Conducting Relationships the Sansone Way


February is Valentines, roses, chocolates, romance, . . . and relationship bloggers. The winter is bearing down on us and the hearts and flowers had their day yesterday. All we have left is a long stretch of February with nothing to busy a young man’s mind. So the subject turns to thoughts of blogging and . . . trains. Trains? That’s right, relationship blogging is a whole lot like riding the rails.

Did people built the trains and then the towns spring up around them? OR Did the towns start while the rails were being laid? I don’t know, but I know I guy who does. Mike Sansone knows that the railroads forged relationships linking people in the same way that bloggers link and interact online, by voice, and in person.

If you stop by Mike Sansone’s blog, you might need to pick up the cues to realize that he is a connected relationship blogger. The first clue, of course, is the name of his blog, ConverStations, and the tagline that says Business Blogs as Conversation Stations.

I decided to spend some time with my friend, Mike Sansone, to find out about relationship blogging riding the rails of the metaphorical train he has chosen. Soon enough I was right with him seeing the direct correlations in almost every word that he said.

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Everyone Knows Phil − He’s THE Relationship Geek

Liz Strauss and Phil Gerbyshak

February is Valentines, roses, chocolates, romance, . . . and relationship bloggers. Relationship bloggers connect faster than high powered magnets and in ways that Kevin Bacon has not yet invented. We have less than six degrees of separation. I know you; you know him; and in a few seconds, he and I will know each other, your best friend, your sister, and Seth Godin’s barber, if there is one. Relationship bloggers are more intricately interconnected than the links that weave our blogs in and out and together to form the blogosphere and our bit of the Internet.

Every relationship blogger has relationships like the waves that radiate out from a stone tossed in water. But one relationship blogger has relationships around ever corner, down every street, in every city, and all over his cell phone. You can never find him at his own blog. He’s Phil Gerbyshak, the Relationship Geek of Relationship Bloggers.

I was looking through my comments to find when I first met Phil. It was last August. He stopped by my blog with a comment. Later that night Phil followed that with an email. This is the email I got from the Relationship Geek who had just said hello. [Read more…]

My Name Is Liz, and I’m a Relationship Blogger

heart cloud

February is the month of Valentine’s Day, hearts and flowers, and . . . relationship bloggers. Who would have thought when they started typing that first blog post that they would be entering a world of relationship blogging?

Even as a little kid I was a relationship freak, but I hardly expected that writing online would get me involved with people the way it did. First I was writing a post. Then I was commenting. It became a conversation. Then came bloggy questions and open comments without real posts. Now I’m blogging on the telephone, asking folks about how they started blogging.

It all started with that first comment. I answered it. Then I answered another. Soon I was answering every comment right after it landed, asking questions to find out who these people were that were reading my blog.

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Social Networking − What Am I Supposed to Do?

people connecting

Okay, it took me until today to figure out that . . .

I’m clueless about Social Networking. I have these communities, and belong to these networks . . . and folks I don’t know keep asking me to link to them, be their contact, become their friend.

I’m a little slow on the uptake sometimes.

Maybe it was the name that confused me. Social Networking hits me as outright redundant. Any way I look at it, or consider my experience, networking is social. Was there a possibility that we were talking about cables and machines? In the 3-D world, we call it networking, despite possible obvious ambiguities. So you might think that Social Networking would be even more social than networking. Well, you might not, but I did.

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The Universe of People, Black Holes, and Stars


I wish I could blame the Time Magazine Person of the Year 2006, but the problem is older than Time putting YOU on the cover. The problem just seems to be getting larger. It’s awfully easy for folks to think that the universe begins and ends with them. You can pick out the folks I mean by the stars in their eyes and the ME in their conversations.

Nan S. Russell gives a model of this “universal human being.”

I realized Stan wasn’t listening. He didn’t care what I had to say; he was waiting for his turn to talk. And talk he did, monopolizing the table’s conversation with his back-patting soliloquy.

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In the Real World — The Half-Full, Half-Empty Glass

Half-full glass, Hall-empty glass

I don’t watch talk television. I don’t listen to talk radio. I don’t go to blogs that sit heavily on one side of a cause. I like my intellectual arguments, respectful, thorough, and balanced. But more and more what I see everywhere I look are two sides trying to be so opposite that they’re almost becoming the same. It’s worse than boring. It’s stifling, and at the same time amazing.

I’ve picked up negative comments removed the names and played them back to people I know have a stand. Folks on both sides of an issue have claimed the comments describe their opponent perfectly. Each side is saying the same things over and over. It’s proof that something wrong is going on. Don’t they know?

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Humanity in the Virtual and 3-D World

Humanity in a 3-D World

When my son was three years old. I said in my friendly mom voice, ‘€œCmon, kid, let’€™s go get something to eat.’€

My son, my best teacher, looked up to me and replied, ‘€œI’€™m a people, not a kid.’€

What we call each other makes a difference.

I think of the words that are, and might be used, to label me. Some are lovely. Some are not so comfortable. None of them are really me just as my son is more than a kid.

We use words to helps us group people efficiently, but sometimes the grouping loses sight of the individual in the groups. The group identity, which isn’t more than air and thought, becomes more real than the folks who eat and sleep and breathe.

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From the Real World to the Real World In the Company of Bloggers


When I came to blogging, I was from publishing. I had the skill set. I thought having a blog would a perfect place to keep up my discipline as a writer. Maybe at the same time, I could build a place where people might get away from cell phones in elevators. Cell phones on airplanes and in elevators bother me. The conversations they allow steal my brain space and make me invisible while someone talks about a cat named, “Fluffy”,that I can’t bring myself to care about.
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Authenticity and Transparency in the Real World


Authenticity. Transparency.

Authenticity and transparency are the reason I love blogging. They are what connected me. They make me strong, brave, and vulnerable. They are the power of the truth. Nothing can undercut, overwrite, argue down what I say, if I write in my own authentic, transparent voice from the truth I know. I am safe and I am able to add something valuable. [Read more…]