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December 8, 2004

What do Male Bloggers Want?

In an attempt to find distractions from grading, I've been reading blogs more often than usual, and while reading, I found that George linked to my birthday entry (among several others) in answer to profgrrrrl's question about why female bloggers tend to write about more personal topics while male bloggers write about professional topics.

I'm inclined to agree with George that male bloggers do write about personal stuff quite often (as his collection of links indicates), but the question I'd want to ask is how one makes a distinction between "the professional" and "the personal" in the first place (or what we're talking about when we use these words). For example, is my entry on High School Reunion personal or professional? The entry discusses my TV viewing habits and my ambivalence about my high school experience, but it's also "professional," in that my attention to the show grows out of my interest in documentary and in celebrity. My blog entries are usually fairly spontaneous, and I don't revise them very often. My entries usually reflect what's attracting my attention Right Now (and as my blog probably indicates, I can have a relatively short attention span). In fact, I tend to think that my blog actually points to the impossibility (or extreme difficulty) of this distinction, at least in my own experience. I could be completely wrong about this perception; after all, I don't believe that I'm necessarily the most qualified reader of my own blog.

Update: I just noticed that profgrrrl has updated her entry to define more clearly what she means by "personal." I'm still not sure that I can completely distinguish between "personal" and "professional," but in terms of her second definition ("Personal as in intimate. Really revealling some private thoughts or emotions or saying things that you wouldn't say around the water cooler"), that stuff probably won't show up in my blog anytime soon, especially with my name clearly listed on the blog.

In a way, I think all of these questions come back to what blogs are, and what they are doing, a topic that Collin has addressed fairly recently. Blogs combine "the expressive and argumentative in ways that we're still coming to grips with," and perhaps more relevant to this particular discussion, they combine the "personal" and "public" (or professional) in ways that might still be difficult to articulate, at least for me.

Posted by chuck at December 8, 2004 3:37 PM

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I love the headline.

Oh, and happy bday.

Posted by: bitchphd at December 8, 2004 4:16 PM

Happy Birthday, Chuck. :-)

Posted by: Titus Barik at December 8, 2004 10:32 PM

Thanks to everyone for their birthday wishes. It was a quiet, but relaxing birthday. Got take-out Chinese, watched some movies, and drank a delicious, but very tall, Hennepin beer....

Posted by: chuck at December 9, 2004 4:44 PM

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