Is Your Blog Ginger or Mary Ann?

Ginger and Mary Ann

It’s a debate as old as the hills. Who’s hotter, Ginger or Mary Ann?

It’s pretty clear that the Gilligan’s Island creators thought Ginger had it hands down. A redheaded Marilyn Monroe knockoff in sequined gowns and high-heels, Ginger Grant was what used to be called a “starlet,” whose sole reason for existence was her sex appeal.

Mary Ann Summers, on the other hand, was the girl next door. A Kansas cutie in pigtails and cut-offs, she was down to earth, sensible, and could make a comfy hammock out of coconut vines.

Before Lost, Survivor or Castaway, there was the iconic Gilligan’s Island. So, if your blog could be personified as a shapely star of a really cheesy 1960s sitcom, which would it be? Ginger, or Mary Ann?

To quote Jim “Suldog” Sullivan, “This is the question which has plagued adolescent boys, and the men who think like them, since time immemorial (that is, 1964.)”

Ginger was a star

Ginger had a certain dignity. She was a little aloof, she held herself apart as something special. When confronted with being marooned for the rest of her life on a desert island, she never considered compromising her essential identity. She didn’t dabble in things she was no good at, like catching food, cooking or building shelter.

Ginger was a specialist, optimized to perform in a certain environment and not really interested in adapting to anything different. Some would call that strength of character; others, pigheadness.

Does your blog adapt and shift to catch the latest content fads? Or do you stick to your sequins and create a new definition of authority?

Mary Ann was useful

Along with the Professor, Mary Ann had a deeply practical bent. When you’re on a desert island, it’s good to know how to do things that are actually useful. Catch fish, build a hut, fend off cannibals who bear a spooky resemblance to retired Borscht-Belt comedians.

If Mary Ann was a blog, she’d give lots of practical, solid advice that her readers would want to file away for reference. She’d be the queen of the numbered list. She’d make Delicious popular once a week without breaking a sweat.

Ginger was remarkable

When faced with desolation and probable starvation, anyone can start whipping up the bamboo huts and coconut pies. It takes some creativity and chutzpah to retain your movie star essence in the face of spending the rest of your life talking to the same six mildly retarded stereotypes.

Ginger has a certain Norma Desmond stubbornness, a refusal to let shabby reality get in the way of her self-created legend. She’s still big, it’s the island that got small.

Are you cranking out ordinary content for a me-too blog? Or are you redefining what it means to blog, pushing the envelope, and shaking your sequins when everyone around you is weaving frumpy grass skirts?

Mary Ann was relevant

Mary Ann looked around and saw what needed to get done. She figured out the needs of her community, pitched in, and helped create what was most relevant to that situation and that audience.

Mary Ann knows how to listen. Her blog content comes from the greater conversation. She’s read The Cluetrain Manifesto so often she can quote long stretches of it from memory. (Lucky for her, since Amazon doesn’t deliver to desert islands.) It would be irritating if it wasn’t so completely heartfelt.

Mary Ann thinks this joke is hilarious:

Q: How many bloggers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Let me know what you think in the comments.

Let’s face it, Ginger is hot

Ginger is champagne and caviar, martinis and cigarettes, Betty Page and the Vargas girl.

Ginger is killer headlines. Ginger is linkbait. Everyone talks about her, everyone wants to know what she’s up to. Ginger can hit the front page of Digg with a long, smoky look and a shift of her hips.

On the other hand, Mary Ann is also hot

Mary Ann is cut-offs and hayrides, apple pie and farm breakfasts, Doris Day and the girl next door. Mary Ann is the girl you marry.

Mary Ann is passionate about her content community. Mary Ann follows 15,839 users on Twitter. Everyone loves her, everyone links to her. Mary Ann has the face that launched a thousand blogrolls.

So which is your blog?

Ginger, or Mary Ann?

About the Author: Sonia Simone is an Associate Editor of Copyblogger and the founder of Remarkable Communication.

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Reader Comments (59)

  1. says

    My blog is SO Mary Ann. I just can’t pull off the Ginger bit. I think it’s the posts about cars that ruin my chances at being all fancy schmancy. But hey, who doesn’t like pigtails, right?

  2. says

    It’s funny. I had a post awhile back asking if anyone ever felt like the Gilligan of real estate when things went wrong. It ended up (not surprisingly) devolving into the same debate you mention here. By the way….Mary Ann was my choice. I think my blog is probably a little bit of both.

  3. says

    Never thought of blogging this way. Do I wish I were Ginger or Mary Ann or both? Great food for thought.

    I guess when you get down to it, for me it’s better to be practical than glamorous. But if anyone of them could build a car from bamboo, why the heck didn’t they get off that island sooner!

  4. says

    Why Copblogger, I didn’t know you felt this way about me!


    I see why you’re known as a wordsmith, fabulous post! I think my blog is more a combination of both and wanting to lean more to Mary Ann.

  5. says

    Well, since I’m still giggling over the “How many bloggers does it take to change a light bulb?” joke, I guess I have to go with Mary Ann.

    “Let me know what YOU think, in the comments.”

    That’s just cracking me up!


  6. says

    Forget about Ginger and Mary Ann. I want my blog to be more like Mrs. Howell. She’s got a lot of money and didn’t work too hard to earn it.

  7. says

    Do we really have to choose? They both are sexy for being on an old show. I think every blog would rather be Ginger. It just seems a little bit more exciting and way more powerful. Then again, if they are both hot though that probably means either way your blog is hot. :s I don’t know about this article. It got me rolling on the floor laughing more than anything. What a funny thing to compare your blog too.

  8. says

    I’m both!

    I was convinced I’d end up being Ginger by the last paragraph, but I’m more… Ginger in her next-door-girl version. People link to me because they like me and I’m not breaking any digg records (actually, because my blog’s in spanish, I’m not even in digg).

  9. says

    You boys and your threesomes. :)

    @Carole, bless you for laughing at that, I am glad not to be the only one.

    @James, I think you would look very cute in high heels. Kind the Canadian version of Rocky Horror.

    @Anthony, I like the way you think.

  10. says

    I’m not sure my blog is either of those two, I think it might be more Agent 99 of Get Smart – smart and practical with a little style thrown in, and the occasional one-liner.

  11. says

    I always liked “Fantasy Island” better than Gilligan. If I were a guy, I’d have wanted to be Mr. Rourke, making peoples’ fantasies come true. De plane, de plane!

  12. says

    Man, who wouldn’t want to claim being Mary Ann? You were never sure what you were going to be getting from Ginger, but Mary Ann was always steady and straight forward, and probably the most stable character on the entire show. Loved her!

  13. says

    I think, as my friend Ludacris said, I would want a Mary Ann in the streets but a Ginger in bed.

    Peace up, A-town down.

  14. Tracey says

    Ha! I love this blog post. My blog is one of the natives that the group always suspected they were sharing the island with – irreverant, a little weird, and not always noticed.

  15. says

    Truly creative post. thank you!

    Forgeddabout the crew. I want that suitcase that carried everything from candelabra to mink coats. :-)

    Or maybe I’m that signal fire that always seemed to go out at the wrong moment?

    Perhaps they were MEANT to be on that island forever. An early Groundhog Day.


  16. says

    My blog is Thurston Howell (the Third!) by the way Iā€™m burning cash (like it grows on coconut trees) promoting my new blog! Help me with a click, lovie-dovie!

    (I’m such an idiot… I can’t even type my url into the box correctly. Can’t I hire someone to do that for me?!?)

  17. says

    I wish I could pull off Ginger…I wish I was that good like you, but I’m not. I tend to stick to my main topic guns and try to be outstanding but I doubt I actually am.

  18. says

    Wonderful post, and great question. (And I too laughed at the lightbulb joke!)

    The Office Diet is definitely Mary Ann. Heck, *I* am probably Mary Ann (with a hidden streak of ginger).

    Alpha Student, on the other hand, is an attempt to do what Brian suggests and be both. It’s useful, yeah, but it’s also supposed to be fun, new, not just the same-old-same-old advice but a different take on being a student. And rather than wearing The Office Diet’s hand-me-down and patched Cutline theme, Alpha Student has a style all of its own…

  19. says

    Maybe the best lesson we can learn from Mary Ann and Ginger is just to be yourself, in life and in your blog.

    After all, even if you put a slinky evening gown on Mary Ann, she’d still be friendly, down-home Mary Ann. And if you put blue jean cut-offs and a t-shirt on Ginger, she’d still be a sultry, stuck-up egotist. In other words, they’d be fooling no one.

  20. says

    I’d have to say Ginger. The main reason is there are so many things that I “should” do with my blog if I want to make it really solid but for some reason I just write about what I feel like at any given second

  21. says

    If you got a REALLY private Blog, is it possible to be another person by wrinting on your Blog than in real life?
    I’m Ginger in live AND on my Blog :-)
    Thx for this post!

  22. says

    As a simple and basic Potato Chef I would hope that Mary Ann would be the lass of my choosing. Besides, I could put her to work in the kitchen…she wouldn’t mind…she would look forward to it.

  23. says

    Amazing, I would have never thought to call myself (my site) Mary Ann, but it fits. Funny, but I always liked her best anywan! Thanks for a really excellent and creative post that a lot of us can still identify with!

  24. says

    I think this is all about broadcasting versus conversing; broadcasters are independent, don’t work with others, and make proclamations, while conversationalists are focused on comments, feedback, and networking.

    Broadcasters make quantum leaps while conversationalists build incremental momentum.

    Mary Ann was a conversationalist while Ginger was a broadcaster.

    I prefer broadcasting… it’s more exciting.

  25. says

    Ha! I love this blog post. My blog is one of the natives that the group always suspected they were sharing the island with ā€“ irreverant, a little weird, and not always noticed

  26. says

    Right now my blog is neither. I’m trying to get things going with it to get readers. It is a bit slow maybe because I’ve got to much going on at one time which is my fault. Need to work on maybe 1-3 projects at time until they get established then start working on other projects.

  27. William McRae says

    I have been reading about writing a little bit lately. No matter if you create words, or songs, or dances, or buildings, or dresses…..this feeds thought. With such a Ginger name, Sonia sure can be Maryann.

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