Mostly the Creamy Middles

Tyme points out and discusses Chris Nolan's assertions about male and female bloggers or, rather, Dave Winer's reaction. Let's for the moment ignore what Dave is saying and focus on Chris' first point: “This medium was first taken up by techies. Most of them are men. It's not worth going into the statistics on men and women in tech, and the reasons and whyfors. There are more men, that's all you need to know for this conversation.” First of all we have a switch in verb tense from the first sentence to the next. I'm happy to agree with the idea that most "bloggers" were techies, or, better put, were able to operate a computer and had a connection to the Internet. So if I interpret what Chris might have been trying to say, i.e. that most of the early "bloggers" were men (also, it's not clear why she says it's not worth going into the statistics when she's making a statistical claim), then hey, maybe that's true. But that ignores the large proportion of women who "blogged" when weblogs used to be called "online diaries". I only remember back to about 1998 or so, but I remember being intrigued not by what fellow nerds were saying, but the stuff that young women my age were writing about. Why? Because I was—and to an extent still am—a young male, young males usually being interested in young females, and, at the very least peripherally, what they have to say about their lives. (Mostly what they look like, but that gets old after a while. Well, no it doesn't, but you know what I mean.) Not necessarily all parts of their lives, but certain aspects of it. The point is that a significant amount of online diarists were women, and not necessarily "techies". They were part of the "Dark Web", that part of the Internet that doesn't get any media attention because it has nothing to do with a) technology, b) politics, or c) impossibly beautiful extrovert women having sex with powerful strangers. It had (and has) to do with normal people (men and women) talking about their day to day lives, their successes and their failures, but mostly the creamy middles and not the terrifying lows or the dizzying highs. So in other words, "this medium" was not started by techies, but by people, male and female. The techies just took credit for it.