Friday Fun: Is Blogging a 2.0 Stg. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band?


Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

Bloggers are you lonely tonight? Or are you building and living in a virtual fantasy world? For University of Calgary Professor Michael Keren that's called Blogging. Sounds like a sort of 2.0 Stg. Pepper's Lonely Sgt_peppers_lonely_hearts_club_band Hearts Club Band.

In his new blog book (Freudian slip perhaps. Thanks CK for the catch), Blogosphere; The New Political Arena, the good Prof says,"Bloggers think of themselves as rebels against mainstream society, but that rebellion is mostly confined to cyberspace, which makes blogging as melancholic and illusionary as Don Quixote tilting at windmills.

I think the good professor has missed the heart and soul of blogging and of bloggers - community and relationship. I'd like to introduce him to our village of the the blogoshere. To show him the communities that Ann Handley, Rick Bruno Mack Collier, Dmitrity Kruglyak, Jeneane Sessum and The BlogHer Divas have built.

To introduce him generous and kind people like Shel Israel, who I know has seen very different Neighborhoods, and to Jane Genova and Fard Johnmar and Marianne Richman and Tim Jackson and Rick Short and Dr. Lasky and Yvonne DiVita  and Sybil Stershic and Stephan Spencer and  Tris Hussey and Jim Turner and CK and Josh Hallett and Katya Andresen .. and .. and . and ..  y'all!  What follows is a letter to Professor Keren.

Dear Professor Keren -

I've been reading with interest about your philosophy regarding bloggers and social media. "Bloggers are living in a world where emotions may be real but everything else is make-believe, says a University of Calgary professor in a new book." - CNews

Oh sure there are lonely people who blog. There are sure to be people who have created a fantasy word in cyber space for themselves.

However, there are thousands and thousands of people leading full lives who are also blogging.  These people will tell you that blogging has enriched their lives.  They will tell you that social media has had a positive influenced their lives .. off-line and on-line. They also will tell you that they have developed real, honest friendships.

For me, a community is a group of people who care about one another more than they have to. David Weinberger in an interview with Rebecca Blood

People are simply communicating in a new way Professor Keren. A way that was not possible until technology and the internet unlocked the limitations of physical travel. From the blog JeremyOut/complements of Jeneane Sessume at the blog Allied

This is a new day in being "social" -- for men and for women. Friendships today are not what they were in our parents' day. We can dare to share our true feelings in a way my father's generation never could.

Yes, social media has influenced and changed lives. But those changes (for the most part) are based in reality not in a pretend world. I launched a blog, Blogger Stories, to collect and tell those stories.  I invite you to drop by and read a few. You'll find the tales to be heart warming, inspirational and very real. And every once in awhile something amazing happens.

Jack Yan, publisher of Lucire, - blogs serve to make the world a collection of neighbours rather than disparate groups separated by borders.

Nedra Weinreich - blogging can be a powerful force for social change, and the more people are connected, the larger the potential for having an impact.

Nadia Muna Gil - blogging is a way to indulge her passion while at the same time doing something for the greater good.

I welcome you to join the conversation either by comment or I'm happy to offer you a guest post on Diva Marketing. 

Very best.

Toby Bloomberg
Diva Marketing (Blog)

Sidebar: Divo and Diva Bloggers if you are lonely tonight here's a song list to help you sing the blues!

  • Are You Lonesome Tonight?- Elvis Presley
  • Only The Lonely - Roy Orbison
  • So Lonely - The Police
  • In A Lonely Place  - The Smithereens
  • Lonely - Akon
  • I'm so lonesome I could cry - Cowboy Junkies
  • Another Lonely Day - Ben Harper
  • Lonely Soul - Unkle
  • Song For The Lonely - Cher
  • What's Up Lonely - Kelly Clarkson
  • Share Another Lonely Song - Lorrie Morgan
  • Are You Lonely - by Ann Mortifee & Valerie Hennell
  • The Lonely - Toby Keith
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band  - The Beatles

Disclaimer:  Although I have not read the book this post is based on the press release along with various articles and posts. Unfortunately, Prof  Keren doesn't have a blog .. or if he does I couldn't locate it.

Read More:
Jim Elve, BlogCanada - media release and interesting commentary.

Update: CK's post is a great example of how a conversation expands and moves in the online world of social media/blogs. A must read!


business astrology for fun -
from The Astro Divas Paula Dare & Donna Page

The effects of last night's full moon in Leo are still filtering down bringing the desire to let loose, have fun, and party. Take your favorite client out for lunch, or meet someone for cocktails after work. Keep it light and keep your goal not on creating business but on creating connection.

With the moon in Leo and Venus in Pisces being able to connect and understand the problems and dramas of your business associates will be the foundation for loyalty for years to come. The Moon moves into Virgo Saturday morning about 9:30am and will be there for the rest of the weekend. Use this energy to recommit to your diet and exercise program and to catch up on any paperwork and boring task that need to be accomplished to keep your business running smoothly.


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Who can be lonely in the blogosphere? Not only do we meet people from all over the world (sometimes I think it's all over the Universe)... by blogging to and with them, we bump into them in our business travels. Sometimes that's on purpose - other times a surprise. Gosh, just like real life!

The good professor has, as many do, overlooked the social Divas and Davids who use their network for connecting others - like you, Toby. You've connected me to dozens of people I would never have met on my own.

Prof Keren should come to Blogher. And, he should join the conversation over at my blog - have you chimed in, Toby? Mind the Gap by Lena West just begs for your comment.

Posted by: Yvonne DiVita on Feb 3, 2007 5:36:12 PM

Interesting...I wonder what grade a student would get from the professor for reading 9 fiction books and then concluding that all books were works of fiction written by fiction writers. Or the accuracy of a sample size of 9 to explain the behavior of 8 million Americans.


Posted by: Marianne Richmond on Feb 3, 2007 5:47:43 PM

I’m honoured to be mentioned, Toby, and I agree with your thoughts: it’s community and sharing, not rebelling, that brought me to the blogosphere in the first place.

Posted by: Jack Yan on Feb 3, 2007 6:32:14 PM


Thanks so much for the mention! I agree with every word of your post. I'm far from lonely and am firmly entrenched in the real world.

Posted by: Fard Johnmar on Feb 4, 2007 3:24:05 PM

Excellent post and letter you Diva! I echo Marianne's sentiment and if this author were to spend one week in my busy and fulfilling work life, blog life and NYC fun life he would see that I'm not lonely. Quite the contrary (and I'm not sure he'd be able to keep up with all the social activity).Yeah, send the professor my way for a week and he'll likely reexamine his hyphothesis.

I blog because it's enriching both professionally and personally--in fact, many of my (offline) friends are a little miffed at me because I've had to cut back on some hang-out time as I dedicate it to blogging and marketing programs that build community (like the Book Club). These programs serve to bring more colleagues and friends my can that be lonely? Especially given that I now (happily) need to make time for all the new and old friends in my life. Doesn't lonely mean that one has a lack of people in their life?

Which begs the question: how does one write on a subject matter or activity that they haven't engaged in? Hmm.

Posted by: CK on Feb 4, 2007 3:33:23 PM

Thanks for your comments. I realized that I've met CK, Fard, Marianne and Yvonne in person. Jack one day I'll get to NZ! So one might say, I've integrated my online with offline worlds.

Posted by: Toby on Feb 4, 2007 10:45:38 PM

"Prof Keren doesn't have a blog .. or if he does I couldn't locate it."

Just so I know the story here....

Are you telling me that this guy, who doesn't blog, wrote a book about blogging, and as his research for said book, talked to NINE bloggers?

I had to click-through to the article to see for myself, and one of the nine in his sample was a "Canadian woman living in the woods in a cabin in Quebec."

And a publisher actually PAID him to write this?

Wow. That's the type of gig I need!

Posted by: Mack Collier on Feb 5, 2007 3:10:18 AM

Buon giorno Toby:

I've been reading your blog for a while and think that now is the perfect moment to introduce myself. In my foray into the blogosphere, which I consider an extension of all the other offline activities, I have met some of the most skilled and generous practitioners I could not possibly have met in years of walking rooms at events.

CK was a rare find, and so were the numerous other friends I am making slowly by getting off the ePage, so to speak. Perhaps the professor is stuck at the point in time when blogging was that online journal tool -- and even in that, he might have missed the rich posts of friends who took a sabbatical and corresponded from the road.

What I noticed is that most of the bloggers who write about business, began to do so with greater focus in this last year. In that case, is one whole year missing from the Professor's calendar? I've heard of beautiful calendars being lifted from places. I just got a call from Michigan State University to report just that with a request for another of our popular wall calendars.

The best way to learn is by joining the conversation.

Posted by: Valeria Maltoni on Feb 5, 2007 10:06:53 AM

Toby, thank you as always for sharing. I think the good professor needs to take a class in market research. If 9 bloggers are the extent of the research for his book, I assume that he is publishing for tenure and cares less about the quality of his work.

My latest book reviewed hundreds of articles, white papers and books, and I could have researched hundreds more but one needs to stop somewhere and begin writing. Good writers research and then write with a point of view. It seems the good professor chose to skip the first part.

Posted by: Lewis Green on Feb 5, 2007 1:26:36 PM

Blogging sometimes is melancholic. In my experience, a lot of writing is. And last time I checked, you do it alone.

But that's not the point, is it? It's what happens after the posting that's so connective.

Nice post, TB!

Posted by: Ann Handley on Feb 5, 2007 8:53:29 PM

Some people seem to get it .. and some people are not ready to jump into the future. One of my favorite lines from the FedX Superbowl commercial is "No one ever said being a pioneer is easy." And that's what I feel we all are .. pioneers in a new communication world.

Posted by: Toby on Feb 5, 2007 9:39:13 PM

"One of my favorite lines from the FedX Superbowl commercial is "No one ever said being a pioneer is easy."

Which brings me to one of my all-time fave lines: "Vision ain't so grand for the visionary." I paraphrase and use "ain't". Do excuse me Diva ;-)

Posted by: CK on Feb 6, 2007 1:31:18 PM

Just now getting caught up enough after my Taiwan travels- which I did of course blog about. And... I was contacted via the blog by another bike industry guy who happens to be in Taiwan full time. Now, when I return in March, I have somebody new to have a beer with. That happened because of the blog. Poor lonely me.

I have new friends in Italy, Australia, Taiwan, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Japan and other countries all because of the blog.

I have countless new friends all over the US thanks to the blog. There is hardly a state where I don't know somebody now. Some of the very most bestest friends I have are people from the blogosphere and I cherish them as if they lived down the street. I've sipped wine with the Diva even... poor pathetic blogging me.

Clearly Prof. Denial hasn't actually spent any time doing anything more than a cursory glance of blogs. I wonder what would happen if I talked to 9 Canadians and then proclaimed the entire country populated with idiots? (Well, there is at least one idiot anyway.)

I hope he'll reexamine his flawed theories and premise. It would be a shame for him to make such an ass of himself.

Posted by: Tim Jackson on Feb 6, 2007 5:18:41 PM

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