Contra Costa Times looks at women bloggers

The Contra Costa Times (a newspaper in Northern California) looks at why there aren't many women bloggers on the A list.

They totally missed a major reason.

What's that? Attendance at the early Silicon Valley geek/blogger dinners. Mena Trott (co-founder of Six Apart) was there. But there weren't many women who attended those early dinners back in 2002/03 (which were open to the public and free to attend). It was those early dinners that caused a whole bunch of blog networks to be built.

I find I build mental brands of bloggers I meet face-to-face and probably do link to those bloggers more often than people I don't know at all.

I'm very fortunate cause Maryam has started blogging too. She has introduced many female bloggers to me (I think that's how I've met many of the bloggers quoted in this article) and reminds me of when someone in her circle of friends writes something that would be interesting to my readers.

Another problem, though, goes deeper than just face-to-face networks. It's that women aren't going into computer science and don't hang out wherever geeks congregate. The next time you go to a user group or a geek dinner or a computer conference or visit a computer science department at a major university, look around. You'll probably see mostly men. (The first industry conference I helped plan, back in the early 90s, had 425 male attendees and two female and the numbers haven't gotten much better since then).

Does this matter for our industry? Yes, it does.

How? Well, our industry is moving from a feature-oriented one to one where culture and aesthetics and ease of use wins. Why is Apple so successful? Cause it's products don't just have great features, they are fashionable and tie in well with cultural trends.

When I was in Paris I talked with Anina, the fashion model who blogs. She looked at our new cell phones and gave me about 20 suggestions on how to make them more appealing to people who care about fashion and culture. I videotaped her ideas and they stuck with me. Will those ideas get heard at Microsoft? It's difficult because our internal culture is so male dominated.

We're blowing a huge opportunity here by not listening to women and not hiring more of them to develop more of our products and services.

Comments

  1. question in play ?? what exactly is an “a-lister”

    There are wrong theory’s at play here. There are powerful voices out there – Tara Hunt, Rebecca Blood, Mena. Xeni the list goes on. The issue here that the main echo chamber in is a clusterF$%K of ego’s (male)

    “The next time you go to a user group or a geek dinner or a computer conference or visit a computer science department at a major university, look around. You’ll probably see mostly men” !!

    I disagree, we had a fair share of turnout for Mesh06.

  2. question in play ?? what exactly is an “a-lister”

    There are wrong theory’s at play here. There are powerful voices out there – Tara Hunt, Rebecca Blood, Mena. Xeni the list goes on. The issue here that the main echo chamber in is a clusterF$%K of ego’s (male)

    “The next time you go to a user group or a geek dinner or a computer conference or visit a computer science department at a major university, look around. You’ll probably see mostly men” !!

    I disagree, we had a fair share of turnout for Mesh06.

  3. I am a non-geek blogger, and see discussions about this constantly — even though many — most? — of the blogs I read are by women, many of them geeks of one sort or another.

    I might suggest that Microsoft and other companies solicit the assistance of women bloggers in assessing and designing their products; especially women bloggers who are not geeks. We are likely to be tech-friendly, but not so savvy that our input would be more of the same.

  4. I am a non-geek blogger, and see discussions about this constantly — even though many — most? — of the blogs I read are by women, many of them geeks of one sort or another.

    I might suggest that Microsoft and other companies solicit the assistance of women bloggers in assessing and designing their products; especially women bloggers who are not geeks. We are likely to be tech-friendly, but not so savvy that our input would be more of the same.

  5. Robert, you’ve had “theme” weeks where you limit your blogging to certain patterns or topics. Why not do a week where you only link to great, non-A-list women? And, include non-geeks, too — women who blog on politics, life, entertainment, sports, whatever… Of course, this means you have to go out and actually find them … But it might be a worthy exercise. Put your links where your mouth is … or something like that.

  6. Robert, you’ve had “theme” weeks where you limit your blogging to certain patterns or topics. Why not do a week where you only link to great, non-A-list women? And, include non-geeks, too — women who blog on politics, life, entertainment, sports, whatever… Of course, this means you have to go out and actually find them … But it might be a worthy exercise. Put your links where your mouth is … or something like that.

  7. Robert, it’s not that Apple has a secret cabal of estrogen that no one knows about. Nor is Steve talking to Oprah to get in touch with his “feminine side”.

    It’s that Apple doesn’t dismiss the concerns of non-geeks. They look at what works in the non-geek world, and use that. Look at car commercials. Some of the most effective car ads don’t tell you *anything* about specs. They just show the car being used. Apple knows that selling to geeks is ignoring a vast population, so they don’t. They sell to people who don’t care about specs. Who don’t care about features. They sell to people who just want it to work, and not require calling for help just to turn it on.

    They also don’t do a lot of “Design by committee” because designing by committee always sucks. You get too many cooks, and what do you get with too many cooks? Microsoft Broth.

    It’s easy to get better designs for things. Stop assuming that you can tweak your existing process. That only repeats every mistake you always make. Can you imagine if the X-Box team had done things “The Microsoft Way”? Ugh. You don’t need usability labs and committees and the rest. Just get the hell out of the geek bubble, sit quietly in a corner and listen to people. See what works in the non-computer world.

    Stop assuming that it’s not you. Because, as the iPod ad spoof showed, it most certainly is you.

  8. Robert, it’s not that Apple has a secret cabal of estrogen that no one knows about. Nor is Steve talking to Oprah to get in touch with his “feminine side”.

    It’s that Apple doesn’t dismiss the concerns of non-geeks. They look at what works in the non-geek world, and use that. Look at car commercials. Some of the most effective car ads don’t tell you *anything* about specs. They just show the car being used. Apple knows that selling to geeks is ignoring a vast population, so they don’t. They sell to people who don’t care about specs. Who don’t care about features. They sell to people who just want it to work, and not require calling for help just to turn it on.

    They also don’t do a lot of “Design by committee” because designing by committee always sucks. You get too many cooks, and what do you get with too many cooks? Microsoft Broth.

    It’s easy to get better designs for things. Stop assuming that you can tweak your existing process. That only repeats every mistake you always make. Can you imagine if the X-Box team had done things “The Microsoft Way”? Ugh. You don’t need usability labs and committees and the rest. Just get the hell out of the geek bubble, sit quietly in a corner and listen to people. See what works in the non-computer world.

    Stop assuming that it’s not you. Because, as the iPod ad spoof showed, it most certainly is you.

  9. Let’s see if I have this straight … if you weren’t part of a teeny-tiny social clique, which heavily skews well-off white men, in a small part of California, more than a decade ago, that’s “a major reason” you won’t be on the A-list (“those early dinners back in 1992/93″).

    You said it, not me! :-(.

    [PS - I suspect you're about to get flamed for the aesthetics/fashion-model parts of the post. Just a heads-up. Too bad Shelley Powers shut-down her blog.]

  10. Let’s see if I have this straight … if you weren’t part of a teeny-tiny social clique, which heavily skews well-off white men, in a small part of California, more than a decade ago, that’s “a major reason” you won’t be on the A-list (“those early dinners back in 1992/93″).

    You said it, not me! :-(.

    [PS - I suspect you're about to get flamed for the aesthetics/fashion-model parts of the post. Just a heads-up. Too bad Shelley Powers shut-down her blog.]

  11. This makes me think of Kodak’s marketing to women a couple of years back, which we studied in one of my management classes this past spring. If you make it interesting and easy for the majority of women to blog, they will. Right now there are so many ways to get involved (Blogger, WordPress, TypePad, Xanga, et al.), it’s almost overwhelming for the non-geeks.

    If anyone, Microsoft included, wants to see how vital it is to get women involved in your product or idea start by reading this article on Kodak.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05187/533671.stm

  12. This makes me think of Kodak’s marketing to women a couple of years back, which we studied in one of my management classes this past spring. If you make it interesting and easy for the majority of women to blog, they will. Right now there are so many ways to get involved (Blogger, WordPress, TypePad, Xanga, et al.), it’s almost overwhelming for the non-geeks.

    If anyone, Microsoft included, wants to see how vital it is to get women involved in your product or idea start by reading this article on Kodak.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05187/533671.stm

  13. Scoble: Why there aren’t many women bloggers on the A list

    Scobe considers an Contra Costa Times article on why there are so few A List bloggers

  14. Robert, say what? 1992? 1993? How is it that what did did not happen 13 and 14 years ago (long before blogging) affects how things are now? Please clarify… do you mean 2002/2003?

  15. Robert, say what? 1992? 1993? How is it that what did did not happen 13 and 14 years ago (long before blogging) affects how things are now? Please clarify… do you mean 2002/2003?

  16. This female blogger remembers when the net was young and identifying oneself as female meant opening oneself up to the multitudes of propositions from lonely geek-boys on IRC, MUDs and the web. This isn’t such a problem, now, but old gender-obscuring habits die hard. Oh course, I’m no A-lister (or even P-lister), but I tell myself I could be, if I’d just apply myself.

  17. This female blogger remembers when the net was young and identifying oneself as female meant opening oneself up to the multitudes of propositions from lonely geek-boys on IRC, MUDs and the web. This isn’t such a problem, now, but old gender-obscuring habits die hard. Oh course, I’m no A-lister (or even P-lister), but I tell myself I could be, if I’d just apply myself.

  18. OK, there may be a dearth of A-list women bloggers, but there are women bloggers out there, tons of them. They’re all over LJ forming communities of mommies, making fansites, and blogging their thoughts dear-diary style. They’re forming micro-communities together with a handful of friends and they are very active in these communities. They’re not A-list rockstars…A-list? They would say “who cares?” They’re making friends and forming bonds in the online world.

    [However, as a girl who *is* a geek, the full disclosure is that these blogs bore me to tears.]

    I’m glancing through my tech blogroll, & I see male bloggers dominate my list. “Blog” is not yet a household name…believe me, I’ve had to define “blog” 1000 times to the non-techies in my life. And for the non-techies of GenY (who are actually pretty techie), a blog is just that thing they read on myspace. Good blogs, blogs worth reading, are still *somewhat* the kingdom of the geeks, though thanks to BlogHer and the like, this is starting to change. But for now, the kingdom is still a bunch of boys.

  19. OK, there may be a dearth of A-list women bloggers, but there are women bloggers out there, tons of them. They’re all over LJ forming communities of mommies, making fansites, and blogging their thoughts dear-diary style. They’re forming micro-communities together with a handful of friends and they are very active in these communities. They’re not A-list rockstars…A-list? They would say “who cares?” They’re making friends and forming bonds in the online world.

    [However, as a girl who *is* a geek, the full disclosure is that these blogs bore me to tears.]

    I’m glancing through my tech blogroll, & I see male bloggers dominate my list. “Blog” is not yet a household name…believe me, I’ve had to define “blog” 1000 times to the non-techies in my life. And for the non-techies of GenY (who are actually pretty techie), a blog is just that thing they read on myspace. Good blogs, blogs worth reading, are still *somewhat* the kingdom of the geeks, though thanks to BlogHer and the like, this is starting to change. But for now, the kingdom is still a bunch of boys.

  20. The reason for the dearth of “a-list” (whatever that means) women bloggers is because few women write on technology.

    Observe: the most successful blogs are tech blogs because that’s what the majority of blog readers (“geeks”) are interested in.

    Amanda Congdon is doing alright.

  21. The reason for the dearth of “a-list” (whatever that means) women bloggers is because few women write on technology.

    Observe: the most successful blogs are tech blogs because that’s what the majority of blog readers (“geeks”) are interested in.

    Amanda Congdon is doing alright.

  22. Why does this matter, really? Does the fashion industry ask why there are not more heterosexual males in their industry? Is the fashion industry suffering becauses of it? I would imagine the auto industry has a higher percentage of males. Do they wring their hands over it? Is the auto industry (GM and Ford aside) suffering because of a lack of women?

    I somehow think women geeks would not really be in touch with the mainstream woman, just like the male geek is not in touch with the mainstream male. Applying the Title IX philosophy to the computer world won’t make technology more appealing to women. Do the data suggest that women are not consuming technology?

    Are there actual barriers to women entering the technology field? Do universities keep them from majoring in technology? Does Microsoft and other tech companies deliberately not hire women? Or could it be it’s simply not a field that appeals the the gender as much as it does a male? Should more men be going into fashion design? Nursing? Child care? Selling Mary Kay?

    Regardless of your gender, figure out how to give consumers what they will want.

    What problem would having more “A-list” (whatever the hell that means) women bloggers solve? Should gender matter more than what it is you have to say or offer? If someone makes something I want to buy or has something interesting to say, I really don’t care if they are male or female.

    When you say “our industry is moving from a feature one…” shows how out of touch MS has been all along. All people want is something that works; something they can use to solve their problems or make their lives easer. Easy of use has ALWAYS won! If MS didn’t have that approach from the beginning then they’ve succeeded in spite of themselves.

  23. Why does this matter, really? Does the fashion industry ask why there are not more heterosexual males in their industry? Is the fashion industry suffering becauses of it? I would imagine the auto industry has a higher percentage of males. Do they wring their hands over it? Is the auto industry (GM and Ford aside) suffering because of a lack of women?

    I somehow think women geeks would not really be in touch with the mainstream woman, just like the male geek is not in touch with the mainstream male. Applying the Title IX philosophy to the computer world won’t make technology more appealing to women. Do the data suggest that women are not consuming technology?

    Are there actual barriers to women entering the technology field? Do universities keep them from majoring in technology? Does Microsoft and other tech companies deliberately not hire women? Or could it be it’s simply not a field that appeals the the gender as much as it does a male? Should more men be going into fashion design? Nursing? Child care? Selling Mary Kay?

    Regardless of your gender, figure out how to give consumers what they will want.

    What problem would having more “A-list” (whatever the hell that means) women bloggers solve? Should gender matter more than what it is you have to say or offer? If someone makes something I want to buy or has something interesting to say, I really don’t care if they are male or female.

    When you say “our industry is moving from a feature one…” shows how out of touch MS has been all along. All people want is something that works; something they can use to solve their problems or make their lives easer. Easy of use has ALWAYS won! If MS didn’t have that approach from the beginning then they’ve succeeded in spite of themselves.

  24. Well, I don’t think it’s about MS vs Apple, though the design philosophy thing probably plays a huge part.

    I’m with dmad, I don’t think of a lack of A-list women bloggers as a problem to be solved.

    I’m thinking the comment is driven by some perception of imbalance. Maybe the problem is that too many male bloggers write about techy things and aren’t in touch with their feelings.

    Or maybe, just maybe, men and women, IN GENERAL, are made up differently, and normative behavior for one sex is slightly different than for the other?! Oh the heresy.

    Personally though, I could stand to see more quality bloggers (note that I wish I was one.) and less worry about race/sex/color/creed balance.

  25. Well, I don’t think it’s about MS vs Apple, though the design philosophy thing probably plays a huge part.

    I’m with dmad, I don’t think of a lack of A-list women bloggers as a problem to be solved.

    I’m thinking the comment is driven by some perception of imbalance. Maybe the problem is that too many male bloggers write about techy things and aren’t in touch with their feelings.

    Or maybe, just maybe, men and women, IN GENERAL, are made up differently, and normative behavior for one sex is slightly different than for the other?! Oh the heresy.

    Personally though, I could stand to see more quality bloggers (note that I wish I was one.) and less worry about race/sex/color/creed balance.

  26. Geeeee so if you weren’t aparta smugy elite-insider Sillycon Valleyish geeky-mashup in the early 90s, you don’t count?

    And I call out on “blogs”, heck the term wasn’t even invented until Mr. Robot Wisdom ran his great web page thru it (December 1997). Easy to look back, trying to fit the narrative, but that’s revisionist history. Heck, Mosaic for Windows didn’t hit until September 1993, for goodness sake. And in 1992 was anyone even TALKING about the web as we know it, much less blogs? That was still the BBS and Mondo 2000 era (and hypertext jabba jabba), maybe some Well’isms. But blogs? Not on your life. And dot.com mania and Geocities and Wired overhype didn’t even start a play until mid 90s. And Cameron Barrett, one of the oldest “blogs” but fired up in 1997. Well maybe “God”, err rather, ‘Dave Winer’ inventor of the earth and everything in it, has some “history”.

    Too bad Shelley Powers shut-down her blog

    I know, I know. The good ones tumble out, and the A List Class of 1993 “visionary” Toads rumble on forever.

  27. Geeeee so if you weren’t aparta smugy elite-insider Sillycon Valleyish geeky-mashup in the early 90s, you don’t count?

    And I call out on “blogs”, heck the term wasn’t even invented until Mr. Robot Wisdom ran his great web page thru it (December 1997). Easy to look back, trying to fit the narrative, but that’s revisionist history. Heck, Mosaic for Windows didn’t hit until September 1993, for goodness sake. And in 1992 was anyone even TALKING about the web as we know it, much less blogs? That was still the BBS and Mondo 2000 era (and hypertext jabba jabba), maybe some Well’isms. But blogs? Not on your life. And dot.com mania and Geocities and Wired overhype didn’t even start a play until mid 90s. And Cameron Barrett, one of the oldest “blogs” but fired up in 1997. Well maybe “God”, err rather, ‘Dave Winer’ inventor of the earth and everything in it, has some “history”.

    Too bad Shelley Powers shut-down her blog

    I know, I know. The good ones tumble out, and the A List Class of 1993 “visionary” Toads rumble on forever.

  28. It’s that women aren’t going into computer science and don’t hang out wherever geeks congregate. The next time you go to a user group or a geek dinner or a computer conference or visit a computer science department at a major university, look around. You’ll probably see mostly men.

    All true, all sad.

    Robert, here’s something you can do to help, if you’d like: the next time you’re talking to a woman about tech, ask her when the last time was that she wrote code. If she says she doesn’t, or that it was a long time ago, ask her why.

    It’s not that writing code is all-important; it’s that we need to bring attention to the fact that, well, unless you’re creating new stuff, you’re not truly participating. Why women aren’t contributing at the same rate is an interesting question, but (imo) there needs to be less focus on the women part and more on the code part. I’ll bet you get some fascinating responses.

    All in all, this is the same discussion that we’ve been having for years (although I think that when you wrote 1992/93 you meant 2002/3). Obviously, if we keep getting the same disappointing answers, then we’ve been asking the wrong questions. It’s time to come up with new questions if we want to move forward.

    Dori
    (Currently in NZ at a conference where I’ll be talking about code…)

  29. It’s that women aren’t going into computer science and don’t hang out wherever geeks congregate. The next time you go to a user group or a geek dinner or a computer conference or visit a computer science department at a major university, look around. You’ll probably see mostly men.

    All true, all sad.

    Robert, here’s something you can do to help, if you’d like: the next time you’re talking to a woman about tech, ask her when the last time was that she wrote code. If she says she doesn’t, or that it was a long time ago, ask her why.

    It’s not that writing code is all-important; it’s that we need to bring attention to the fact that, well, unless you’re creating new stuff, you’re not truly participating. Why women aren’t contributing at the same rate is an interesting question, but (imo) there needs to be less focus on the women part and more on the code part. I’ll bet you get some fascinating responses.

    All in all, this is the same discussion that we’ve been having for years (although I think that when you wrote 1992/93 you meant 2002/3). Obviously, if we keep getting the same disappointing answers, then we’ve been asking the wrong questions. It’s time to come up with new questions if we want to move forward.

    Dori
    (Currently in NZ at a conference where I’ll be talking about code…)

  30. [...] Robert Scoble schreibt darüber, dass es kaum Frauen auf der A-List der Blogger gibt. Und er bekommt wie zu erwarten eine Vielzahl von Kommentaren. Die reichen von "Frauen bloggen ja, aber halt über die Themen, die sie interessieren: Windeln, Spielplätze …" bis zu "Es ist doch ganz gleich, wer ein Blogg schreibt, ob Frau oder Mann, farbig oder weiß, Hauptsache der Inhalt stimmt." [...]

  31. …I understand the premise of the article and your response, but I’d like to point out that there are definitely some a-list bloggers *within certain sub-communities* in the blogosphere (Gretchen Ledgard at jobsblog before she left this April; Heather Solomon, who blogs about SharePoint/MCMS IU customization among other things; Betsy Aoki, who was until recently — when she moved over to Windows Live — the blogging queen of a matriarchy of her own creation. I suppose it depends, to a degree, where you look.

    Additionally, it’s worth considering that the lack of women a-list bloggers is a reflection of the relative under-representation of women in corporate America overall, regardless of blogging’s impact as a business/cultural phenomenon. I.e., which came first: the chicken (women are under-represented in the blogging a-list) or the egg (women are under-represented in corporate America)?

  32. …I understand the premise of the article and your response, but I’d like to point out that there are definitely some a-list bloggers *within certain sub-communities* in the blogosphere (Gretchen Ledgard at jobsblog before she left this April; Heather Solomon, who blogs about SharePoint/MCMS IU customization among other things; Betsy Aoki, who was until recently — when she moved over to Windows Live — the blogging queen of a matriarchy of her own creation. I suppose it depends, to a degree, where you look.

    Additionally, it’s worth considering that the lack of women a-list bloggers is a reflection of the relative under-representation of women in corporate America overall, regardless of blogging’s impact as a business/cultural phenomenon. I.e., which came first: the chicken (women are under-represented in the blogging a-list) or the egg (women are under-represented in corporate America)?

  33. Hi there.

    I run a non-profit organization and a related blog called The Remembering Site (.org and .blogspot.com). We make it easy for me to blog and for anyone, anywhere to write, archive, share and publish their life story.

    We have life stories from people around the US and the world – a 21 year-old blind woman, a 28 year-old man who wrote his story so his fiance would know more about him and say yes to marrying him; a 38 year-old woman serving in Iraq who was left at the step of a Mexican church at birth; a 38 year-old man in Cuba who has never driven a car; a 38 year-old woman who was raised in poverty but is now the author of 7 books; a 56 year-old British cancer survivor; an 86 year-old who grew up on the plains in Nebraska; and an 80 year-old woman in Uganda who witnessed the genocide are just a few of the biographies featured on
    our site.

    We’re a non-profit organization and would be so appreciative if all of you could link to our site and also mention it in one of your columns.

    Warmly,
    Dr. Sarah McCue
    Co-Founder
    The Remembering Site

  34. Hi there.

    I run a non-profit organization and a related blog called The Remembering Site (.org and .blogspot.com). We make it easy for me to blog and for anyone, anywhere to write, archive, share and publish their life story.

    We have life stories from people around the US and the world – a 21 year-old blind woman, a 28 year-old man who wrote his story so his fiance would know more about him and say yes to marrying him; a 38 year-old woman serving in Iraq who was left at the step of a Mexican church at birth; a 38 year-old man in Cuba who has never driven a car; a 38 year-old woman who was raised in poverty but is now the author of 7 books; a 56 year-old British cancer survivor; an 86 year-old who grew up on the plains in Nebraska; and an 80 year-old woman in Uganda who witnessed the genocide are just a few of the biographies featured on
    our site.

    We’re a non-profit organization and would be so appreciative if all of you could link to our site and also mention it in one of your columns.

    Warmly,
    Dr. Sarah McCue
    Co-Founder
    The Remembering Site

  35. Hi! I’m a female blogger and I love it, even though the technology is so far beyond me that I can’t even post pictures to my site. It always strikes me as odd that there are no instructions for simple procedures attached as a matter of course to blogs. No basic training, or clear, jargon-free explanations. I would welcome those so much. Also, I notice that the traffic on my site tends to be mostly from women although I think my material (I’m a university lecturer writing a book and commenting generally about the interplay between life and literature) is non-gender specific. Perhaps there’s a real niche research project here to study gender in discourse.

  36. Hi! I’m a female blogger and I love it, even though the technology is so far beyond me that I can’t even post pictures to my site. It always strikes me as odd that there are no instructions for simple procedures attached as a matter of course to blogs. No basic training, or clear, jargon-free explanations. I would welcome those so much. Also, I notice that the traffic on my site tends to be mostly from women although I think my material (I’m a university lecturer writing a book and commenting generally about the interplay between life and literature) is non-gender specific. Perhaps there’s a real niche research project here to study gender in discourse.

  37. Christopher: it’s ironic that you are sad about “good bloggers” dropping out of the game when I’ve been begging you to start a blog ever since I’ve known you (since 2003, if I remember right) and you refuse. So, you don’t get to throw rocks since you refused to even join the game.

  38. Christopher: it’s ironic that you are sad about “good bloggers” dropping out of the game when I’ve been begging you to start a blog ever since I’ve known you (since 2003, if I remember right) and you refuse. So, you don’t get to throw rocks since you refused to even join the game.

  39. Anon: it’s not just tech blogs, either. Look at the best political blogs. The men outnumber the women there, too, even if you include wonkette.

  40. Anon: it’s not just tech blogs, either. Look at the best political blogs. The men outnumber the women there, too, even if you include wonkette.

  41. Robert, by your logic, then Ballmer should STFU about Linux, since he refuses to join the game :-P

    Dude, blog software sucks ass. Hard. All of it. you want to know why LiveJournal and MySpace are so big? Because they’re easier to deal with. No comment spam, no trackback spam, etc. Just set up your account and go.

    with VERY little exception, Blogging software STILL isn’t something you just use. You have to maintain it and massage it, etc. You want more not-geeks? Get blog software out of the Model T design model and into the the Honda model.

    As far as women in blogging, the ones i know that blog do it because they like it as a thing, and they like the interaction. The ones that don’t? It’s because they just don’t care. They see no personal value in that kind of interaction with the random world. One woman I know is a really geeky IT manager, but she blogs about dogs and drumming, because that’s what she cares about, and likes to talk about. But she doesn’t use a “blogging” service, that’s too much like work.

    I’ve also found that most women I know just have better things to do than blog. They don’t see a point in the effort.

  42. Robert, by your logic, then Ballmer should STFU about Linux, since he refuses to join the game :-P

    Dude, blog software sucks ass. Hard. All of it. you want to know why LiveJournal and MySpace are so big? Because they’re easier to deal with. No comment spam, no trackback spam, etc. Just set up your account and go.

    with VERY little exception, Blogging software STILL isn’t something you just use. You have to maintain it and massage it, etc. You want more not-geeks? Get blog software out of the Model T design model and into the the Honda model.

    As far as women in blogging, the ones i know that blog do it because they like it as a thing, and they like the interaction. The ones that don’t? It’s because they just don’t care. They see no personal value in that kind of interaction with the random world. One woman I know is a really geeky IT manager, but she blogs about dogs and drumming, because that’s what she cares about, and likes to talk about. But she doesn’t use a “blogging” service, that’s too much like work.

    I’ve also found that most women I know just have better things to do than blog. They don’t see a point in the effort.

  43. I meant dinners and events in 2002/2003

    Oh, I coulda spared you a whole paragraph of history remakes. But gee, “1992/1993″ I saw as literal. I don’t always read double-meaing backtracking ‘extend and revise’ bloggerese that well. ;)

  44. I meant dinners and events in 2002/2003

    Oh, I coulda spared you a whole paragraph of history remakes. But gee, “1992/1993″ I saw as literal. I don’t always read double-meaing backtracking ‘extend and revise’ bloggerese that well. ;)

  45. I’m not sure why there’s not a lot of women at all these dinners, conferences, good ole boys networking events, etc., but I can tell you the reason that *I* don’t show up – it’s because I have three kids under 11 to take care of and a family to nurture. That to me is far more important than whisking away once a month to hear one more time why the A List of bloggers is so important and to berate myself as to why I’m not on that list.

    I took a quick look at my feed lists, and I was happy to see that it’s about neck and neck between men and women as far as subscriptions go. I subscribe to content, not gender or pecking order in the blogosphere.

  46. I’m not sure why there’s not a lot of women at all these dinners, conferences, good ole boys networking events, etc., but I can tell you the reason that *I* don’t show up – it’s because I have three kids under 11 to take care of and a family to nurture. That to me is far more important than whisking away once a month to hear one more time why the A List of bloggers is so important and to berate myself as to why I’m not on that list.

    I took a quick look at my feed lists, and I was happy to see that it’s about neck and neck between men and women as far as subscriptions go. I subscribe to content, not gender or pecking order in the blogosphere.

  47. I have looked at your blog and see that we share a passion for x-men! Since the new movie is on its way to theaters I have been doing some intense research on any and all information I can get. I’m sur eyou have seen this site before, but TheCinemaSource has an AWESOME collection of pictures, trailers, and cast interviews that really give you an inside link to the movie. Here’s the link:Hey guys! I am new to this site and am looking to chat with other x-men fans. I am so looking forward to the new X-men3 movie and actually found some really cool bios and trailers for it. If any of you are interested, here is the link: http://thecinemasource.com/exclusives/x3/

    -xwoman

  48. I have looked at your blog and see that we share a passion for x-men! Since the new movie is on its way to theaters I have been doing some intense research on any and all information I can get. I’m sur eyou have seen this site before, but TheCinemaSource has an AWESOME collection of pictures, trailers, and cast interviews that really give you an inside link to the movie. Here’s the link:Hey guys! I am new to this site and am looking to chat with other x-men fans. I am so looking forward to the new X-men3 movie and actually found some really cool bios and trailers for it. If any of you are interested, here is the link: http://thecinemasource.com/exclusives/x3/

    -xwoman

  49. Robert,
    I think something you overlooked, is that female bloggers are reluctant to share personal details or photos etc.. for security reasons. Without the personality and personal details, female bloggers do not achieve the notoriety or popularity that many of the male bloggers do.
    The world is a very different place for many female bloggers.
    Sharon Housley

  50. Robert,
    I think something you overlooked, is that female bloggers are reluctant to share personal details or photos etc.. for security reasons. Without the personality and personal details, female bloggers do not achieve the notoriety or popularity that many of the male bloggers do.
    The world is a very different place for many female bloggers.
    Sharon Housley

  51. Maybe part of the problem is this: people with lives do not need to live through blogs… people without them think they are the greatest thing in the world and everyone should be doing it (because otherwise they have no contact with “real” people.)

    Cool people, the hip people, the influencers you want, woman (who already have to deal with all sorts of come ons and those with families) are busy or not present.

    So, yes, show up at a geek conference and you have 500 geeky dudes who spend half their day on their blog. Is that a good thing?

    I strongly encourage anyone who is cool or interesting to not go to geek conferences and to not waste their time blogging.

  52. Maybe part of the problem is this: people with lives do not need to live through blogs… people without them think they are the greatest thing in the world and everyone should be doing it (because otherwise they have no contact with “real” people.)

    Cool people, the hip people, the influencers you want, woman (who already have to deal with all sorts of come ons and those with families) are busy or not present.

    So, yes, show up at a geek conference and you have 500 geeky dudes who spend half their day on their blog. Is that a good thing?

    I strongly encourage anyone who is cool or interesting to not go to geek conferences and to not waste their time blogging.

  53. Goebbels: What if we’re cool or interesting *because* we’re geeky? :-)

    Anyway, several comments seem to be pointing out that all the backscratching and fur-grooming needed for the high-level networking is hard to do for people who have other demands on their time. Thus, blogging is pretty much like every other (mainstream?) media hierarchy – those with the most access to power have the most chance at obtaining power themselves.

  54. Goebbels: What if we’re cool or interesting *because* we’re geeky? :-)

    Anyway, several comments seem to be pointing out that all the backscratching and fur-grooming needed for the high-level networking is hard to do for people who have other demands on their time. Thus, blogging is pretty much like every other (mainstream?) media hierarchy – those with the most access to power have the most chance at obtaining power themselves.

  55. Power. Might I ask, what is this power for? What do you do with it, you A-listers?

    I bet most of us blog because we love to write, or we have a passion we want to share, or we think better ‘out loud’, or we enjoy the contact with other folks who are far away but share some segment of the planet we care about –

    So, to reinforce some previous points: tech should be about the ends, not the means. The means should be effortless and as invisible as possible.

    And it’s not only women who prefer it that way.

  56. Power. Might I ask, what is this power for? What do you do with it, you A-listers?

    I bet most of us blog because we love to write, or we have a passion we want to share, or we think better ‘out loud’, or we enjoy the contact with other folks who are far away but share some segment of the planet we care about –

    So, to reinforce some previous points: tech should be about the ends, not the means. The means should be effortless and as invisible as possible.

    And it’s not only women who prefer it that way.

  57. To quote something Melinda Casino wrote on her blog Sour Duck, which in fact does have some applicability to all Z-listers:

    “There also seemed to be a taboo against admitting that women might have ambitions for anything other than the connecting with people online. For women to express the latter is, of course, socially acceptable – just like the new interest in knitting. This was a bit strange as it appeared that some of the women on the panel leveraged their careers with blogging. None of them could say, “Yeah, I like money. I like having it, and blogging has helped me get it, and I think women are ripped off because men have higher visibility through lists and hierarchies, and therefore gain more economically.” Or anything remotely like it. Yet this is a fairly obvious point to raise.”

  58. To quote something Melinda Casino wrote on her blog Sour Duck, which in fact does have some applicability to all Z-listers:

    “There also seemed to be a taboo against admitting that women might have ambitions for anything other than the connecting with people online. For women to express the latter is, of course, socially acceptable – just like the new interest in knitting. This was a bit strange as it appeared that some of the women on the panel leveraged their careers with blogging. None of them could say, “Yeah, I like money. I like having it, and blogging has helped me get it, and I think women are ripped off because men have higher visibility through lists and hierarchies, and therefore gain more economically.” Or anything remotely like it. Yet this is a fairly obvious point to raise.”

  59. I’d go to conferences if my employer would pay for it. In asked to go to Tech.Ed 2 years in a row. I have just about decided to send myself next year: it should be tax deductible for a PC Support Tech, even if I’m female, right? It really needs to be tax deductible, because it will cut into the funds I have for technology next year.

    I wonder what if anyone has done a study on a possible correlation between gender and employer willingness to send employees to conferences; my supervisor just got back from a SharePoint event in Seattle.

    I’m just halfway serious, I am, after all, a lowly desktop tech. Who sends their support staff anywhere?

    I am proud to be out of touch with the fashion slaves. If I’m buying Prada, dozens of pairs of pumps and war paint, how could I afford my precious computers? I’d rather have PDAs than pedicures any day!

  60. I’d go to conferences if my employer would pay for it. In asked to go to Tech.Ed 2 years in a row. I have just about decided to send myself next year: it should be tax deductible for a PC Support Tech, even if I’m female, right? It really needs to be tax deductible, because it will cut into the funds I have for technology next year.

    I wonder what if anyone has done a study on a possible correlation between gender and employer willingness to send employees to conferences; my supervisor just got back from a SharePoint event in Seattle.

    I’m just halfway serious, I am, after all, a lowly desktop tech. Who sends their support staff anywhere?

    I am proud to be out of touch with the fashion slaves. If I’m buying Prada, dozens of pairs of pumps and war paint, how could I afford my precious computers? I’d rather have PDAs than pedicures any day!

  61. “Goebbels: What if we’re cool or interesting *because* we’re geeky?”

    Whatever… but in that case, you are in these narrow little circles that Scobie loves so much so it doesn’t matter.

    Scobie is the one asking how to get women and cool people to give up their lives to geekdom and lame tech conferences (completely ignoring that Blogs are just a medium for all sorts of expression).

  62. “Goebbels: What if we’re cool or interesting *because* we’re geeky?”

    Whatever… but in that case, you are in these narrow little circles that Scobie loves so much so it doesn’t matter.

    Scobie is the one asking how to get women and cool people to give up their lives to geekdom and lame tech conferences (completely ignoring that Blogs are just a medium for all sorts of expression).

  63. Isn’t it a bit bizarre and contradictory to claim that blogs form electronic networks and conversations, but that you can only build them by first meeting in person?

    “Hey, hey… Nice to meet you. Now that we’ve got to know each other… let’s get online and get (im)personal. Because I’m a cool geek incapable of holding a conversation beyond what’s your name, email, and blog address.”

  64. Isn’t it a bit bizarre and contradictory to claim that blogs form electronic networks and conversations, but that you can only build them by first meeting in person?

    “Hey, hey… Nice to meet you. Now that we’ve got to know each other… let’s get online and get (im)personal. Because I’m a cool geek incapable of holding a conversation beyond what’s your name, email, and blog address.”

  65. Women are blogging – they just go about it differently and perhaps, more selectively choose when/where they will participate/comment on other blogs.

    (I posted on this earlier today myself, in fact – before I read your post.)

    It may take a bit more reaching out to the non-A-list female bloggers, but if they see there is a conversation which could use their perspective – women will start to participate more often on the supposedly more geeky blogs.. and beyond! (See all the women who’ve responded here, for example.)

  66. Women are blogging – they just go about it differently and perhaps, more selectively choose when/where they will participate/comment on other blogs.

    (I posted on this earlier today myself, in fact – before I read your post.)

    It may take a bit more reaching out to the non-A-list female bloggers, but if they see there is a conversation which could use their perspective – women will start to participate more often on the supposedly more geeky blogs.. and beyond! (See all the women who’ve responded here, for example.)

  67. Recently Noticed…

    Yet another conversation about Where Are All The Women Bloggers at Scobleizer. Lots of comments and, of course, dispute — but so far, civilized. Just a note, that I began reading this blog because Robert recently visited Montana, in sad circumstances….

  68. I’m not the one who said being a blogger is cool. The newspaper did that.

    Goebbels: I didn’t say that. I said that relationships built in person are far stronger than ones built over bits only.

  69. I’m not the one who said being a blogger is cool. The newspaper did that.

    Goebbels: I didn’t say that. I said that relationships built in person are far stronger than ones built over bits only.

  70. Former sorority girl, here, and I’ve already given up my life to geekdom. Thank God!

    Robert was on the right track with the “Send Jen” thing. I want to see more. I want to see a concerted effort by a large organization. Of course, I have ulterior motives.

    I do want to be big in the blogosphere. I think I write well, but it isn’t enough. Mostly, I’m clueless, but I need material. You see, I don’t want to be the type of blogger who just visits other people’s blogs and links to them. I could be totally wrong, here, but I think a good blogger has to be more original than that. So what have I got? Reviews? About once a year, I get a Tablet PC to review. Others buy things to do their reviews, but I can’t do that on a PC tech salary. People send Robert stuff he doesn’t want. I don’t yet deserve to be sent stuff; I have to be a successful blogger, first…that seems like a vicious circle to me, but that can’t be right.

    People who know you give you inspiration in the form of news and review material. Perhaps that’s where the networking thing (conference and dinner attending) comes into play. It doesn’t hurt to have the chance to write about the latest conference you attended and the wonderful technology you saw there.

    I have three blogs, and I don’t write enough. I don’t think I have much worth writing about. I’ll figure it out someday.

  71. Former sorority girl, here, and I’ve already given up my life to geekdom. Thank God!

    Robert was on the right track with the “Send Jen” thing. I want to see more. I want to see a concerted effort by a large organization. Of course, I have ulterior motives.

    I do want to be big in the blogosphere. I think I write well, but it isn’t enough. Mostly, I’m clueless, but I need material. You see, I don’t want to be the type of blogger who just visits other people’s blogs and links to them. I could be totally wrong, here, but I think a good blogger has to be more original than that. So what have I got? Reviews? About once a year, I get a Tablet PC to review. Others buy things to do their reviews, but I can’t do that on a PC tech salary. People send Robert stuff he doesn’t want. I don’t yet deserve to be sent stuff; I have to be a successful blogger, first…that seems like a vicious circle to me, but that can’t be right.

    People who know you give you inspiration in the form of news and review material. Perhaps that’s where the networking thing (conference and dinner attending) comes into play. It doesn’t hurt to have the chance to write about the latest conference you attended and the wonderful technology you saw there.

    I have three blogs, and I don’t write enough. I don’t think I have much worth writing about. I’ll figure it out someday.

  72. It really depends on your A list, doesn’t it?

    Nobody I know would call Jessica Coen a B-list blogger, but I bet she hasn’t been to any of those gatherings. The tech blogging community tends to assume it is the ONLY blogging community, but that is not the case and hasn’t been for ages. The writer who mentioned LiveJournal brought up an important point; statistically, the majority of people online are female. It’s quite a substantial majority, too, and their use of social networking tools like blogs has driven the industry. It’s quite possible that statistically women are the majority of bloggers (and yes, quite a few of us obscure our gender to prevent lewd comments).

    That female bloggers do not drive the debate within the tech blogging community should surprise no-one really. All industry groups are in some sense ivory towers with far too few windows. Scoble is dead on when he puts the blame for few tech blogging A-list women on the dearth of women techies.

  73. It really depends on your A list, doesn’t it?

    Nobody I know would call Jessica Coen a B-list blogger, but I bet she hasn’t been to any of those gatherings. The tech blogging community tends to assume it is the ONLY blogging community, but that is not the case and hasn’t been for ages. The writer who mentioned LiveJournal brought up an important point; statistically, the majority of people online are female. It’s quite a substantial majority, too, and their use of social networking tools like blogs has driven the industry. It’s quite possible that statistically women are the majority of bloggers (and yes, quite a few of us obscure our gender to prevent lewd comments).

    That female bloggers do not drive the debate within the tech blogging community should surprise no-one really. All industry groups are in some sense ivory towers with far too few windows. Scoble is dead on when he puts the blame for few tech blogging A-list women on the dearth of women techies.

  74. Currently, the #4 most popular blog on WordPress is nosysnoop, which is a female-written gossip blog. Whatever you think of the content, that’s impressive. And Gawker and Wonkette did very well when they were helmed by women, didn’t they? So it’s really a matter of defining your terms.

  75. Currently, the #4 most popular blog on WordPress is nosysnoop, which is a female-written gossip blog. Whatever you think of the content, that’s impressive. And Gawker and Wonkette did very well when they were helmed by women, didn’t they? So it’s really a matter of defining your terms.

  76. So how weird is it that on this day, suddenly this issue is getting some attention. I blogged about the lack of women in blogs on the MarketingProfs blog today, and then Sunny Hundal talks about it here:

    Boy’s Own
    http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/sunny_hundal/2006/05/men_v_women_in_the_blogosphere.html

    Are their women blogging? Are they commenting on blogs? Yep & yep. But at the same time, women don’t seem to be represented in the numbers they should be for such a connective, community-oriented space as blogs clearly are.

  77. So how weird is it that on this day, suddenly this issue is getting some attention. I blogged about the lack of women in blogs on the MarketingProfs blog today, and then Sunny Hundal talks about it here:

    Boy’s Own
    http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/sunny_hundal/2006/05/men_v_women_in_the_blogosphere.html

    Are their women blogging? Are they commenting on blogs? Yep & yep. But at the same time, women don’t seem to be represented in the numbers they should be for such a connective, community-oriented space as blogs clearly are.

  78. Did you see Polly Toynbee’s display of blog cluelessness in commentisfree just a day or so ago? I’m far too lazy to look it up at the moment, but do intend to hand her her posterior in a blog post very soon. The idea that the blogosphere should be centrally controlled and polite is not uniquely female, thank god. The Guardian blogs bother me, too, in that they claim to decry anonymity and pseudonymity yet they don’t allow links to your own websites. Reading someone’s site is a great way to familiarize yourself with their ideas and the quality of their brain, and not allowing this is inherently anti-blog, to my mind.

  79. Did you see Polly Toynbee’s display of blog cluelessness in commentisfree just a day or so ago? I’m far too lazy to look it up at the moment, but do intend to hand her her posterior in a blog post very soon. The idea that the blogosphere should be centrally controlled and polite is not uniquely female, thank god. The Guardian blogs bother me, too, in that they claim to decry anonymity and pseudonymity yet they don’t allow links to your own websites. Reading someone’s site is a great way to familiarize yourself with their ideas and the quality of their brain, and not allowing this is inherently anti-blog, to my mind.

  80. I still have not seen what more women ‘A-list” bloggers would solve. Nor am I suggesting that women are out of their element in the tech world. It just seems odd that geeks think more women geeks would solve some problem. Maybe it would be a good thing. Then again, maybe it wouldnt’ make a difference. If someone has something interesting to say, then it shouldn’t matter what their sex/race/creed/color is.

    Some industries simply attract more of one sex than another. That is neither a bad thing nor a good thing. It just is. Again, how is the tech industry suffering by not having more A-list women bloggers?

    Robert, obviously the two main themes in the “blogosphere” are tech and politics. There are some good women bloggers in the politics space… Michele Malkin, Arianna Huffington, La Shawn Barber, and Michele Catalano. For the best round up of progressive women who blog, take a stroll over to http://the-goddess.org/whatshesaid

    There certainly aren’t any institutional barriers keeping women from blogging either about tech or politics, so maybe the need for some sort of self congratulation or aggrandizment that seems inherent in blogging just doesn’t appeal to women. Maybe they are above that. And you gotta admit the some of roots of newgroups and the general chest beating that happens with slashdotters and other geeks carry’s over into the blogpshere and not something most women that aren’t hyena-like commonly seek out.

  81. I still have not seen what more women ‘A-list” bloggers would solve. Nor am I suggesting that women are out of their element in the tech world. It just seems odd that geeks think more women geeks would solve some problem. Maybe it would be a good thing. Then again, maybe it wouldnt’ make a difference. If someone has something interesting to say, then it shouldn’t matter what their sex/race/creed/color is.

    Some industries simply attract more of one sex than another. That is neither a bad thing nor a good thing. It just is. Again, how is the tech industry suffering by not having more A-list women bloggers?

    Robert, obviously the two main themes in the “blogosphere” are tech and politics. There are some good women bloggers in the politics space… Michele Malkin, Arianna Huffington, La Shawn Barber, and Michele Catalano. For the best round up of progressive women who blog, take a stroll over to http://the-goddess.org/whatshesaid

    There certainly aren’t any institutional barriers keeping women from blogging either about tech or politics, so maybe the need for some sort of self congratulation or aggrandizment that seems inherent in blogging just doesn’t appeal to women. Maybe they are above that. And you gotta admit the some of roots of newgroups and the general chest beating that happens with slashdotters and other geeks carry’s over into the blogpshere and not something most women that aren’t hyena-like commonly seek out.

  82. I’m curious okay. Just where is this so called “A List” and who’s on it. I’ve seen the Blolibrity list, I’m even listed on their “C list” but we all know they’re not for real, right? (I know several of the Bloglibeity A&B Listers personally and happen to know they’re audiences are equal to and sometimes less than my audience.)

    So where is the real “A List?” I’ve been at this blogging thing since 2002 and while I’ve heard lots of references I’ve never seen a real list.

    And without a real list who’s to say who’s on it and who’s not? I mean, I hear references to so called “A Listers every day that turn out to be people no one I know has ever heard of.

    A shortage of women on the “A List?” What list?

  83. I’m curious okay. Just where is this so called “A List” and who’s on it. I’ve seen the Blolibrity list, I’m even listed on their “C list” but we all know they’re not for real, right? (I know several of the Bloglibeity A&B Listers personally and happen to know they’re audiences are equal to and sometimes less than my audience.)

    So where is the real “A List?” I’ve been at this blogging thing since 2002 and while I’ve heard lots of references I’ve never seen a real list.

    And without a real list who’s to say who’s on it and who’s not? I mean, I hear references to so called “A Listers every day that turn out to be people no one I know has ever heard of.

    A shortage of women on the “A List?” What list?

  84. I strongly encourage anyone who is cool or interesting to not go to geek conferences and to not waste their time blogging.

    Ammmmen. Preach it from the mountain-tops!

    And as far as real conferences that matter, NAB 2006 and not an “A-List Blogger” in sight. There be a whole world of conferences that geeks pass over.

    PS – You know, Scoble, your comments are interesting and half vibrant again, now that you pulled back on your bozo-space-cadety ‘Buzz Buggermanish’ lucid-dreaming ‘happy thoughts’, and actually went ‘naked conversational’. Amazed that Gobbels passed the trigger-happy censor button. Good show, tho. ;)

    PSS – Warm film tone things on C9, you are going too Sony cameraish video bright white, you need to contrast warm film-tone darken. If in Vegas, click the Video Bus Track and insert the Fade to Color Envelope, double-clicking to get a point (other ways to tone and color correct yes, but that’s one easy quick way). And Ultimate S 2′s 24P Romantic Lips, ohmigosh, pretty as all out.

  85. I strongly encourage anyone who is cool or interesting to not go to geek conferences and to not waste their time blogging.

    Ammmmen. Preach it from the mountain-tops!

    And as far as real conferences that matter, NAB 2006 and not an “A-List Blogger” in sight. There be a whole world of conferences that geeks pass over.

    PS – You know, Scoble, your comments are interesting and half vibrant again, now that you pulled back on your bozo-space-cadety ‘Buzz Buggermanish’ lucid-dreaming ‘happy thoughts’, and actually went ‘naked conversational’. Amazed that Gobbels passed the trigger-happy censor button. Good show, tho. ;)

    PSS – Warm film tone things on C9, you are going too Sony cameraish video bright white, you need to contrast warm film-tone darken. If in Vegas, click the Video Bus Track and insert the Fade to Color Envelope, double-clicking to get a point (other ways to tone and color correct yes, but that’s one easy quick way). And Ultimate S 2′s 24P Romantic Lips, ohmigosh, pretty as all out.

  86. [...] Apologies, I haven’t found the statistical evidence on male and female commenting styles that was raised yesterday: but I have found this very interesting piece by Robert Scoble on the lack of what he calls A-List female bloggers. His comments make great sense in the light of our EQSQ personality tests. [...]

  87. Not sure what your definiton of A list is- but there are many woman bloggers, that are well read, have a devoted following, and are making a difference in the world.

  88. Not sure what your definiton of A list is- but there are many woman bloggers, that are well read, have a devoted following, and are making a difference in the world.

  89. [...] changin’ up my style I think I’m well overdue for a make-over.  No, I’m not talking about the baseball cap and empty beer pitcher look you see to your right.  Those are actually part of my “new look.” I’m talking about a blogging style makeover.  I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. When I started my first blog in 2003, my style was very polished and sunshiny … pretty annoying and sugary sweet. Even I hated myself. ;-)  In 2004, when Z and I started JobsBlog, I took this sort of, “Hey, here I am, and I’m going to tell you like it is” approach.  That style worked well for me until it started being misinterpreted as arrogance, which wasn’t my intent at all.  Then my style morphed into the most bland of bland personas … it even bored me.  Honestly, I just became too gun-shy, and I was afraid to be “me” anymore.  Luckily, I had loyal readers so they stuck with me.  Now that I’m with JobSyntax, it’s time to break-out the real Gretchen again.  I’m free!  I thought about going back to that “I’m going to tell you like it is” approach, but when I read my old JobsBlog posts from that era, I really don’t like the person I see.  I can understand why people thought I was being arrogant. So I’ve decided just to play with this a while and see what style emerges.  The point of the JobSyntax blog is for Zoë and me to impart recruiting and jobhunting wisdom to the geek world … but it’s also about your getting to know us, and right now, I just don’t think that’s happening. For now, my plan is to be much more personal and laid back.  I’ll infuse professional advice and nuggets into my posts, but I may tell you how I’m feeling, too.  I think that’s ok.  I read blogs for the writer and “voice.”  If an interesting person has interesting things to say (on any topic), I’m there; if an uninteresting person has interesting things to say, I’m probably not even reading.  Maybe one day I’ll reclaim my old status again.  I may have left JobsBlog, but I’m not a has-been!  :)  gretchen today’s emotion:  content Published Tuesday, May 23, 2006 9:11 AM by gretchen Filed Under: Gretchen’s posts, JobSyntax [...]

  90. I’m a woman and a blogger and I organize the geek dinners in LA that are an offshoot from the LA Barcamp, where I was extremely involved. Check out: http://barcamp.org/BarCampLosAngeles

    And yes, these dinners are open to anyone. Please come. Next one is June 13 in West LA.

    Barcamp LA was heavy on women participants and the geek dinner is/was about 30% women and all tech.

    If you’re in LA and want to hook up with the LA Tech community (which I am trying to build branches out to) please get in touch with me.

  91. I’m a woman and a blogger and I organize the geek dinners in LA that are an offshoot from the LA Barcamp, where I was extremely involved. Check out: http://barcamp.org/BarCampLosAngeles

    And yes, these dinners are open to anyone. Please come. Next one is June 13 in West LA.

    Barcamp LA was heavy on women participants and the geek dinner is/was about 30% women and all tech.

    If you’re in LA and want to hook up with the LA Tech community (which I am trying to build branches out to) please get in touch with me.

  92. First off, we are talking specifically the tech blogging community as raincoaster pointed out. In the science blogging community, it is much more equal. So, I have a few points to contribute to this conversation…

    Point 1: Most women I know really enjoy blogging and will blog about what makes them tick. Thus, to get more female tech bloggers, you have to get more female tech geeks.

    Point 2: Men do play a huge role in this. In my experience as a university student, my math and physics peers treated me as an equal. Many university math departments have 50/50 male/female split now and I attribute it to the departmental attitudes. However, the men in my computer engineering classes were condescending and rude. They deter less confident, yet capable, women. If men were respectful of women entering the industry and not assume they are more capable it would create a more inviting environment.

    Point 3: My own husband has commented that as long as men and women are doing what they enjoy, then it doesn’t matter if it’s cooking or coding. This seems to be a common feeling among men in the technology industry, but the point they miss is that having all-male dominated environments creates unwelcoming places for women who would like to join. So, even if women are interested in the subjects, they’re less likely to pursue them as a career.

    Furthermore, for companies in the industry it is crucial to their business that they have women working for them. This is the best way to make products that appeal to all audiences. You can’t just spend an hour with a female focus group and think you understand the entire demographic. Women need to be an integral part of the design and implementation processes.

    I’m really glad that you bring up this topic, Robert. It is really important and we still have a long way to go to catch up with the rest of the sciences. By changing attitudes in the industry we can raise the standard of technology-related blogging through inclusion of all talented individuals.

  93. First off, we are talking specifically the tech blogging community as raincoaster pointed out. In the science blogging community, it is much more equal. So, I have a few points to contribute to this conversation…

    Point 1: Most women I know really enjoy blogging and will blog about what makes them tick. Thus, to get more female tech bloggers, you have to get more female tech geeks.

    Point 2: Men do play a huge role in this. In my experience as a university student, my math and physics peers treated me as an equal. Many university math departments have 50/50 male/female split now and I attribute it to the departmental attitudes. However, the men in my computer engineering classes were condescending and rude. They deter less confident, yet capable, women. If men were respectful of women entering the industry and not assume they are more capable it would create a more inviting environment.

    Point 3: My own husband has commented that as long as men and women are doing what they enjoy, then it doesn’t matter if it’s cooking or coding. This seems to be a common feeling among men in the technology industry, but the point they miss is that having all-male dominated environments creates unwelcoming places for women who would like to join. So, even if women are interested in the subjects, they’re less likely to pursue them as a career.

    Furthermore, for companies in the industry it is crucial to their business that they have women working for them. This is the best way to make products that appeal to all audiences. You can’t just spend an hour with a female focus group and think you understand the entire demographic. Women need to be an integral part of the design and implementation processes.

    I’m really glad that you bring up this topic, Robert. It is really important and we still have a long way to go to catch up with the rest of the sciences. By changing attitudes in the industry we can raise the standard of technology-related blogging through inclusion of all talented individuals.