Blogosphere: gender oppression, or gender choice?

“Blogosphere: Why is this supposedly democratic medium recreating real-world inequality?

“Blogosphere: Why is this supposedly democratic medium recreating real-world inequality?”, asked Jessica Guynn yesterday in the Contra Costa Times:

not all blogs are created equal. A blogarchy has emerged from the Internet equivalent of an "American Idol" popularity contest. This elite clique of bloggers -- the so-called A-listers who get checked out more often than Lindsay Lohan -- attract the largest online audience…

What's perplexing: Nearly all of these Web celebs are men even though more women blog than men. How do men leverage their laptops into giant soapboxes when hordes of women type away in digital obscurity?

Guynn’s search for reasons behind the posited gender-based inequality in the blogosphere leads her to a theory that male bloggers are unconsciously conspiring to replicate a male-dominated offline world:

Blogging was invented mostly by men…These men -- for reasons that sociologist Clay Shirky from New York University says can be scientifically explained through something called "network theory," referring to the way people choose to connect to one another -- link mostly to other men…(and) technology merely reflects unconscious biases omnipresent in the offline world, the scene of a similar scuffle over male-dominated newspaper opinion pages, says Rebecca Blood, The blogosphere is a microcosm of society, she says.

Guynn’s statement “theoretically, blogs…should be judged by the quality of the writing and ideas,” however, may explain why “not all blogs are created equal.”

Federated Media, John Battelle’s new advertising network for bloggers, represents close to 40 blogs, among which six are authored by women: Celebrity Baby Blog, Parent Hacks, Paper Napkin, The Mommy Blog, Dooce and WonderBranding: Marketing to Women. While all of the female-authored blogs are focused on the lives of women and children, the male-authored blogs are focused on the business of technology: Gadgetopia, Techdirt, Treonauts, Wi-Fi Networking News, XYZ Computing and, of course, Searchblog...

PS to A-lister males: will you show me a little "link love!"

Is there a gender-based inequality in the blogosphere? Join the conversation” “Talk Back” below to share your thoughts.

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