect.
But when I was at the Online Info and MediaTech conferences people liked the fact that we drove the discussion away from tech and into how people relate to each other online. But I wasn’t alone in wanting to talk about this and the panel’s discussion was great, being 99% about how we get people to communicate more deeply online. I genuinely think that the people who go to these events tend to go with the relationships and not the tech in mind.
That’s encouraging, Ewan. Do you think it’s seen like that from the outside? Even my low-tech contribution has been described (by a friend, I hasten to point out) as geeky.
I don’t think this group of people care what people on the outside think as long as those people are using their tools. What they are concerned at now is, as Esther Dyson said, “Nobody cares because most of the world don’t have internet”. It’s not so much the lack of internet but the lack of use of new tech tools by those who do. So the designers are talking more about usability which leads them to speak to people like me to look at how people use the net. All different cogs in the mechanism, if you like 😉
Freda must be running out of friends?!!
Women often don’t blog because we are too busy! Too busy doing what others talk about! We are also not so conceited to think that others are intereseted in what we are thinking – we are too ahead of the game! That much self relfection suggests too much time on our hands and too much thought.
I spend about an average of 10 minutes a day writing on my blog, the thoughts coming pretty naturally from what I have been learning throughout the day. I write for myself, to remember good things people told me about. Instead of pounding on in my own way I want to take 10 minutes so that I don’t forget what was good, bad and indifferent from the day.
I’m not conceited to think that others are interested in what I have to write about my work – if they aren’t interested they needn’t read it. The blog is not for them, it’s for me.
Blogging’s also been a timesaver for me, meaning that I don’t have to explain things to different people all the time. I can just send them a weblink and they’ll have all the info they need to be empowered to do something new or different themselves.
I’m interested to know if you’ve tried blogging your own thoughts. Surely you do have some 😉 I wonder what the impact might be in the long term for both you and others if you were able to share.