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Persuasion

Singles, Let’s Multiply Our Influence and Expand Our Reach

Creating the go-to place for the happily single

Quick, name the top blogs about single life. You know the kind I mean - the ones about living single, not trying to become unsingle. Where would you go to find them all in one place? Or how about this: Where would you find information about singles events - workshops, retreats, book readings and such in your neck of the woods and beyond? Where are the resources for people like us who are happily and unapologetically single? Where can scholars go to find information on potential grant support? Where are the lists of high-quality research studies of single life? Suppose I'm looking for singles willing to talk to the media about their single lives, and I need to find them right away - where do I go?

You can find some of this information here and there. I have a singles page of my personal website where I list blogs and resources and my own writings. The Alternatives to Marriage Project has some terrific contributions (for example, on its What We Do page). Unmarried America continues to serve as an important source of information. With Kay Trimberger and Rachel Moran, I started a Singles Studies website years ago, but it is not a site I can access directly, so I have not been able to keep it updated. I've been posting media requests at my personal blog, All Things Single (and More).

I think it is time to do better. We need a definitive all-in-one singles web presence that is continuously updated. I'll tell you what I envision. Then I'd love to get your feedback and suggestions and your help as I try to take this to the next level.

The sort of site I have in mind is, at least in part, an aggregator site, with feeds coming in from various sources. (Newsvine is an example of an aggregated news site - more complicated than what I envision for us, at least initially.) Here are some possible components:

1. Featured most prominently will be feeds from singles blogs. Ideally, you will see the first few sentences of each new blog post (maybe alongside a thumbnail image of the blog or blogger), as soon as it becomes available. Then you will be able to click on a link to continue reading the post at its source. (The new site will work on behalf of singles bloggers and their readers by spreading the word and sending more visitors to their blogs. It will not take the place of the original blogs because only the first few sentences, plus a link, will be posted at the new site.)

2. Upcoming events. Are you a single person hosting a workshop, reading, seminar, teleseminar, retreat, or any other such gathering that is about living single and not just about dating or becoming unsingle? We will announce your event here.

3. A way to sign up for even faster announcements. I'd like to create an email list of people who want to be notified right away of any events, media requests, etc., so that finding out about such things is not dependent on checking the new site constantly. The new site would include a sign-up option. Here are some examples of ways I would use this email list:

a. Sometimes I hear from people in the media who want to talk to singles about their lives and need to reach them right away. I'd send out an email to the list.

b. I'd love to meet more readers of Singled Out, Singlism, and Living Single, but I usually don't have money to travel. Occasionally, though, I'm invited to give workshops on my other areas of expertise (e.g., the psychology of deception), and the people who invite me pay my way. If I knew there were enough people in that area interested in getting together, I would try to stay an extra day. I'd use the email list to find out.

4. Resources: links to all sorts of information - for example, about political activism, scholarly resources such as bibliographies and grants, books, workplace information tailored to singles, financial advice, and health care resources especially for singles.

5. Unique relationship with advertisers. Once we build up the number of visitors to the site, perhaps we can persuade businesses of the profitability of offering good deals (e.g., no single supplements) to singles who want to live single. The site could become the place to go for products and services that do not patronize single people or try to turn them into couples. If this worked out, singles would find a respite from the "cheaper by the couple" business model, and businesses would find customers.

Now some questions for you:

1. What else would you like to see at such a site?

2. What should it be called? (I'm thinking "Single at Heart" but am open to your suggestions.)

3. Are there particular aggregator sites I should be looking at as models?

For anyone interested in more of the details, plus information on how you can help or get your own blog, etc. represented at the new site, I'll be posting something soon at All Things Single (and More). UPDATE: Here it is.

I really think that the time is right for this. Each new demographic bombshell (for example, the recent Census Bureau report showing that married couple households are in the minority) underscores the folly of all the myths about single people and the endless singlism and matrimania. Plus, based on personal contacts, I'm sensing an uptick in media interest. Let's do this! I welcome your suggestions and your help.

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