Emotions and Blog Popularity
Most women tend to use the blog as its paper predecessor – the diary, so it is no wonder that the style and content of their blogs still tends to follow that model. For that reason, women’s blogs are usually very emotional, personal and intimate.
We (including men; admit it!) want to say (or write) the most when we are feeling down, when something is wrong, when we need to vent. Women take advantage of the new medium and pour out their hearts, thus alleviating the pain. Unfortunately, in our society men are taught to conceal their feelings because doing otherwise is considered a “girly,” insulting practice, which leads to less emotionally-driven blogs. Thus men’s blogs are usually not as emotional and reveal less details about their personal lives.
Some argue that women’s blogs are less important because of this overly emotional/personal content, because it doesn’t have a great effect on most people, but Melissa Gregg argues in “Posting With Passion” (from Uses of Blogs) that such blogs as those about parenting (something that almost any woman can relate to) are quite useful for others in a similar situation. The difference – as I see it – is that useful tidbits about parenting, for instance, are more of an exception than the rule, as most of the blog is usually filled with personal posts, and only with an occasional tip or “lesson.”
My posts on this blog are usually about what is going on in worlds other than my own, without a great deal of emotion. My MySpace posts, on the other hand (all 5 or 6 of them, I think), are more personal since that blog is more intimate and is usually read by those who know me and may be interested in my personal life. My MySpace blog is less “public” than my WP blog, thus I try to keep my posts here to things of “public” interest rather than personal stories which people who don’t know me may not be interested in.
If women would differentiate between overly personal information and useful information, I think their blogs would gain more merit in the eyes of the critics and thus more popularity. This would probably be considered “wrong” and will be met with arguments like “we should write about what we want, where we want.” Sure, you’re free to do whatever you want, but when you complain about getting no recognition you need to do something about it yourself because on the internet you do have that power (before the evil ISPs take over and start blocking your blog, of course). When talking about blog popularity it is simple supply and demand.