Island

The longer I blog, the more I realize I’m participating in a world where I am the minority. I’m a male writing a personal/creative fiction blog on the internet. Personal blogs are a realm largely dominated by female bloggers, and while the statistics appear to be slightly more balanced (anecdotally speaking) in terms of creative fiction blogs, I realize I’m still not the most common blogger. While I will write satire/comedy category from time to time, unlike many of my counterpart in the blogging world who are also 20-something males, I don’t feel the need to base all of my humor off of sex, drugs, and alcohol — the genre of fratire as I recently heard it referred to as.

Likewise, I rarely write about sports despite being a huge fan of American football, hockey, and professional wrestling. Unlike frat humor, which I find generally annoying and unprofessional to write about, I choose not to write about sports for different reasons. In my time writing, I’ve developed a bit of a consistent audience to read my work, and while each of the individual readers have their own individual tastes, one sweeping generalization I’ve been able to make (safely) is that the majority of those who come across this blog don’t care about sports enough to warrant writing about them over and over again. That said, my desire to talk about sports, be it here or otherwise is somewhat limited in the blogging world. Unless you’re going to a blog that is solely sports focused, most bloggers won’t even discuss sports.

Ye verily, a rousing game of ice-puck-stick was played to the rejoicing of the masses. Image credit Luke Jones on Flickr.
Ye verily, a rousing game of ice-puck-stick was played to the rejoicing of the masses. Image credit Luke Jones on Flickr.

I’m sure there’s something psychological/sociological that makes females more apt to be writers/bloggers than males. That said, I do believe a (very) large part of this divide is content based. Even a casual spin around WordPress’ random blog feature will produce a hit on either a fashion or photography blog (both terms which I use extremely loosely) within just a few clicks. If neither of those topics come up, there’s a good chance that you’ll hit a pop culture blog, particularly for television or movies. While both men and women consume this media, the way that media is discussed differs greatly among the two genders. If you don’t believe me, walk into an office building first thing in the morning — men will likely be discussing sports, while women will have a greater focus on the previous night’s TV shows.

None of these things are bad or good — they just are. If it weren’t for watching TV with the girlfriend, I likely wouldn’t watch it at all. Excluding sports events, I have a handful of television shows I watch, only one of which (Monday Night RAW) is anything close to appointment viewing. Instead of appointment viewing, I have appointment reading. While there isn’t an incredibly large number of blogs I follow, if there’s a post that goes up on a blog that I do read, I’ll go out of my way to make time to read it. As someone who’s been seriously blogging for nearly six years now, I can count on one hand how many bloggers that I started out reading who are still active and writing now.

Zero.

That’s right. Even counting in blog changes and platform shifts (my own included), there’s not a single blogger that I’ve followed from my starting blogging on my own site in 2009 that is still actively writing. There’s a couple of blogs that are close (most notably Thoughts Appear and Clantily Scad), though I didn’t start following either of them until the latter part of 2011 if my memory is correct. It takes a lot of dedication to continue blogging for such a long time. Sadly, I could likely go back even further and count the fact that I wrote for a radio station blog as early as 2006 into this count, but that doesn’t make it much better.

The last factor that makes me feel like I’m in the blogging minority comes courtesy of the fact that many of the bloggers I do read are slowly beginning to have families of their own. Even the blogs that focused on “artsy” photography (read: slapping multiple filters over an out-of-focus shot) have slowly drifted the way of OH MY GOD LOOK AT ALL THESE BABY CLOTHES I’M BUYING BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT’S GOING TO MAKE ME THE MOST RESPONSIBLE PARENT OF ALL TIMES!

Did you know that spit-up makes all clothes look not cute, no matter how much you paid for them? Image credit: peasap on Flickr
Did you know that spit-up makes all clothes look not cute, no matter how much you paid for them? Image credit: peasap on Flickr

Look…I get it. You’re excited you’re going to be having a child. Good for you. I too hope you manufacture a smaller, less-cynical version of myself one day (except the child will be female, as that would be my luck…more on that in another post though). However, just because you have a child doesn’t mean you have to stop having other interests. For example, perhaps you’re a couple. One of you loves video games, while the other is a television fanatic. Just because you have a child, that doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying those things. Likewise, if you’re a blogger, that doesn’t mean you have to stop writing about the things you enjoy.

As I look around the blogging world, I realize that there are many other talented writers, thinkers, and dreamers out there that I can draw support from at any given time. This fact, in and of itself, is a huge reason why I keep blogging. At the same time, the larger the blogging world is, the more I feel like a tiny island amongst a sea of repetition. Ultimately, it’s within this uniqueness that lies the seeds to my success or my downfall as a writer, as a blogger, and as a storyteller.

Front page image cap: David Stanley on Flickr

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11 thoughts on “Island

  1. I’ve found a couple of male bloggers recently, but you’re right, the majority of us are female. I’m certainly not about to have children though, ugh. I’ve distanced myself from lots of friends in real life, because they had children and stopped being anything more than a ‘parent’ and it was really sad.

    Sadly, too, I think that in the blogging world, longevity means very little; it’s numbers and photos and shares and everything else; and there is so much repetition. If I have to read another post about clothes I will cry and claw my eyes out. Or cutesy crafts that I really couldn’t care less about.

    I wish I had answers, but you do write well, and I think you’re super Tim; I really do.

    These are two male bloggers I’ve found recently that you might like, or you might not –
    thatgentmark.com; isayoldchap.co.uk

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    1. I’ll definitely check those other blogs you shared out. I don’t know that a significant portion of female bloggers are mommy bloggers (I’m legitimately wondering the percentages on that), however I do think they’re typically a more visible blogger for whatever reason.

      It does disappointment — quite a bit actually — that longevity does not seem to make for an increase in readership by itself. I do have the loyal readers that stick around and comment on most of my posts (there’s 8-12 of you who comment, and about that many that I know of who don’t comment). With that said, it’s not as though someone randomly hitting my blog on Google is sticking around long term. I haven’t had that happen even once ever.

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  2. Pretty sure you are the only male blogger I read…like ever. I have wondered about this divide myself.

    Totally agree about the kids thing. I think there are a few factors- for one, mommy-blogs are where the numbers and therefore money are. It’s by far probably one of the most relate-able (and more importantly, debate-able) areas to write about. Also, especially for women-who as you said do make up the majority of the blogging world- there is SO MUCH debate and guilt and talk about how we should parent and basically make children our entire world (and specifically through biologically child-bearing, but that’s another rant). Turning into one of those people who is ONLY a parent and loosing all sense of my own personality is one of my biggest fears about the future, & it’s hard to talk about because so many people believe that’s how it SHOULD be.

    Totally agree with Erin- it’s really not about longevity at all. It’s about blogging the *right* way and about the *right* topics, which makes it all look the same. Eventually, all the hype around blogging overall is going to go down and most of the people who are on top now with very formulaic blogs will die out. It will be interesting to see who is left at that point.

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    1. There’s only one other male blogger I regularly read. With that said, it’s a friend from college who writes about a hockey team he covers, so it’s not my normal blog fare. I get that there’s a lot of money and page views in writing parenting blogs, but I don’t see the appeal in it personally. Perhaps that will change when I’m a parent myself, but not at this point.

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  3. Weirdly enough, one of the things I’m continuously trying to do is find more male bloggers, and that’s only because the question of “I wonder how many” randomly popped into my head one day.

    Pretty sure it’s under five. Possibly under four. Or bang on it. I think it’s four…

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      1. One of four, baby, one of four. Now you can conquer the world…or something. If it makes you feel any more special, you were also the first.

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        1. That’ll do it. Definitely feel special now. Happy to see you around here. You were fortunate to miss blog disaster 1 and 2 (I think you missed both, that is).

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          1. I just checked. There’s definitely more than four. Ok, you’re one of four worth remembering, how about that?

            For all you know, I observed from afar, I just didn’t tell you. (I probably missed it, damnit).

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  4. I don’t follow a lot of the same bloggers I did as recently as 2-3 years ago. Some of them are still active, and a few of them are even putting out regular content. But for various reasons, I just haven’t followed the same people. It’s a natural cycle, be that when considering blogging or friendships, I think.

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