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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Gender Studies: An Apercu or Two

Once again, I will preface my remarks by noting that I have about sixty papers to slog through. These are left over from last week--I couldn't handle grading with that awful cold. So an apercu or two. (Note: could somebody tell me how to put a cedilla in? I feel the spirits of Mr. Giordano and Mr. Moore wielding their red pens.)

Talbots encore: A few weeks ago I boldly declared that I thought it would be a good idea to buy Talbots stock. Even though the Motley Fools classed Talbots as their scary Halloween stock, I was intrigued by Talbots' new aesthetic and my feelings were confirmed by comments around the blogosphere by various women of a certain age. I even bought a few things at a fab sale.

Upshot: I ended up returning everything I bought, because, as my daughter said, nothing was a significant "upgrade." BUT I checked the stock today: when I first looked at it, it was $1.80; now, a few months later, it is $3.80. I was only going to buy 100 shares, and, believe me, a $200.00 profit is not even a dust mote against the losses in my heretofore hefty retirement funds. I only hope the "experts" that run TIAA, Vanguard, and a few other companies whose names must not be uttered were sharp enough to pick up on the same vibes as the smart women of the blogosphere.

Boston Gal's Open Wallet, a blog that obviously has at its helm a woman, linked to an article about three who have made it big as bloggers. These are the usual suspects and they pull in between $60,000/year and $120,000/year. These sums have enabled all three to leave their prior places of employ and blog full-time.

I wrote a comment wondering why the three biggies were all male. Could it be because they were all early adopters of technology? I also wondered if all three could continue their success, which was based on getting out of debt. They are now heading into discussions of investing, an area in which they are neophytes.

What say you Dear Readers? Do you detect some gender-savvy in the Talbots story? Do you see a gender issue in the story about the full-time personal finance blogger story?


Duchesse said...

Sigh, Talbot's. Apparently they are still revising their offerings and the big "reveal" will be the August shipment for fall. A few pieces are terrific- I bought a lightly padded unquilted black nylon jacket that most people guess is Prada! But too much still has the look meanly called "Forever 47". As far as buying their stock, they have closed abut 15% of their stores in the past months- retail is hurting.

As far as finance blogger making money, and gender: Suze Orman. OK, she is hardly only a blogger but she's easily outearned all of them put together.

Over the Cubicle Wall said...

I don't know, I must have grown up weird. My mom did all the home repair type stuff, and my dad did the grocery shopping. I work in the male dominated field of Engineering, but the best boss I have ever had was a female. Gender may be what you are, but who you are is another thing altogether.

Funny about Money said...

One of my friends observed that the quality of Talbot's new line has dropped significantly. She complained about shirts shrinking and clothes falling apart.

And I'd have to add, too, that the new stuff just doesn't fit as well as it used to. Disappointing, because those of us who would be happy to remain Forever 47 really, really do appreciate finding a pair of pants that fit in the rear end and in the waist.

IMHO, many men possess a level of physical energy that they channel into business endeavors, including blogging. It's in the hormones. Additionally, women are distracted by child care and care of the home, enterprises that sap our energy and mental focus. There are only so many things any human being can do at once.

WordPress has a symbols table that contains most letters with diacriticals. Obscurely, the button has an omega on it. Possibly Blogger has something similar?

SLF said...

Mama, this website should help:

Chance said...

I think the story on Boston Gal is more about her niche subject (personal finance) then it is about gender and who is making money from their blogs. All the men she highlighted are great bloggers, and she may have just randomly chosen her faves, without regard for gender.

Granted other successful male bloggers were early adopters, and usually present a different writing style than women, a style that lends itself to mass promotion, kind of detached, using lists and SEO tweaking (e.g. 10 ways to profit from coffee grounds or whatever). Bring in 500,000 hits a day, you will get enough clicks on yr advertising to make a living, never mind content.

And how does one define "making money from their blogs" anyway? If your blog promotes your career, then you are making money from it (e.g. Suze Orman).

Then there is Meg Hourihan (MegNut is her personal blog), who co-founded and designed Blogger (the blog platform) and then sold Blogger to google, which probably counts, big time, as a very direct way of making money from your blog.

But just looking at people who make enough money from advertising on their blog to write full-time, and that is their primary income engine, some of the most successful writers are women.

There's dooce, who is so funny and wildly successful. She is just a terrific writer of all things personal, the original mommy blogger. Her blog isn't really to my taste, so I am a non-reader, but I totally get why she is so successful and how her husband could retire to be a stay-at-home dad when her blog income could support them.

Liz Strauss is really successful,although she falls more into the "blog-promotes-career" category - great writer and fiercely engaging with her readers. Huffington Post is of course a female blogger, can't argue with the success there.

The gals running BlogHer are female, and female-focused and are def. making money from their blog.

As in the real world, sexism is very present in the blogging world, I see examples every day, but there seems to be a little more wiggle room in the blogging world for women.

Anonymous said...

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Frugal Scholar said...

@Duchesse--Suze Orman is a professional--with training, at least as a Merrill Lynch broker. Bloggers generally are learning along with their audience.

@Cubicle--Neat that you grew up in such a family!

@Funny--Interesting hypothesis. I will give it some thought.

@Chance: Boston Gal linked to a newspaper article. You're probably right--I'm going to check out some of the blogs you mention.

@shrin--Thanks for coming by!