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.
“We get information from one place and deliver it to another. That makes connections and creates relationships online. I create offline relationships with people I’ve created online relationships with.”
Mike does just that — he builds relationships in person all over the state of Iowa. He meets with at least one blogger every day. Once a month he meets with about 20 bloggers in a local coffee shop. He says that they’re like a bunch of train folks talking about their travels and their latest itineraries.
“We hardly ever talk about blogging. That’s the time we get to be people.”
Often he’ll find himself bumping into a blogger or two that he knows at an event where they didn’t expect to see each other. Sounds a bit like trains meeting in the same switching yard because their schedules crossed, doesn’t it?
“Every car on the train can be different from every other car that it’s linked to.” Mike said to me while we talking about trains. Or were we talking about blogging?
Mike explained how he encourages bloggers to think of their blogs as junctions and to connect outward in all directions. “If you’re a dancing blog, connect to theater blogs, shoe blogs, and blogs about foot care.” I was beginning to see how the railroads built the towns. Or was it how the relationship bloggers built the communities?
Maybe I’d better call Mike Sansone again. I know he’ll know exactly how I got myself off on the wrong track. I have habit of doing that. . . .
Liz Strauss is a relationship blogger who writes about relationship blogging, thinking, business, and changing the world at Successful-Blog.