Ed Cook, Jim West, Joe Cathey, and Mark Goodacre ponder the dearth of female bibliobloggers. I think the answer is simple as it is unattractive.
Men have a biological need to impress others more than women. This isn't gender stereotyping (Mark's concern), just verifiably factual, and I noted as much recently in a blogpost about lying and deception. Statistics show that while men and women lie in equal abundancy, they do so for different reasons, the former for self-aggrandizement, the latter for easing awkward situations. We like to make ourselves look good -- what a great vehicle the personal, individualized blog is for this! -- while women incline towards making others feel good. That could be why Amy-Jill Levine is visiting prisons and doing more "useful things", as she sees it.
Blogs feed our male egos like no other internet forum, and there's certainly no point pretending (lying) otherwise, even if we also have positive motives for being involved in this network of shared learning. Stephen Carlson's recent idea for increased team blogging could help address the individualized aspect of the problem -- and kudos to the folks at Better Bibles, though of course even among this team-blog of six, there are no women. Quelle surprise.
UPDATE: Jim West disagrees with my take on the matter. He writes:
Loren has suggested, by the way, that we males blog because it's an ego thing and then he implies that if we disagree with that assessment we are lying. I don't think its as simple as that. For me, its a matter of sharing with others what I find interesting myself.
It’s a matter of this for me too, as I’m sure it is for most bloggers. As I said above, “...even if we also have positive motives for being involved in this network of shared learning.” Certainly we have benign motives as well as selfish ones. Many of us are educators, pastors, librarians; we indeed want to share our knowledge, and in turn learn from others. But so do women. So why aren’t they blogging about these things? That’s the question Jim leaves unanswered.
I’m suggesting that women share their interests with others in less self-aggrandizing ways. The “anonymous female” who responded to Mark Goodacre confirms this, when she says: “I think the main reason [I don’t blog] is that I am just not comfortable with the idea of telling random strangers what I think about things.” We men, by contrast, are very comfortable doing this.
It's not an ego thing- it's an information thing. If it were about ego and I wanted to generate tons of site hits I would blog on things that generate site hits. Sex, drugs, alcohol, and sports. I would talk about Paris Hilton's engagement ending or the Vol's victory over Ole Miss. But those things are Dreck so far as I am concerned so I don't bother with them. Zwingli, on the other hand... well, I could talk about him all day.
Jim may be deceiving himself here, but not me. (Sorry!) For a biblioblog, his site gets a juicy number of hits per day. Contrasting Biblical Theology with “sex and drug” sites is just subterfuge. The topic of religion can actually be a greater catalyst for self-aggrandizement than raw, mundane stuff.
So, in sum, it's not ego that drives we male bibliobloggers, its interest.
I think it’s both. It’s just that we don’t like admitting the first part.