Are women rockers better bloggers?

The Independent Online Edition has a piece up about Lily Allen in which they claim that women are better than men at using the internet to communicate with their fans:

While major record labels complain about the public illegally copying music online, female artists are proving better than their male peers at using it to communicate directly with their fans. And at the vanguard of this phenomenon is Lily Allen, the solo artist whose big mouth repeatedly gets her in the news.

Later in the article they say this:

Until recently, Pallot herself looked after her online presence, whether on her official site or others where she could promote her music and videos. She was responsible for putting tracks online, but also used the internet as a platform for communicating with fans. It is here that women seem to have the edge over male artists, as they tend to be more comfortable about being open about themselves through message boards or blogs.

Well, it would be nice if female musicians finally got the edge in SOMETHING, but given my modest familiarity with the research on sex differences in communication, I have to be a bit skeptical here.

What research finds again and again is that there are some gender differences. Think of men’s communication as one bell curve and women’s as another. Most of both bell curves overlap. There’s stuff on the tail end of either that is more likely to come out of one sex or another. But the overwhelming majority of our communication just isn’t as different as people like to imagine it is. It ain’t Mars and Venus, it’s Earth.

On the other hand, it’s been argued that from early on, we little girls get trained to attend to maintaining relationships while boys get trained to assert themselves and know more. So maybe there’s something to it.

What’s more, it’s well known that even when men and women act the same, they’re evaluated differently. The brilliantly assertive man is a pushy bitch. So maybe the unwritten rules of acceptable or appropriate blogging are different for male and female bloggers. Maybe women who don’t share their feelings when they blog are seen as holding out while men who do are seen as wimpy? Maybe women who talk about partying after the show are seen as floozies while men who do are seen as cool? Maybe women who do share their feelings are seen as creating meaningful connections while men who do are seen as needy?

I don’t think it’s true that men aren’t as good at connecting with fans through the internet than women, but it’s a provocative claim, either way.

What do you think?

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