Tooting

Arab female bloggers have dominated the Toot Top Ten list again, and Ahmed Humeid, jokingly and in a squealing male preaching voice, said there is a conspiracy. It is a conspiracy, I say, but not necessarily an illegal one. I guess what going on here is that girls only vote for girls! Yes, it’s sexism the other way around!

From my experience in the Saudi blogosphere, I can tell you that girls tend to comment mostly on other girls’ blogs, while the comments section of male bloggers are always inhabited by dust and silence. In a way, this has something to do with the distribution of gender; the majority of Saudi bloggers are females.

Now I’m not sure if this also applies to the Arab blogosphere, but I guess if female Arab bloggers don’t outnumber their male counterparts, then they are equal in count. Meanwhile, in the West the blogosphere is mainly dominated by males, white males to be more specific. But wait, how about other parts of the world? How about China, or Japan?

Back to Toot: although I like the website very much, and it’s one of the few websites that I visit daily, I think it can improve on some stuff. The current design of Toot is so cool and Web 2.0-ish, but I think the header should be smaller to invest screen real estate into some more important content. For example, the three daily featured posts should include an excerpt from the post, not just the title. This can be put underneath the title of the post, or by using some Ajaxian hack like the one used currently to show other recent posts by the blogger.

The voting system should be reviewed too, because the current one is not exactly user-friendly. I’ve been thinking about something like the method used by Google for AdSense. I mean that when someone clicks on the link to a post, that’s one vote. I know there is no system immune to manipulation, so this method can be manipulated too, but I think it’s easy to discover manipulation by analyzing any unusual trends in the hits, and can be easily solved using IP. Or, maybe they can use the two methods combined together in some way. (To the Toot team: I’m no geek, so if this does not make any sense then just ignore it because I don’t really know what I’m talking about!)

Toot are now in the process of adding more blogs to their rich and delicious choice of blogs, and they are also preparing for a design competition. I’m also looking forward for their ad program, which they announced a while ago. Good luck guys, you are doing a great job! Keep up the good work, and keep on bringing us the finest of the Arab blogosphere.

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