Since I have started this journey out of the safety of the adoption Blog world, I have noticed something very interesting. I have this job at Blogg.io. Which is really excellent as I was actually qualified for this job because I blogged. Blogg.io has forced me to get out of my comfort zone and see the big picture.
So now I pay attention to ratings and SEO and my job is, to a degree, to find the key Bloggers and relate to them on their levels. After all, blogging is about building relationships so if I need to know and really to care about what the top bloggers are writing about. Currently, I am running all over the web reading about this whole new world, about PR and marketing, monetizing blogs, and ad sense, and wow…I have to say it is pretty damn interesting.
Ok, enough preamble. Here’s what has really stuck with me in the past few days: there is a gender difference in the Blogosphere. The official top blogs according to Technorati are consistently Engadget, Gizmodo, Techcrunch, Boing Boing, Lifehacker, ArsTechnica, ProBlogger, and the Huffington Post. They win, hands down over and over again. There are a few more, but really, the ONLY two of these that are associated with women is the Huffington Post‘s Arianna Huffington and the editor of Lifehacker, Gina Trapani, and there are writers of both sex on those and they write about politics and news and technical stuff and I am not saying that to discredit it, but to make my point.
The top blogs are about technology, gadgets, business, news, politics, and how to make money from blogs or marketing. The only things “soft” that make it to the top lists? Hollywood gossip and “cute” things like IcanhasCheezburger. While they might be amusing and have subscribers, really, they are not going to change the way people think about the world. Plus, these are not the blogs that are making money.
They guys that do make money off their blogs? They are the ones who are talking about making money off their blogs and I find myself, a female blogger who has a niche blog with not ONE ad on it, totally out on my own. I am supposed to talk about how to make money from a blog and I don’t. I mean, I can NOW begin to write about it because all I have been doing in the past three weeks is reading about marketing one’s blog, gaining subscribers, generating ad revenue, but I don’t do any of this by practice..and really NO OTHER WOMEN SEEM TO WITH GREAT SUCCESS.
Oh wait… there is Dooce who ranks #58 and apparently supports a family of three according to Heather‘s “about” page. But the blogs that consistently make it to the top are either exclusively made up of men, or write about “men’s things”.
Let’s take a look at this shall we?
Blogging has been deemed, by more than one, to be about “building relationships”.
Business, marketing, public relations, search engine optimization, gadgets, making money, politics, news, what Google, Microsoft or Yahoo are doing, etc. all gain high subscribers, all lend themselves to ads and reach top popularity. And this is the stuff that seems to be exclusive to men for the most part. They call it relationships and all seem to refer to each other and be buds, but wow, I am sorry, it’s like a New Old boys’ network.
Women write about other things. We do knitting, or crafts, or DYIs, or the mommy blog, or the breast feeding blog, or the infertility blog, or like me, the adoption blog, or we are just snarky and write about all kinds of other things. And we do build these huge networks and relationships but…they really don’t make the big lists.
I mean even looking at Blogher, a social network made for women who do blog and the top articles on there today are: Horoscope, fresh herbs, the primaries, Yahoo vs., Facebook, Diet soda and Arthritis, another campaign article, TV and sexism and kids, eco scare films, buying books and friends keeping one grounded. Now, granted three of the ten listed are about “hard issues”, politics and techno stuff, but they are on the Blogher blogs, not “out there”, so guess what? They don’t count! Not to be mean, but they are in their self created microcosm. Which means that, no matter how successful Blogher becomes, and no matter how many relationships are built, it is still a larger, isolated fishbowl.
I see it…I have participated in it…and yet I don’t get it. It’s another glass ceiling, created in an place where there are no rules, and there should not be a ceiling. But it’s there and I want to break it.