Girls Dont Wiki

At least they don't seem to. We have a couple of notable lasses here, but for the most part it seems we're all lads. How come?

Possible reasons:

Wouldn't it be easier just to ask women than to guess? No.

Wouldn't it be better to go ask some women and report back, than to comment that it would be better to go ask some women?

I don't know any women that use Wiki. Oh, is that your point?

Answers might or might not be accurate. The fact that someone says their reason for doing something was X is really pretty weak evidence that their reason for doing it was X. Real reasons are always way more complex than people's statements of their own motives.

How do you ask the women who've never even heard of wiki why they haven't heard of it? How meaningful would their answers be? How do you ask the women who took a quick look at it and never came back, and how would they know why a higher percentage of them never came back than men?

See also the UseRealNamesForWomen survey on MeatballWiki.

I am at this moment showing my wife what Wiki is. She noticed the page in the RecentChanges list, and wanted to see it. After reading it, she agreed with all but the second bullet. She agreed that the first probably has the biggest influence. She is now anxiously awaiting a response, to see how the collaborative nature of Wiki works.

A couple of years ago there were a few women active on Wiki - it was more of an academic/conference environment back then. Most of them left when the XP boys took over the playground.

I beg to differ. I am a female high school student and I check wiki during every break. I think that females probably just don't sign their work as much, because they are less interested in making a name for themselves than contributing to the discussion.

In that case, I would like to apologize on behalf of the ... men ... who authored this page and accidentally made you think they were talking about you. I suppose there may be quite a few girls who Wiki; and you should feel proud (but not particularly special).

However, the authors should have called this page "WomenWhoWiki?"! -- PhlIp

I can't speak for other women, but for me the #1 reason is lack of time. I barely manage to scan RecentChanges once every day or two, let alone write something here :-(

-- YonatSharon

All those months I've really appreciated your footnote on SecondGenerationProgrammer Yonat but I didn't even know you were of completely the opposite er ... gender than we all kinda assume around here (shame on us all). Now if you had been SharonYonat? from Australia I would never have made that mistake. But thanks for not only revealing my ignorance of Hebrew names but also greatly increasing the statistical interest of your observation (How many women programmers exist with a grandparent who also programs? I'm not expecting the WikiBallotBox to be very full for that one. :))

-- RichardDrake

See also MinoritiesOnWiki

I've been poking around Wiki all day and it has just begun to dawn on me that there are hardly any female voices on this site. I did a quick search for "women "(1 result) then "woman" (0 results) then finally found this page with "girl" (1 result). I don't think wiki is an especially masculine format. Heck, it's collaborative, a stereotypically feminine approach to doing things. One possible explanation is that the web is very public, and many of us tend to be cautious about advertising our gender. I sometimes adopt a gender-neutral handle so that I don't need to deal with stereotyping, or worry about harassment. -- AnnBernstein

Search for "men" (1 result which was an empty content page that I deleted). Quite a number of hits for "man". "boy" hits are inflated due to the common use of "cowboy".

For what it's worth, our Wiki-like community building thingie called Clublets (of which more in the not too distant future) very early decided that the role of "clublet host[ess]" would almost certainly be better fulfilled by women. Just think hostess of many of the best parties one really wants to be part of. Men have been known to do it well but so often women do it better, because they see the need to enable relationships between others rather than rush to grab territory, limelight, bragging rights and soapbox all at once. We have some very interesting trials of this thesis underway at the moment. I agree that this is a very feminine medium and have thought so from the earliest weeks of starting to make the traditional masculine mess here in January 1999. -- RichardDrake

This is interesting, actually, since I heard about wiki first from women and only know one guy (in real life) who uses wiki.

Maybe, part of the problem is that people assume that ungendered people are male, while many of them may be women who simply don't mention their genders? I've noticed this in other places... someone goes "There aren't any girls here" and then a whole bunch of people go "hey, wait, I'm a girl!" (and then some dolt starts making less-than-female-friendly comments and everyone gets disgusted and the conversation terminates)

I hope such comments would be deleted on a Wiki...

I have been lurking here for almost two years. You'll just have to believe me when I say I'm a woman.

And if I'd named the page, it would have been ChicksDontWiki?, just because I think it sounds better... nbl

Shameless plug alert

Some LinuxChix wiki. We currently use good old fashioned mailing lists, but a technology-and-gender wiki may be implemented in future. -- ClaudineChionh?

Check out the NBTSWikiWiki at The demographics of the NBTSWikiWiki are quite different than this wiki. There are many adolescent girls contributing to that site. Maybe even the majority of contributions are made by females there. So, I think it's primarily the content (software engineering topics) that draws the predominantly male audience. In turn, the combative tone of many of the threads reflects the fact that it's a mostly male audience. Finally, the archetypical male voice heard throughout these pages probably scares away many potential female authors. -- EdwardZimmerman

And then there is ChiqChaq at (in Hebrew) where most of the participants are women (We do have some men and kids too). I guess it's the themes - natural living, attachment parenting, homeschooling, and so on. -- YonatSharon

I agree with Ann - I don't think Wiki is a particularly masculine environment. I always considered it a very communicative place which bothers to remember the conversations it's had. It's not to say there isn't penis-waving going on, but its a lot less than in other places. And I've found no need to adopt a gender neutral name because I haven't had any hassle.

And I have plenty of time to Wiki. Learning from others is a part of my job.


This is sort of a pointless thread.

I'm a __GIRL__, and I wiki. Not only do I wiki, but I've been having fun extending my current PhpWiki functionality, and just came here to research a Java clone to work on. I tend to find this kind of thread (not just distasteful) but also rather irrelevant. Let's just get on with the coding, and not worry about who's male and who's female.

It's sort of silly to assume that just because you're male, everyone else around you is, whoever you are who created this page. Look at all the women coming out of the woodwork raising their hands, "I wiki", "Me too."

Like I said, let's just get on with it....


Hmm, we've been using TWiki for 3+ years at We use it for internal corporate documents, but we have more outside members of our community (game developers, players) using it then we do.

I have zero evidence to support that GirlsDontWiki in all that time. I just did a quick check of edits today and there were 79 submits, and over half were by women players.

Thus I'd say with our TWiki I'd say if anything the women do more. Now part of that reason may be that our first game, Castle Marrach, has probably the same number of men as women as players, so our culture started out more balanced.


I'm a woman who runs a wiki. Where other wikis are concerned (including this one), I limit my participation, and usually do so anonymously, because lurking at most wikis long enough (including this one) makes it clear that the majority of regular users, particularly those with the most authority, are men who hate women. The explanation for the lack of WomenWhoWiki? is the same explanation for lack of women in any particular place. If you truly desire our presence, stop disrespecting us and pretending our opinions are inherently inferior to your own. Simple as that.


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