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.
I just wanted to let you know…I love your blog. You have such great conversations in your comments and in your posts. I also wanted to say thank you for sharing all that you do on your blog. It’s GREAT to see someone who is as giving as you are, and for that, the blogosphere thanks you.
Also, do you have an address I can send an autographed copy of my book to for you, as a way of thanking you for being a relationship geek (my term)/SOB (your term)?
Lastly, I gave you a little link love back in this post. Thanks for sharing a great title. I linked back to you with your own comment. :) Check the sidebar too. You’re now permanently linked as a Relationship Geek.
GO LIZ GO!
Make every day a Great Day!
How could I NOT answer an email like that?
Of course I did. I answered. He answered. I answered. He answered. Eight emails were sent in all. We had met at the first email and by the last, we had decided that we would be attending Phil’s speaking event in Chicago together — two weeks later. Somewhere around emails three and four he said “I’m not a stalker.” and I laughed, thinking I’m the one who usually writes that. Not bad for an email conversation that only lasted only 42 minutes.
That’s how my relationship with Phil began. I suspect it’s that way for everyone.
When we met in Chicago, two weeks later, Phil picked me up at my front door. I dropped him off at the building where he was speaking, and I parked his car in the garage down the street. After the speech, we walked around downtown Chicago and found an old restaurant where we had a late lunch.
During lunch we called a blogger who reads my blog . He was someone I had never met, but Phil and I thought it might be fun. A new relationship started between me and Tim Johnson on Phil’s telephone. After that lunch, Phil and I began planning a business as we moved ourselves and the car about 30 blocks north to the Starbucks in my neighborhood. We talked a couple of hours more. Picture were taken to mark the occasion. And the next day, I blogged about it. So did Phil.
A few weeks later, Phil and I and an editor friend were working on the business we started. We were up at his home in Milwaukee to laying out a book. After a couple of hours, Phil and I became a pair of relationship bloggers ready to do our thing. Each of us wanted to help the other. It was almost a comic strip.
“I’ll help you.”
“No, I’ll help you.”
That’s how the conversation went.
“No, really. I’ll help you.”
“No, I’ll help you. You have less time.”
We were relationship bloggers verbally arm wrestling.
Phil is THE relationships geek. So, of course, he won.
Phil made me an ebook in 30 minutes from some files we pulled from my laptop and a photo we shot on the spot. Then he told stories about people and brought up their photos with him as he told how he met each one.
Phil has hundreds of photos in his computer and hundreds of numbers in his cell phone. That’s not what makes him a relationship blogger. What makes him one is that he can’t help but be helpful and other centered. He’s a blogger’s blogger through and through.
Last week I was talking to Shelley Dolley, the tour manager for the book Citizen Marketers by authors Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell, Shelley and I were discussing a project Phil, and I, and several bloggers are working on. When we got to the list of participants, Shelley said, “Jackie and Ben know Phil. I think he helped them with their book.”
I just answered, “Everyone knows Phil. He’s a Relationship Geek.” Shelley said, “Yeah, I got that idea.”