The blogging software I use is blogspot. It is very basic, requiring no technical knowledge. It is one of Google's free services. It also has a variety of tools for the blog editor. I can allow comments or not, or moderate them as they come in. I can easily eject a comment. It also provides statistics on readership, how many people visit each article, by day, week, month, year, or since the beginning of recorded time.
The trends are fascinating. Sundays are usually slow days, readership wise. The most active reading days are the weekdays. Most of the comments originate: (1) from the Philippines, and (2) the U.S., with a smattering from (3) from Australia, and (4) Europe. Little or nothing from Africa or China or Asian neighbors of the Philippines. Nothing from Hong Kong or Singapore, although they are English Speaking. Nothing from India or Russia or anywhere else.
The main determinate of number of reads is subject matter. I can loosely group the articles into four main categories:
- Those about the Philippines, its culture, character, government, and developments
- Those about the U.S.
- Those that are original satire or book reports: call it word play
- Those about blogging, generally Get Real Post
On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being very popular, this is the scoring:
- Blogging/Get Real: 10
- Philippines: 8
- U.S.: 5
- Book Reports/Word Play: 1
Readers seem to enjoy best the arguments and angst associated with blogging, in particular, Get Real Post. The Philippines is popular. Readers aren't really into what is going on in the States and they skip the literary stuff entirely.
So I've stopped doing book reviews. But I will cite meaningful passages now and then. I won't do much on the States unless it is instructional about the Philippines. If I want to hype readership, I could find some more juicy gore to display. Find the anger and probe it.
See, we all go for the gusto and gore. Sex probably, if I ran some racy photos.
And that is precisely why Benigno permits his small cadre of thugs to attack at will. It fires people up. In that regard he is just like ABS-CBN news, showing bodies. It isn't really intellectual, what he is doing. It is marketing. Going for the ratings. That goal is black and white, in his Mission Statement.
But the key point I wanted to make is that there are few women in the crowd, here or at GRP. Now, GRP I can understand. No woman wants to risk being labeled in sexual terms, or even gender terms. Ilda claims I am anti-woman, but I ask, isn't blogging in general, and especially thuggish GRP, somehow anti-woman? It is not drawing them in. What is the ratio of Filipinas to total population? Why is there a "glass door" at GRP? It is invisible, and it keeps women out.
Raissa Robles attracts women. She is that self-professed "investigative journalist", although I suspect her techniques are not as investigative as those of Harry Bosch, murder detective for the Los Angeles Police Department as written by Michael Connelly. But her blog dialogues are fluff and chatter, more like chat rooms laced with perfume and little china cups for tea. I have this bias, cognitive or otherwise, that blog sites should exchange information, not cute quips. They should be hard cover, like a book, not mushy like a chiffon petticoat.
Is THAT what is required to attract Filipina readers? Fluff and feathers?
God, I would hope not.
You'd never catch Hillary Clinton wasting time on such superficial natter. She'd rather kick her feet up and have a beer with the guys and discuss history or law or politics.
Is Joe Am gender biased? You betcha. I think men and women are very different, and thank God for that.
I also think that men and women can do most jobs equally well. There are superior men for a given job and superior women for a given job. We are not all equal in education and innate talent. I would guess that men are better warriors than women, for they are stronger and were trained from the getgo to hunt the wooly mammoth, but a woman behind the controls of a fighter jet would be nastier than most men.
I actually think women can write better than men. Studies show that women are generally more literary. But there are also extraordinary men writers, and men seem to have a better knack at writing for both the male and female audience. If other men are like me, we don't get inspired by "Pride and Prejudice", but do with Dickens or Clancy or Dostoevsky or Kafka or Grisham. Plot, politics, guns, argument. Not sensitivities and perfumes and romance and pretty dresses.
But, all in all, it seems to me there should be one rule for writers: (1) There are no rules.
That's the one I subscribe to.