my own linking practices

I posted Shelley’s hysterical essay Guys Don’t Link to Misbehaving, including this great passage:

“Shelley, to a woman, a link is a way of connecting and being connected. To hearing and being heard. But not so for a guy. Guys see links as power, and therefore something precious, and to be protected. They hold on to their links as tightly, and as lovingly, as a thirsty drunk holds onto a bottle.”

A friend of mine was alarmed and told me that Shelley was mistaken and that he links more frequently to women than to men. There’s no doubt that Shelley’s parody emphasized the male-male linking patterns. I have no doubt that male bloggers link to women, but i wonder in what numbers. I mean, blogrolls tend to be very male and i assume that homophily works pretty effectively. I also wonder how many posts people post without any links whatsoever or without any links to people/blogs.

I decided to count my last 30 posts to see what my own numbers were.

  • men: 14 (6 are from the post on WordPress; 3 are from defense of BB)
  • women: 0
  • FTM: 1
  • unknown: 1
  • news: 5
  • events: 8
  • projects: 4
  • other: 4
  • me: 3
  • posts with no links: 7
  • posts w/ links that aren’t to any people/blogs: 21 (links to my department, DJs, books, CFPs, etc.)


Update: Kevin asked me if my links to men were in agreement with what they said.

  • agreement: 1
  • disagreement: 7
  • reference: 3
  • support: 1
  • repost (w thanks): 2

Hmm again….

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8 thoughts on “my own linking practices

  1. Jay Fienberg

    The elder dudes sit down with us and say: you link to us a lot, we start to link back to you, and then you’re part of the club.

    But, they don’t call it “the club”: they call it “*the* blogosphere”.

    And, they’ve got a whole conspiracy going: they talk about its structure constantly in the news, design their search engines to promote the link-quantity-endowed, give awards and status to those so promoted, etc. Oppress the link-poor with nofollow, bend a Google-utility to its will. . .

    Whatever you mean by your links, they’ll replace meaning with their way of quantity-measure which so suits themselves. . .


  2. samira khan

    I have to say that im totally a linker …im the spread the word girl, infact i think i deserve some royalties for forcing some sites onto people…however in my circle of friends the linkers are the males. I do see Shelly’s point of view…and I actually wish my female friends would have made Shelly’s theory true in my circle.

  3. eszter

    It would be interesting to see – for some context – the male/female authorship ratio of the blogs in the universe of blogs to which you may link in the first place (that is, ones you tend to read). Do you tend to read more blogs written by men vs women? If yes then one possible question is: Why? If no then one possible question is: So what is it about blogs authored by men that elicits more linking on your part? (It seems from the above that it may be disagreements.)

  4. JamesJayTrouble

    Thank you, danah, for illustrating the fallacy behind brain-dead simple agree/disagree linkage quantitative analysis.

    The Technorati power mavens want to ensure the Dr. Shirky’s Power Laws, intentionally or not.

    (Not to be overly quantitative, I hope, here’s a couple little tidbits: The virus attacks have escalated this weekend, and the ratio of virus attacks to emails I receive is generally in the neighborhood of 25 to 50 to 1.. conservatively estimated…)-;

  5. stef

    i like to link based upon the ideas of the blogger: I dont think of their sex: I do have to say I visit here alot cause danah is a very cool person, and i feel like I am in university again.

    always did better with female professors than males, and it may have to do with early life dyslexia, and the help of special ed teachers from that part of my life.

    So I also see my blogging patterns reflective of how I adapted to learning disability; it was in the context of learning to overcome being shy, and become very social: hence, my linking is very un guyish, and it is towards being hearing and being heard within a community (though not completely good at it). it also reflects a repetitive attension capturing that is misinterpreted. Those who cannot speak well, have a way of developing alternative languages.

    have done well with working with the elderly because I understand this: not sure if I could ever work with the young; the impatience is so different, as are short term memories.

    So with blogging, I tend to be referential to things blogged a long time ago: Like an elderly person that is recounting an old experience. The blog world is so into now: for the moment now.

    Look at the devices to moniter the blogoshpere: technorati is so focused what is happening now. There is less and less focus on the future, and the past: like a real time stuck in notimeland.

    So is linking a way to remember past experiences and during different relationships? Past digital self representations during those relationships? We learn about Goffman here, link to the web pages, and find the real paper books, and we find other readers, and we try reading as different persons.

    A Metabeing, light and ever present: remebering via the google search engine that shows how we share power and form communities.

    Heaven has become a Flickr heaven for Pope john paul ii as the gates have become the cathedral of virtual not being in central park during the time those curtains hung, cluttering a natural setting.

  6. zephoria

    Stef – what you think you’re doing and what you’re actually doing are often different. This was part of my point in putting up my stats. I did not expect that at all because over half of the blogs i read are written by women.

    If you’re interested in involuntary discrimination, check out Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink.” You have biases that you’re not even aware of.

    This is why i think it’s interesting to try to be reflective.

  7. zephoria

    Eszter – i still don’t use feedreaders. Of the blogs that i read daily, here are the breakdowns:

    M: 9
    F: 20
    group: 3 (2 of which i am a contributor; 2 of which are mixed gender and the last is just female)

    I would *never* link to the vast majority of blogs that i read – they’re about my friends. People IM me regularly with links. Of those, i’d bet that the bast majority are male bloggers.

  8. Mel

    “If you’re interested in involuntary discrimination, check out Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink.” You have biases that you’re not even aware of.”

    I just finished Blink and thought it was fantastic. AND I went and did the IAT test at Harvard afterwards. Wow… I was pleased with a few of my results but a couple surprised me. That’s conditioning for you. The IAT is online so Stef (or anyone else) can go and find out just how much their unconscious has been conditioned in ways you might not be very happy about:

    PS – this is a serious test. not a party trick. the results may vary depending on your mood so take a few different times and compare the results.

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