In February, VIDA, the organization of women in the literary arts, came out with a compelling set of figures showing the under-representation of women in publishing and book reviewing. Amy King (a poet who happened to be one of the very first people to support Typetrigger with a piece of her writing), noted that the publishing figures do not accurately reflect the numbers of women who are writing. Much was said and blogged about the numbers, and many organizations looked at their own gender breakdowns to see how they measured up. As a woman-founded project, Typetrigger felt a need to search our data for some answers and see what is going on in our community. Since we stopped asking new members about their location and gender upon sign up, many of our users have declined to share this with us, which makes our numbers a little fuzzy. It appears that our breakdown is close to half women and half men (note women are red in this graphic, while men are dark gray).
On a day-to-day basis, about equal numbers of men and women write on Typetrigger. About equal numbers are "liked," and a few more women than men have applied for our Summer 2011 grant. Obviously Typetrigger is neither a publisher in the the traditional sense, nor are we reviewers, but I thought it is interesting that our own numbers seem to bear out the idea that writers are about equally likely to be women as men.
Here is another fun stat about our users:
Only about 8 percent of our daily visitors write on Typetrigger. Even assuming that another 40 percent of our daily visitors are writers who simply are not writing on a particular day, it appears that half or more of our community is just here to read. Maybe they have never written, or maybe they only rarely do, but they seem to come--and come back.
Here is another funny fact: those readers who don't write also do not "like." We know they must like what they are reading or they wouldn't be coming back to read. But they are shy. Maybe they don't want us to notice them. I encourage all members of our Typetrigger community, even those who only read, to participate in liking as well as sharing writing from the site. It is an incredible feeling to see that your words have resonated with someone, even (especially?) if that someone is not a writer. Don't be shy, we are glad you are here!