I’m late to write up my thoughts on Gordon Mclean’s post, Strange Bias, but I give him a belated thumbs up for great self-inspection and data query in the post.
My take? I read ““Why James Chartrand Wears Women’s Underpants” on Copyblogger in December. It’s a great survivor story that you should read in its entirety, but the gist of it is that James is a pen name for a woman freelance writer, who writes the popular blog Men with Pens. Merely representing herself as a man made a real difference in her career trajectory. I was shocked, though, that she never had to talk to clients on the phone and that she never went to conferences or spoke at conferences.
It made me wonder if I’d have 10 times the subscribers to my blog if I had started in 2005 as Tom Gentle. It really did. But we are who we are, and being genuine and transparent is all part of my blogging experience. Many of the opportunities I’ve had in the past 4-5 years are somehow related to my blog and the work ethic it requires to maintain.
And to answer Gordon’s question, “is it just me?” I’d say, my experience with tech pub teams I’ve been on are that men are the slightly minority gender. If you believe Quantcast web stats about the STC website, you see that 61% of site visitors are female. I’ve also observed more women at tech comm conferences than men.
But, socializing being, well, social, means you tend to relate to people like yourself, right? So followers, friends, and fans, being self-selecting as they are, may prove that men follow men and women follow women. I think Twitter certainly reflects this tendency, since research shows men follow men on Twitter. And bloggers use Twitter far more than the general population (See the pie chart on the Day 5 report).
If you read Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere you see that 2/3 rds of all bloggers are men. So the 55% blogs written by men that Gordon reads actually differs from the predictive 66% overall population. A great observation, Gordon, well done.