Friday Fun: Suspended For Friendship


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.

Today's Diva Marketing's Friday Fun post is suspended. A word of caution .. this is a messy post.

Weblogs are a messy extension of (the blogger’s) identify … links and multiple views in conversation with one another. David Weinberger

Sidebar: On 11-19-04 I wrote a post that quoted David Weinberger's C-Span speech (well worth your time). This is such a post.

This week there were dark events in the blogosphere. Tapestry_2_2 Visualize a beautiful tapestry that has been vandalized by a group of thugs. Then visualize the impact that would have on the artisans who spent days and nights of their lives designing and weaving that intricate work.

Let me say right off, this post is a risk for me. It's a risk because I've drawn a line in the sand to build my business practice helping companies use social media communications as a marketing initiative. Something that I believe in and am passionate about.   

It's a risk because this post exposes the dark side of the blogosphere to people who many think twice about the credibility of blogs, podcasts and vlogs as a marketing initiative. Marketing has changed and like it or not there is no turning back. The old world is no longer and we all need to understand the how the game has shifted .. the good, the bad and the ugly. This post is a risk worth taking.

I talk a lot about the culture of social media and the importance of being part of the community and conversation. In addition, I felt the need to join in the discussion of a critical issue in 'my industry.'  As well as, to support the people who have been caught in the crossfires and to raise my voice among many who are outraged about the a situation that goes far beyond spam, negative comments or disagreements.

Many eloquent bloggers have posted an analysis of the situation. I encourage you to read their thoughts - Lewis Green, Susan Getgood, Marianne Richmond, Mack Collier, David Armano, Shel Israel, Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort, Elana Centor, Tris Hussey, Jim Turner, Ronnie Bennett, BL Ochman

But this post is not about that. It is to give back. It is to remind us what seems to be lost this past week. Thus the title: Suspended For Friendship.

.. because although not nearly to this extent, I too found myself in the whirls of very public blogosphere flames. I launched GourmetStation's Delicious Destinations, one of the first character blogs. The situation was far more beign than what happened this week, but my experience was very real to me.

Friends supported me. People like Tris Hussey and Paul Chaney. People like Susan Getgood, who I didn't know at the time. And yes, sometimes friends did disagreed like my pal Shel Israel

This Is For - Jeanene Sessum .. You Rock. I have no doubt that you were as much a victim as Kathy Sierra or Maryam Scoble

We bloggers talk much about friendships, community and relationships that lead to deeper appreciation of the people who author blogs and the people who comment on blogs. Seems to me that in some posts and off list email this has gotten lost. We are quick to point fingers. Quick to pronounce guilt. Quick to join the crowded, emotionally raw conversation.

We who profess to forge conversations have forgotten that there are People behind these funny websites called blogs. People with feelings and families and businesses that are dependent on their online presence.

In a recent interview with Jane Gevona, author Robert L. Dilenschneider, Power and Influence: The Rules Have Changed, reinforces the concept that it is technology that has made the world of influence and power flat.

We who write blogs, tape podcasts and film vlogs, no matter how many visitors, views, downloads or comments, are part of a new influential group. Our thoughts skip through a global community with the reach of a million rain drops or in this case a million tear drops. Frequently our ideas don't remain in cyberspace but are passed along in the 'real world' and even landing in main stream media.

This week too many people lost an innocence that may never be reclaimed. Like a home that that has been violated, doors that were never locked will be .. moderator filters will be turned on, comments and trackbacks turned off. Our conversations may not be as naked.

Is social media marketing a risk worth taking? I still say yes. Why? Because the old business world has changed. The doors have been thrown open. There is no going back.

A word of caution .. this is a messy world, but working together BBF (best blogger friends -thanks to Masiguy for the phrase) I believe can create a way of doing business .. and do it even better.

Max_and_tag_2 Perhaps we should take a cue from my Westie pup Max and his friend Tab the cat.
Or the Astro Divas ~ whose post seems to dovetail into this situation.




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

Pluto turns Retrograde Sat. 3/31/07 – 9/8/07. Take this period of time to review your business. It maybe a very good time to let go of outdated modes of operation and habits that don’t serve their purpose anymore.

In addition Jupiter also turns Retrograde Thurs. 4/5/07. This ties in with your belief system. Do you still have faith and belief in yourself that you are accomplishing what you set out to do? Have you bitten off more than you can chew? If you’ve overextended yourself, you may feel overwhelmed. Take care of previous commitments before saying yes to anything else.

Mon. afternoon 4/2/07 the Full Moon falls in Libra ruling relationships. This is a good time to discover new ways of relating to one another. Try being nice to that irritating obnoxious co-worker. You know the old saying about how you get more from honey than vinegar. By being diplomatic you just may find the cooperation you desire.

This isn’t necessarily a good time to make final decisions but it’s a better time to experiment with many new ideas until you discover the one that suits your need the best.


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» Is the Kathy Sierra Incident an Anomaly? from bizsolutionsplus Featuring Solutions to Grow Your Business
My earlier post about Kathy Sierra initiated quite a few comments and e-mails. One of the e-mails came from Peter G. Vajda, Co-Founder of SpiritHeart, an Atlanta-based company dedicated to “Essential Well-Be-ing” for body, mind and spirit. His ... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 31, 2007 9:37:02 AM


Well thanks for the links Toby, and thanks for being my BBF.

Posted by: Jim Turner on Mar 30, 2007 11:44:38 PM

Thanks this passage.It is useful.We all know friends play a very important part in our daily life .If we have not friend we will feel dull .Our friend will come when we are in trouble.

Posted by: Daniel Pennant on Mar 31, 2007 4:19:37 AM


Your tapestry visual says it all....and the rest of your post provides the libretto. Great are so right.

Posted by: Marianne Richmond on Mar 31, 2007 9:00:49 AM


You're the best. Thank your for this thoughtful post. And please don't stop blogging. The world in all of its place is complex, and people sometimes say and do things they shouldn't. It carries over into all our lives. But giving up a piece of our life, including blogging, punished only us and our friends and readers. Hang in there. You are loved!

Posted by: Lewis Green on Mar 31, 2007 9:35:47 AM

Dear Toby,

While it is good to stir up a little controversy and make people think, it is not good to be hung out to dry simply for expressing our own truths. After all, everyone has their own truths (or opinions) and we hold these dear to us. We all know that there are times when even the best of friends won't agree. That is what life is all about.

Having just recently started blogging, (inspired by you), it troubles me that a few people (or even one) could deflate the passion one has for writing and sharing these truths - unveiling who we really are to an audience as large as the blogosphere.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for being the person you are - a true-to- code friend who cares deeply about people.

Wishing you a wonderful day ... and then some.


Posted by: Heidi on Mar 31, 2007 1:03:25 PM

Thank you Toby.

Posted by: Tris Hussey on Mar 31, 2007 3:22:46 PM


I feel like such a dork for taking so long to come comment here- please forgive me dear friend.

I agree that the risks are worth taking- far more than the risk of NOT being involved. The down sides all suck and are very painful when they hit you between the eyes. I've suffered from it too and I have always struggled with moderating comments, but have opted to leave things alone... for now.

Toby et al; bravery takes on many different forms. Sometimes that bravery takes the form of being willing to survive attacks on our names and reputations. Sometimes it is in the form of being willing to vent and share and offer up more love.

Thank you Toby for this post. In light of the negativity floating around, this is very refreshing.

Posted by: Tim Jackson on Apr 3, 2007 3:28:33 PM

Hey Toby,
In the early 70s I was a TV reporter. People were envious and thought I had a glamorous job.
While there were many reasons why I didn't want to make TV reporting my life's work, being a"well known" face in my community was at the top of the list.
I hated having people stare at
me when I was out in public.
It was an invasion to have people inspect my grocery cart. It creeped me out. I did think of the unstable folks who could easily find me if they wanted to.

When I moved to Minneapolis being anonymous was absolute bliss.

Before I started blogging I thought about the potential of becoming such a public persona again. Different of course, but I realize that depending on what happened with the blog, my privacy could be at risk.
I decided blogging was worth it.While few bloggers have to worry about having their privacy invaded when they go to the wine shop in their community, successful bloggers do lose their anonymity and with that a loss of privacy.

Sometimes its a shock to the system to realize that there are actual people out there reading,relating and reacting to what we write.

I'm actually feeling very positive about things -- last week's discussion was necessary and enlightening.It's a good thing to lose our innocence when it comes to the risks of being well-known.

great post.

Posted by: Elana on Apr 3, 2007 10:14:42 PM

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