There has been a lot of back and forth on geek acceptance and geek ladies recently. I was originally planning to write a post promoting the “few” female blogs/sites I follow, intending to demonstrate that none of these ladies are poseurs in any way. And I came to an interesting realization…
Out of the 67 geek-related blogs I follow, 43 of them are written by women. And another 8 have regular contributions by women.
I don’t post those numbers to brag, not even humblebrag, as The Nerdist Chris Hardwick would say. Truth is, I knew I followed a fair number of geek girl blogs, but I never really payed attention to the numbers. Gender is never a factor for me when scoping out a new blog. My cunning scientific method for determining whether I follow a blog goes a little something like this:
- Read blog. Is blog interesting and well written?
- If yes, add blog to my Google Reader queue. Enjoy.
- If no, do not add blog to my Google Reader queue. Enjoy not wasting time on boring blog.
Pretty simple, right? So then I went back through the blogs I am following and the blogs I used to follow and stopped AND the blogs I chose not to follow. Because there had to be a reason I was more interested in female-generated content than male. The obvious answer, that my first criteria (interesting and well-written) was culling the pack towards women was possible, but I didn’t think it told the whole story.
And reading back through blogs I had dropped or never followed in the first place confirmed that. Because I had dropped some very well-written and, at first blush, interesting blogs written by fellas. So I read back through those, three or four postings deep, and that is when I found the common thread that bound their exclusion from my Reader.
They were all negative posters. And negativity, at least in the long run, is not interesting to me.
What do I mean by negative? Of the posts I read through, most were of the, “Have you seen this thing and how much it sucks!?” variety. I can appreciate a post like that once, if it is something the writer feel very strongly about. Reviews, for instance; I enjoy a stinging, well-written, negative review as much as the next. But if I’m up to my metaphorical elbows in your blog and every entry is that same level of anger and contempt, then I’m calling it and scrubbing out. Worse than that, it seemed that most of these bloggers had no love for their hobby. They wrote like someone who was forced into getting a degree in geekology, and then used their degree to write scathing deconstructionist essays.
To be fair, there were a number of female-written blogs that had that same problem. And they got dropped, just like the nega-dudes. Because negativity is boring in the long run, and I have far too many blogs in my reader (I’d say low three-digits, only to not frighten you with the actual number) to waste my time on boring. I want to read blogs that share my love of geekery, that match or approach my level of enthusiasm for the hobby. And as it turns out, more women than men tend to write blogs like that.
I haven’t carried this through to other blogs in my reader. After all, only 67 of the [number redacted] blogs I follow are geek-related. But I will save that experiment for a day when I actually have the time to sort that many blogs. I would be interested in that final number, though, and whether it held up.
So to the 65% lady-bloggers and 35% gentleman-bloggers I follow for my geekery, I say thank-you and keep up the excellent work. To the male/female split going the other way I say: Maybe you need to examine why you are in the hobby, and especially why you are blogging about it and what you want to communicate to the rest of us.
So what about you, gentle reader? What do you look for in a blog? What makes you start/stop following?