Why female blogs don’t reach the top of Technorati
While websites with a female slant are on the increase, the blogosphere remains dominated by men.
But concept of the Female Web means women can exercise their natural instinct to form close-knit communities online.
Visits to UK women’s lifestyle sites grew by 52.5 per cent in the last year. These communities form around topics of related interest, and the most successful clusters of women on the web surround the basic need to shop, preen, and bitch.
Glam.com, a fashion and celebrity site, sees 43 million visitors a month. Oprah.com and iVillage are also popular homing grounds – comScore and Media Matrix ranked the latter as the number one online destinations for women. CafeMom is one of the largest social networking sites for mothers and ranked the eighth fastest-growing website in 2007. Double X launched last month and sites like Jezebel attract almost 900, 000 readers worldwide.
But despite the wealth of women-friendly sites attracting a global female network, blogging remains a gender-imbalanced activity.
Fiona Handscomb (left), 30, an arts and lifestyle blogger in Birmingham believes despite the idea of Female Web, blogging is male in nature.
“Men are more competitive and better at self-promotion,” she said, “And better at saying ‘Look, I’ve written this amazing blogpost, everyone go and look at it,’ where as women are less like that. Blogging works by self-promotion and establishing yourself in an online hierarchy.
“Most of the blogs I read are written by men. There are thousands of female bloggers but they do not decide to be as high profile. The problem is the internet is now a very competitive place – people are always going on about web stats and self-promoting their blogs via Twitter.”
Mrs Handscomb believes by nature women should be more suited to blogging, but are deterred by its image and might not reach as high on Technorati’s top blogs list because they are less worried about stats.
“There is still the perception that blogging is for techy geeks which is off-putting for women. But women are darn good at blogging because its style is informal, chatty and conversational, which is naturally suited to women.
“Blogs written by men tend to be a little bit more factual and are really into social media so they constantly refer to or link to others. Women tend to blog more about life issues rather than the internet itself. I know there are lots of women who are into technology, but they tend to write about it in the context of life. For example, I was very interested in the increase of geo-tagging, so I wrote a blog on it, but looking more in general about why people were interested in their sense of place.”
Mrs Handscomb said some aspects of the web aren’t female at all because relationships via Twitter are not as intimate as in real life.
“The web is associative and that’s a female tendency. Social media is the largest function of the internet now and has surpassed email. But there is something quite destructive about it too. It is an unreal way of developing relationships. You can turn Twitter on and off, but you can’t just switch off relationships. Also, people aren’t always honest on the internet so you don’t get to the nitty gritty of people. People put themselves across a certain way on Twitter, but in real relationships people see the bad bits as well. The internet is not intimate and personal enough to be female.”
Read Fi’s blogs here: