ME and Ophelia

Saturday, May 15, 2004

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Says Jason Fried whose blogpost attracts 86+ comments

Jason Fried's post "It's good that you're upset" attracted 86+ comments. Crikey. When I write a political post, I'm happy to even get two comments.

This blog receives an average of 400 visitors a week. And although the visitors are roughly fify-fifty male/female - out of the 63 links listed for this blog in Technorati, 14 are females. It appears males are more interested than females in discussing politics, science, engineering, technology and life-threatening events like war and genocide. I can count on one hand the number of comments and links that I've received from female bloggers in response to posts on such topics.

Of course I am generalising, but it appears the majority of males that I come across, do blog about serious issues whereas the majority of female bloggers do not. Most female bloggers appear not to be interested in the machinations of politics, power, business and war, ie the things that seem to make this world go round. Perhaps females feel that it is love that makes the world go round and so their interests are usually concerned with more sensitive and practical issues to do with day-to-day life and hands-on stuff involving creativity, the arts, nature and the environment.

Seems it's not unique to the blogosphere as I can say the same about my non-blogging friends. My female friends seldom initiate conversation on the topics I've mentioned, whereas all of my male friends do. With female friends the conversation usually turns to something else after fifteen minutes. Generally, the opposite happens with my male friends - we talk these topics all the time.

I've noticed a lack of comments on some other blogs too. For example, even some long-standing and high profile American blogs authored by Jim Moore and Halley Suitt seem to attract few comments. So it can't be to do with volume of traffic. Maybe certain posts or blogs are written in such a way that draws readers into feeling OK about posting a hi and a few thoughtful words. Or maybe it's to do with like minded people - for instance, I've noticed on Joi Ito's and Shelley Powers' blog that comments are mostly by readers who are generally supportive.

Usually, I make an effort to leave a few words at every blog I visit regularly. Or I make contact by emailing the author or linking to their post. Jim Moore is one of my daily reads but I've never left a comment. Why? I'm not sure. I've been the first to comment at other blogs elsewhere. Perhaps it's because I know he's anti-Bush/war in Iraq. Not that it makes any difference to my enjoyment of his blog. It's just that by commenting, I'd be in disagreement and I don't want to create bad vibes and upset for him or myself. Not many of us supporters of the war against terror like to be thought of - or accused - by anti-war readers as being stupid, disagreeable, unkindly, uncaring, war mongering, etc.

I'd enjoy reading lengthy discussions here at this blog. What fun to follow the threads and check out the blogs of those commenting. It'd be like having a room full of visitors here by the seaside, whose conversation I can just sit and listen to, think about and blog.

Maybe it's to do with the way one presents a view that compels people to say something. I ought to start paying attention to the construction of posts and compare my posts with others - like Jason's. Here's a copy, in full, of the one that attracted 86+ comments:

"The world is rightfully disgusted by the treatment of some Iraqi prisoners, but the fact that the world is outraged is a good sign that America is still held to a higher standard. The Arab street remained mostly quiet when Saddam tortured for three decades or when American soldiers were dragged through the streets and hung to dangle in public a few weeks back. And how many leaders in the Arab world will be outraged that one of their own ruthlessly beheaded an American contractor after forcing him to name his parents and his siblings (and don’t forget about Daniel Pearl who had to admit he was a Jew before his head was cut off)? The world barely gave notice to the Taliban’s systematic and despicable treatment of women in Afghanistan or the destruction of ancient works of irreplaceable art and culture. The world was barely interested in stopping the carnage in Bosnia until over a half-million were killed (and then the UN still didn’t want to get involved). The world is still barely affected by the genocide taking place right now in Africa. But, when the US humiliates some Iraqi prisoners, people are outraged and are calling for resignations at the highest levels of our government. And that’s a good sign for America. We’re held up to a higher standard and it’s something we should be proud of. Not the vile treatment, of course, but the world’s response. We’re in trouble when people stop caring about how we act as a nation. "

[via Jon Gales at iheartmena: in the past few weeks Jon Gales had several people cite him as "John Gales". I was one of them. I apologised over at Jon's. Copy is in my comments here as a reminder to write a post on why we get upset when our names are printed incorrectly]

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 5/15/2004
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