But Online Relationships Aren’t Real… Are They?


What attracts us to people we build offline relationships with?

We’re taught not to judge a book by its cover; however that’s precisely what we do everyday.

If someone is attractive, or drives the right car, we think “that’s a cool guy or gal” and it would be great to get to know them…

Have you ever spent time with someone you thought would be sooo cool to hang out with and find with just a casual conversation a person was clueless, full of them self, a complete idiot, rude, or just plain not your cup of tea?

What’s the best way to get to know somebody?

One of the things I really enjoy about connecting with people on the social web is we are drawn to other people through conversation.

The best way to get to know someone offline or online is through communicating with them. If you want to know what somebody is all about, just listen to them talk and within a very short period of time they will expose everything about themselves.

Maybe not in a transparent manner in some cases, but either way, it’s very exposing to just listen to what’s inside of a person. I would say within 15 to 20 minutes max you’ll know if you ever want to talk to a person again or not.

On the social web, it’s not about stature, or looks, or how much money you have; it’s about what’s inside of a person that counts and you can only find that out by conversing with them.

Conversation is where the gold (relationships) is on the social web…

From blog posts like this one from my friend Jens “Be personal – Be Relevant,” which is precisely the mindset businesses need to possess to market effectively online, to comments like this one from one of my newest friends, Kaarina Dillabough:

“Mark, joining the conversation has allowed me to meet fascinating people, enjoy varying perspectives and let my thoughts and writing skills develop. Dipping a toe into the water just wasn’t my style: I plunged in head first onto those sites that have valuable content and vibrant interaction. I love the friends I’ve made, the lessons I’ve learned and the connections that enrich the tapestry of my life. That’s the upside.

The downside? I spend so much time reading interesting blogs, creating thoughtful (I hope:) comments, researching to the nth degree, that my own blog has suffered “separation anxiety.” I’m a voracious lifelong learner, so my thirst for knowledge combined with my pay-it-forward-extrovert-personality means I can become so immersed in all the greatness out there that I find myself like the cobbler whose children shall remain shoeless.

But I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. It’s made me grow as a person and, in turn, made me even better in business. I’m lovin’ life and livin’ it to the max, and friendships, conversations, interaction and connections (what social media really is) are the spice of that life.”

What Kaarina has to say here won’t draw everybody to her, but the minute I read it I knew I wanted to get to know Kaarina and that we could potentially be good friends – because we’re like-minded and kindred spirits. Time will tell through continued conversation how strong our friendship will grow. That’s exciting to me.

Relationships Are the Substance That Hold the Social Web Together

The point is, this is what social media is all about and this is why the social web is here to stay. If you are participating on the social web with purpose and to build meaningful relationships online, your online friends will eventually become more important than your offline friends.

I’m involved with many projects because of the relationships I’ve built online, and everyday I’m interacting with them and getting things done. That’s how I earn money to feed my family and build value for our future. Relationships are the substance that hold the social web together.

The world is truly a much smaller place because of the social web and you now have access to very interesting people from all over the world; some of which you could one day call special friends.

How about you – are you leveraging the social web for building relationships that matter in your offline life?

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Category : Blog &Social Media

  • http://billdorman.wordpress.com Bill Dorman

    Hey bro, gotta run but will definitely be back. Want to turn this online relationship into a real one? Are you going to be around this afternoon?

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Hey Bill, sure, just add me on Skype: gacconsulting

      I look forward to chatting with you : )

  • http://www.allisondevelopmentgroup.com Erica Allison

    Mark, I remember reading that comment from Kaarina! She sums it up nicely for lots of us and she’s definitely someone I’ve so enjoyed getting to know.  I have been struggling a bit lately w/ something that you’ve said here: 
     “If you are participating on the social web with purpose and to build meaningful relationships online, your online friends will eventually become more important than your offline friends.”

    My struggle has to do with the fact that I feel conflicted – am I forgoing my offline friends for my new online friends? Then I realize that I’ve selected these online friends for a reason…we’ve found each other, haven’t we.  Friendships evolve over time; our new found friends are part of this wonderful evolution.

    I’m on a path now to doing a better job at building these relationships online so that when we meet offline, it’s even more awesome!  Thanks, Mark.  Looking forward to connecting with you soon.  Free tomorrow?

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Hi Erica : ) and : ) and : )  you always bring big smiles whenever I see you anywhere on the social web!

      Most of the folks we interact with are business professionals in some capacity. Most are looking to make their activity profitable to others first, but also, equally as important, to create value for their families.

      We’re connected to the best minds in the world when it comes to business, marketing, online business, social media, et al…

      There’s so much opportunity to create value within the relationships we already have – it’s just about the “evolution” process you bring up. I have found that because we are professionals/ entrepreneurs getting things done and building businesses, the relationships we build online naturally evolve into our business/ offline world too : )

      I am available tomorrow as well, so let’s chat, shall we?

      Skype: gacconsulting 

      Thank you so much for your continued support Erica, it really means the world to me – cheers!

    • http://www.kaarinadillabough.com Kaarina Dillabough

      Thanks so much Erica, for your kind words. And ditto back’at’cha on the getting to know you.  You just know a kindred spirit when you meet one, don’t you? 

  • http://twitter.com/lifeforinstance Life, for instance

    Hi Mark,
    I love the idea of turning online relationships into offline ones – for instance, I’d love to attend BlogWorld one day and meet everyone. I know I don’t have to wait that long to forge new friendships here and take them offline but I have only one concern. I remember reading years ago a quote by Rod McKuen the poet. He wrote: “One can never have too many friends; only too many to properly take care of.” It became a principle I adhered to when I sought to grow relationships offline and for me it applies online too. I don’t want to promise more than I can deliver in terms of time. I love this platform, the way we can tweet and comment and come back later and eventually some relationships will go beyond that too. I’m just walking before I run – or fly!
    I like you, though ;-)

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Hi Lori, yes, there are only so many relationships you can manage… Thousands would be difficult be intimate with, but 100 or 200, on the social web is manageable. 

      Then there are projects and business that will develop as a result of participating in the community… it’s natural and very rewarding if you get with the right group of business professionals to make it happen.

      You’re really establishing a very powerful voice online. I’m sure there will be many opportunities that will come your way : )

      Thanks so much for stopping in today Lori, I appreciate it very much!

  • Michael Halbrook

    Fascinating post. I think there’s true value when online relationships can turn real-world. I actually just blogged last night about a case where I saw this happen in the last couple of weeks:


  • http://billdorman.wordpress.com Bill Dorman

    Hey bro, great talk today; my office is hooking me up w/ a camera tomorrow. Sweet, I think…………:)

    When I read your excerpt from Kaarina I really thought that was from me; until I saw the fancy writing and the words, tapestry, voracious and immersed; nah, Dorman doesn’t know those words.

    I think we have a tendency to reveal a little more of ourselves online sometimes to let people see who we are and subsequently we develop a relatively meaningful relationship. It is probably safe to say you can tell pretty quickly if you want to engage with someone or not.

    I would say I have leveraged my social web presence to build relationships pretty deeply. I have quite a few who I consider real, deal friends; especially you.

    It was great to hear some of the opportunities you have and look forward following your progress. Take care and I’ll be back at you soon.

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      It was great talking (not seeing you) too – haha!

      I can’t wait until you get a camera hooked up.. We must jump on a call after it’s installed.

      I will keep you posted on the progress of the project I mentioned. There will be much to see in just the next few weeks.

      I appreciate your friendships Bill – I hate to admit this to you, but I like to surround myself with folks a lot smarter me – I’m just a student of life seeking out the best resources on the social web and you fit the bill – Bill LOL!

      I appreciate you my friend, see you soon sir : )

      • http://billdorman.wordpress.com Bill Dorman

        That was tough to admit wasn’t it…………:)

        • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

          Very – LOL!

    • http://www.kaarinadillabough.com Kaarina Dillabough

      Bill, you always make me laugh! And@markharai:disqus @EricaAllison:disqus @a76049f6a32a1e633a732b81bafb98c9:disqus I sense a group Skype in the making! How do we make that happen? How fun would that be?

      And Bill, I’ll send you the Kaarinadictionary soon:-)

      • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

        I’m in for a call with you everyone. Let’s coordinate and make it happen!

        • http://www.kaarinadillabough.com Kaarina Dillabough

          I’m sooo up for that Mark! Going to research how to make that happen.

          • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

            As long as everyone has Skype, there should be no problem having a community call : )

          • http://www.kaarinadillabough.com Kaarina Dillabough

            So more plotting and scheming is in store for me now…how/when to make it happen…the plot thickens:-)

          • http://billdorman.wordpress.com Bill Dorman

            Yeah, and I think Kaarina said something about being au naturel; I think that’s Canadian for naked but I wasn’t sure and since it’s a group call I didn’t know if she meant that was for all of us……I might wait a day or two before I get that camera….:)

          • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

            LOL, you’re on a roll Bill!

          • http://billdorman.wordpress.com Bill Dorman

            Dude, I’m in; camera in place in my office…………:)

          • http://www.kaarinadillabough.com Kaarina Dillabough

            I guess I better get movin’ on the group aunaturel call then:)

          • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

            “Aunaturel” HAHAHA! You’re too funny Kaarina. We must get on a Skype call soon. 

            Let me know if you’re available the first part of next week.

          • http://www.kaarinadillabough.com Kaarina Dillabough

            Will do!

          • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

            Hey Bill, I’ll be traveling this week, but let’s get on a call first of the week if that works for you???

            Can’t wait to see the infamous Bill Dorman in the flesh – LOL!

          • http://billdorman.wordpress.com Bill Dorman

            I’ll be at the beach next wk but I think I’ll drag the camera w/ me because I know I’ll be online. Catch up w/ you later.

          • http://www.kaarinadillabough.com Kaarina Dillabough

            You crack me up Bill: now I’ve got the spelling and the naked thing going for my crazy Canuck status, thanks to you:-)

          • http://billdorman.wordpress.com Bill Dorman

            Speaking of Canucks, I hope the Lightning beat the Bruins so they can play them; but that’s probably  not your team anyway? They are West Coast and aren’t you close to Toronto, eh?

          • http://www.kaarinadillabough.com Kaarina Dillabough

            Vancouver is FAR from me, but being Canadian, I’m cheerin’ for Canucks.

    • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ davinabrewer

      Ok, the au naturel Skype hijinks aside, this was a good one Bill. I am one of those more likely to talk to a stranger than a friend about some things. Friends remember, can throw it back at you, call you on your crap, etc. An anonymous stranger can be a total judgment free voice, somehow it makes me feel ‘safer’ … which I think plays into how easily I’ve made friends online. I’m not worried about my appearance, is my hair ok or is there food in my teeth for our video call.. I can just be me, with words. If that makes any sense.

  • http://twitter.com/girlygrizzly Amber-Lee

    Mark, Thank you for another great post …and bringing ANOTHER FABULOUS individual to my attention! Wow, I absolutely loved that comment from your new friend, Kaarina Dillabough, into MY world! I really can’t explain to you (you probably already know, anyways) how her words resonated with me. I have been struggling to put the RIGHT words into the new article I am writing. I wondered if I was heading in the completely wrong direction, actually. I am fairly new to this wondrous world, but the one thing that keeps urning through my mind as I read, learn and become brave enough to comment, is “Pay It Forward.” I live in a very remote area (very remote), in the mountains of Alaska. I’ve met some pretty special people in my years here in our home, in our business. It is amazing how rare it is that each and every individual DOESN’T have something to teach me. Since coming into THIS world, I found something even more special… The friends I’ve made (real, to the core, relationships) since January are friends that will never really leave me. They are there. Ready to share their day, experiences, lessons, feelings and opinions each morning when I wake.I believe Online Relationships ARE real. REAL people that care. People that may know what the “cover” looks like ~ or not, but the voices, the conversations, the sharing, is something that usually takes so much more time to shape into friendships, are REAL. These are my friends. They are the ones I look to for advice or information or, and even, a shoulder when I just can’t see how to “do it.” They are the people I trust.So, Thanks.~Amber-Lee (Alaska Chick)

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      What an awesome comment Amber-Lee, thank you : )

      Wow, I’m imagining where you live in my mind right now… What a beautiful place it is miss! 

      This comment got me all excited and all I can say is I WANT TO GET TO KNOW YOU BETTER!

      I will make the rounds and connect with you where I can find you : )

      As far as Kaarina goes, she’s such a great person, so motivational and inspiring. I just love her. She’s real people and I can feel her through her writing…

      Now she’s trying to get a group chat going with some other friends in the community – does that sound like fun or what???

      I’m very happy for you (us) everyone who is participating on the social web and having an impactful experience. 

      Cheers to good friends Amber-Lee!

      • http://www.kaarinadillabough.com Kaarina Dillabough

        WOW…me at a loss for words twice in one day?  Mark, words cannot possibly express my gratitude and love, so I’ll simply say…Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

    • http://www.kaarinadillabough.com Kaarina Dillabough

      You had me at Mark,

      I am SO loving you, Amber-Lee.  I just followed you on Twitter, and I’m checking out both Chisana and http:www.pioneeroutfitters.com.  Consider me already a friend who will be there for you, ready to share, ready to help.

      Your writing touched me to the core, and I thank you for your very kind words.  You said “Online Relationships ARE real”, and nothing could be further from the truth.

      I look forward to getting to know you better.  Cheers!  Kaarina  P.S.  Always be brave, Amber-Lee…don’t self-censor.  True, heartfelt comments and sharing are what makes the “social media” world go round.

  • http://www.AnnieAndre.com Annie Andre

    Kaarina’s comment made me laugh. I am spending so much time reading and commenting and researching other people that I too have been neglecting my own endeavors.  It’s been like receiving a new toy. I just want to play with it all the time this social media thing. 
    It started out as one thing and it’s turning into something that i never thought it could turn into.  But, …It’s hard to explain to a lot of my physical friends that my new online friends are just as real. 

    One of my good friends is the VP of a software company and he scoffed at Twitter and Facebook saying it was a waste of time. for a long time i thought the same thing. But now it’s been a wonderful tool I’ve used to reach out and find like minded people with similar interests. it’s helped my passion grow and the ideas come pouring out now.

     It’s so wonderful having online connections as opposed to nay sayers all the time.  I think some of the energy from my online connections is rubbing off on me. Or atleast i hope so.
    I digress AGAIN…

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Hi Annie! So good to see here today, thank you for stopping by and sharing a piece of your mind here – It’s here forever!

      I’ve been where you are and where you’re going with this social media stuff and I couldn’t be more excited or happy about it!

      The social web is a place where real people are getting real things done. If your a professional on any level and building meaningful relationships online, it’s just a natural progression. That’s what professional people do – business : )

      As for the naysayers, they really are clueless. I know this because I once was clueless and thought if you have to be online to make friends, you have problems.

      Nothing could be further from the truth. My online friends are brilliant business minds and it’s a privilege to be part of their lives.

      Have a wonderful day Annie!

      • http://www.womanzworld.com/ Natalie Sisson

        Totally agree I adore social media – which is lucky given I coach people on it. But here’s the thing I met Annie through a tweet from another blogger who I’d had a Skype call with because I just connected with what she was writing. Annie saw that tweet clicked on a link to my blog and liked what I stood for and now we’re working together. Plus Annie is just a wonderful person so I feel super lucky. Then we were chatting about you Mark and how you’re so great at connecting with people and there you are – look I’m on your blog connecting and commenting and reading and enjoying. Love it!

        • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

          You are a sweet spirit Natalie – thanks so much for your kind words and new friendship : )

          I think it’s pretty safe to say that the friends we’ve surrounded ourselves with are very like-minded, super smart and just genuinely good natured people.

          I’m really excited to be part of such a great group of people. I’m thankful that we have connected as well and I’m looking forward to getting to know you much better along the journey : )

          Cheers to you Natalie!

          • http://www.womanzworld.com/ Natalie Sisson

            I second that Mark ;) Have a great weekend

    • http://www.kaarinadillabough.com Kaarina Dillabough

      Oh Annie, I so relate to the shiny new toy syndrome.  It is so much fun, so enlightening, so entertaining, so educational to delve deep into what social media can bring to one’s experience, in life and in business.

      I too, neglected my own endeavours in favour of exploring that new shiny toy.  But now I’m getting better at playing on the teeter-totter of priorities: reading and commenting on blogs, writing for my own blog, posting on FB, tweeting….it’s never balanced (I don’t believe in balance, but that’s a whole other story and blog post), but it does get easier to prioritize and allocate my time effectively…never perfectly, but effectively.  Cheers!  Kaarina

  • http://www.kaarinadillabough.com Kaarina Dillabough

    @markharai:disqus I am at a complete loss for words…and that just doesn’t happen!  A moment to collect myself…

    I am so truly honoured by your words and your friendship (which I have no doubt will grow boundlessly).

    Like-minded kindred spirits have a unique way of finding each other, and I’m so glad to have found you, your community and so many wonderful folks online.  I’ve said before that, during a particularly challenging time in my life recently, many who I thought were friends and “had my back” weren’t; and didn’t.  Yet you, and so many other “kindred spirits” I’ve connected with online have jumped in with support and friendship: as if we’ve known each other for years.

    I think the logical and desirable link is for online to transfer to offline, whether that be through snail mail (yes, I still believe in the handwritten note or card or letter), Skype, attendance at events and, of course, meeting in person…it’s about that cot we need to set up at your place Mark;-)

    Thank you my friend: I’m indebted and grateful.  Cheers!  Kaarina

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Actually I have a one bedroom apartment in the basement of my home… it’s beautiful and you have an open standing invitation anytime you’d like to visit : )

      It’s people like you, smart, capable and creating value everywhere you go that really inspire me in life. I’m very grateful for your friendship too Kaarina!

      Thanks for being you : )

      • http://www.kaarinadillabough.com Kaarina Dillabough

        I’m packing my bags as I write:-)  The offer is open here in Canada for you too: you are welcome anytime.

        I now look forward to making our “meeting in person” a reality.  The plotting and scheming has begun!

        Thank you, my dear friend.

        • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

          Woo Hoo Kaarina – I’m looking forward to it : )

  • http://smartboydesigns.com Christian Hollingsworth

    I would hope that the relationships I build online are just as valuable offline.

    I’m running through all the bloggers that I connect with on a daily basis, and I would be more than happy to meet with any of them at a coffee shop – and I’m pretty sure we’d be able to talk for hours.

    That’s how I’m gauging, at the moment, whether the relationship is being solidified.

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Hi Christian, thanks for stopping by and sharing a piece of you mind here.

      I agree, conversations with like-minded people are progressive and productive. 

      I like to make steady progress at whatever I’m doing : )


  • Brian

    Yes they are, I hate it when people go IRL on me online because the Internet is merely a way to communicate with REAL people that have REAL feelings, online relationships are definitely real as can be.

    I swear sometimes I wish I was in a cave somewhere and my only friends were the ones online, the ones that I can just turn off when I need to be alone, do not get me wrong here I love people offline also but there are times you just dont want to be bothered.

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      LOL Brian, don’t hold back, let us know how you really feel :P

      A classic statement here sir: ” I wish I “was in a cave somewhere and my only friends were the ones online, the ones that I can just turn off when I need to be alone.” 

      Too funny man!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing a piece of you mind here : )

  • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny Hsu

    The reason I turn to online relationships is to meet people who want the same things I do. Do work that I love. Wake up everyday excited. Have the freedom to travel and enjoy life. 

    In my “real” life there’s no one that I could share so freely with. On the internet, I can be myself and not be judged for being crazy. :)

    I have met people through my blog, their blogs, and Twitters that I can see myself meeting and having a great night talking for hours. 

    Thanks Mark!

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      I love your attitude Benny – your passion and excitement are infectious - it come’s right through with your writing ; )

      Thank you for the heads up on your “craziness” – as I will be aware of this as we become better friends – LOL!

      I really appreciate my online friendships as well bro, I’ve come to care very much for many of them and know there is an exciting future ahead for all of us.

      Keep being amazing Benny and I will see you soon : ) 

  • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

    Online friends become part of targeted socializing. One of the advantages to meeting people online is that it does eliminate some of the judging that takes place.

    At one of the tweet ups I attended last year I met several friends in person for the first time. One of them was a woman that I think is simply stunning. I am not a shy guy, but had it not been for Twitter I probably wouldn’t have spoken with her. 

    The reason being is that the Tweet up was at a bar and without Twitter we would have had the awkwardness that comes from meeting in that scene. Thanks to Twitter we had a pre-existing friendship.

    The online world relationships can be just as real/deep as offline.

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Hi Jack, thanks a bunch for taking the time to share your experience here. 

      That’s a very interesting story you’ve shared here. I’m not 100% how many marriages actually result from an online relationships, but I know it’s growing every year.

      Not too many years ago, I thought this was just insane. I didn’t get it at all! I would think to myself “these people are nuts!”

      Today, I really believe many of your online relationships have more substance than our offline relationships. 

      I appreciate having your typing prints here in this community. Thank you very much : )

    • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ davinabrewer

      I did NOT want to comment bomb this post … blaming you, Jack. “Targeted socializing” is the perfect phrase. We find tons of REAL, social outlets on line and it’s via our interests. We reach out to those we want to hear from, talk with, people with similar interests or even that one hobby. IDK… really gonna think on this as I like that expression. – Rushes to TM it out from under you. ;-)

      • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

        @davinabrewer:disqus Actually credit for the targeted socializing comment goes to a retired blogger known as Psychotoddler. He made it on a post on my old blog. 

        It has been quite useful and accurate.

        • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ davinabrewer

          It is a pretty accurate phrase to describe a lot of our online interactions.

        • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ davinabrewer

          It is a pretty accurate phrase to describe a lot of our online interactions.

  • http://www.theskooloflife.com Srinivas Rao


    People are definitely the glue that holds the social web together. What’s even more interesting however is that the network you form will extend beyond the life of your blog and the social web. That’s the most powerful thing about connections.  So those relationships are just as real as all the other ones you have. Given that we do so much business online,  those relationships you have online will be continue to be just as important if not more important than people you don’t talk to online.

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Hey Srini – where is the video of your presentation? I can’t wait to see it!

      As you are certainly aware, online relationships become very important to our everyday life. I mean, your building a business online, with all online relationships, contacts and friendships you’ve developed over the last couple of years.  

      How many times have you met your business partner in life??? Like 2 or three times… that’s really amazing and REAL!

      That’s how we have come to do business together and meeting you in person has been awesome : )

      Hope you’re having an incredible time at BWNY!

  • Gabriella

    This is such a great post, Mark and I”m so glad to find out about  Kaarina! I really wish that relationships offline were initiated as you described them to be online – we’d make lifelong friendships and interact with people more similar to ourselves.

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Hi Gabriella, thank you for visiting and sharing some thoughts here, I appreciate it.

      I think our offline relationships that become strong are a result of really getting to someone through communicating and learning what a person is all about. It’s the same in that regard.

      It’s the initial draw that so different. I really believe, from experience, that you can get to know people faster and more effectively online if you’re doing it with purpose. 

      All we have on the social web are words and heart to share with others initially to make connections. In my opinion, there’s more substance initially with our online friendships than many of your offline friendships.

      Just my take anyhoo..

      Thanks again for weighing in here Gabriella : )


  • Anonymous

    Hey Mark,

    I just love blogging, mainly because of the very reason you describe here! It’s absolutely wonderful to meet new people on a daily basis, engage with fascinating bloggers, and learn so much more about life in the process.

    Yes, there is a down-side; it can become very time-consuming, and time can quite easily slip you by if you lose track of it. Before you know it, you weren’t able to get that guest post done because you got lost in Skype!

    But if that’s the only down-side to it, then it’s a price worth paying. Community is the keyword when it comes to blogging, in my opinion. Just look at what the word is comprised of: “commune” and “unity”. Communication in unity. A unity of communication. That, to me, sounds like THE reason why some people would start blogging :-)

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Hey there Stu, thanks for stopping by, it’s always good to see you…

      Yikes! If you ever get lost on Skype, ping me and I’ll give you a hand out – haha!

      I really get your last statement… you would think that would be the main reason folks blog; but it seems there are no conversations or community on so many of them. It seems clear they’re not interested in creating community/ conversations or they just don’t understand how to go about it.

      I’m with you Stu and very happy that we have connected and call each other friends. That is very cool!  

      Cheers bro : )

      • Anonymous

        Definitely amigo, I feel honoured that I know such a fine man as yourself!

        We must chat on Skype soon, my Skype ID is unlockthedoor. Hope to see you around :-)

        • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

          We’re are connected on Skype now Stu… I will be traveling tomorrow through Sunday, but next week would be great to connect and chat… I’m so looking forward to it : )

  • http://www.itinerantentrepreneur.com/journal/ Robert Dempsey

    With the amount of time we all spend online these days reading, researching, communicating with others, blogs and other social media are great ways to meet people. You can tell a lot about someone by the length, depth, and types of response they give, as well as what they talk about on their blogs and sites like Twitter and Facebook. By the time you meet them in person it’s like you’ve been friends for a long time – no ice to break.

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Hey Robert, I agree with your assessment… If you’re being real online, that absolutely carries over to in-person meetings. 

      Because of the conversational nature of relationships online, we tend to connect with folks who in many cases feel like we’ve known them for years. 

      It’s very cool to meet people we build relationships online in person. There’s really nothing to compare to it. It’s very cool : )

      You’re on my list of “people I must meet in person!” 

      Cheers Robert!

      • http://www.itinerantentrepreneur.com/journal/ Robert Dempsey

        Likewise Mark. I’m sure we’ll meet up at an event some time in the future. Until then, Skype it is!

  • http://beliefandaction.com/ Robert Pinto-Fernandes

    Mark, I LOVE this post, and I love what Kaarina says. Like her, I’d rather be the cobbler with no shoes than the cobbler with a thousand shoes that no one will ever wear!

    Recently, I’ve spent 50 times more effort and time on other blogs than my own, and I really believe that’s what it’s about. Get out into the community with a Pay-it-forward attitude, and you can’t go wrong!

    Blogging equals community. Still love that quote: “Relationships are the substance that holds the Social Web together”, and what’s even better is that this is something that you live and breathe every day!

    These relationships are real and they are meaningful.

    An amazing point that you talked about that I have really picked up on recently – When we connect in this community it’s about inner worth not outer worth. That’s why I love this community so much. There’s no faking it, there’s no one trying to impress each other or outdo each other. There’s room for everyone if we all have this pay-it-forward attitude, freely promote each other and grow together.

    Love this man, the more I read about you the more my respect grows bro! All the current and future success you get you more than deserve, and I mean that.

    Speak soon bro.

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Hey Robert – it’s good to see you sir. 

      You are a natural at building community and relationships brother. I’ve seen you all over the social web at blogs I frequent and you are jumping in  head first and leaving valuable crumbs all over the place.

      It’s been a pleasure getting to know you and I believe you are going to light up the social web with your personality and heart.

      It’s great to call you a friend and I’m excited to call you a “good friend” in the near future. I just can’t keep up with you man – you’re a machine – you’re everywhere – jeez!

      Take care and see you soon Robert : )

      • http://beliefandaction.com/ Robert Pinto-Fernandes

        Thanks Mark that means a great deal coming from you!

        I’m trying my best, but there’s always work to be done and improvements to be made! lol 

        Thanks, if I can achieve anything like what you have in this community I’ll be more than happy!

        Definitely, sure our chat will initiate the jump between friend and good friend!

        Haha nearly as omnipresent as you!

        Take care also, speak soon.

  • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks a lot for the link and mentioning me in this post. I really appreciate it.

    I remember when I read about the global village by Marshall McLuhan. I read about it more than 10 years ago, and he describes exactly what is happening. The world is becoming a smaller place, it’s just like a vilage, and we’re having conversations, like we used to. 

    To me, conversations and relations is what it’s all about. I’m not into traffic and statistics. It’s a lot more fun and interesting to get real people to come out and play. 

    When we get personal, people start to trust, and with trust comes business. We should treat every customer as we want them to be our customer for the next 50 years and not just the next 50 minutes. I believe that’s the real importance of relationships, both online and offline.

    Thanks again for the link and mention me Mark.


    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      It’s really been great getting to know you Jens. You’re one of the smartest marketers on the social web, I’ve learned many things and gained much insight from your series.

      It’s a pleasure to be connected to a great business mind and awesome person. 

      Cheers Jens : )

      • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

        Wow, thanks a lot Mark :)

  • http://www.2knowmyself.com Farouk

    you are right mark, i made the mistake of ignoring this part in the past years but these months i am doing my best to make up for it
    thank you for the post:)

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Hey Farouk – It’s good to hear sir – I hope we can hook up and share in the community as well. I will keep an eye out and try to find where we can hook up. 

      Cheers bro!

  • http://adriennesmith.net Adrienne

    I love this post Mark, thanks for putting it out there.  I couldn’t agree with you more.  I love meeting new people and getting to know them.  As a matter of fact, I ask them to tell me more about who they are before they jump immediately into telling me all about what they do.  That doesn’t define a person.  I want to really know who you are.  Like you said, you can pretty quickly decide if this person is genuine or someone you want to move to the other side of the street when you see them coming.

    By the way, great that you mentioned Jens in your post.  What an exception guy.  I just love his writing style and that he shares so many personal experiences with us in his posts.  What a great guy!

    Thanks again, really enjoyed this.

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Hi Adrienne – so nice to see you here today miss – you are one of my favorite people on the social web – I don’t believe I’ve told you that before, but you are. I love your attitude and how you make me feel with all of the words you leave around the community : )

      The same goes for Jens. He’s genuine. I like him a lot. I love his no fluff, easy to understand marketing and business concepts. People really need to read his writings… Marketing, online or off really isn’t as complex as people make it out to be.

      Thanks Adrienne, I appreciate your support very much ma’am : )

      • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

        Thanks again Mark. This is almost too much for me :)

        Please let me know if I can do anything to help other than spread the word. 

    • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

      Hi Adrienne,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. Your an exceptional woman as well :)

      I really enjoy the personal touch and connecting with people like yourself. It’s so much more fun to be online when you know that there are so many interesting people out there. And I get to meet them every single day. No matter where I am. It’s awesome.


  • http://www.naijapreneur.com Tito Philips, Jnr.

    Relationships either online are offline are the same -REAL.
    The medium doesn’t change the purpose -connection. We build relationships because we want to connect with another human being on a deeper level. The time and effort expended aren’t any different online. The trust needed to glue the relationship isn’t any different from those expected offline. I have been friends with a couple of bloggers online and some non-bloggers and we do so well keeping in touch and supporting one another’s causes in life. The virtual nature of our relationship doesn’t change the content of the things we talk about or the purpose why we connected in the first place. I think the internet has hindered relationship building, but has only enhanced it. Now more than ever before we can expand our network of friends without having to leave our sit. We can now build more relationships as a result of the internet. So if you asked me, I would say the internet is facilitating more real relationships rather than hindering it. 

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Hey Tito – it’s great to see you sir and I appreciate you taking a couple of minutes to add to this conversation…

      I’m 110% with you my brother; however, you know normal people believe we are completely off our rockers – yes?

      We’re anything but normal Tito, and I do believe the work we do is important. The social web is powerful and if harnessed properly, it can touch lives and change lives.

      That sounds like a good business to be in my man : )

      We should have a Skype chat at some point in the near future, I would really like to get to know you better. You have one sharp business mind!

      Let me know if you’re up for it.


  • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ davinabrewer

    Like Erica, I also remember Kaarina’s comment. I am more comfortable being me offline in some ways, b/c of the confidence built online. My ‘normal people’ friends do find me off my rocker but it’s all about perspective. If there are 1 billion on FB, then there are 5 billion NOT. See also Twitter, see also the small fraction of people how add videos to YT, but tons watch. In some ways, we are the exception.. not everyone is or wants to be ‘social’ in these ways. IDK. 

    I think these relationships are so very real, b/c it’s driven by our own selfish, personal or professional motivations. We choose to be out here, to share what we do, write and post, join certain networks or chat rooms b/c for whateer reasons, we want to be there. Example: as part of my playtime on the internets, one of my anonymous ‘social’ friends reached out to me, just to chat on one of our favorite mutual subjects. It turned into a long discussion that totally helped make my week. It may have been about ‘nothing’ in the greater scheme, certainly nothing to do w/ work, nothing many of my other offline friends would get. But it was so rewarding and most certainly was. very. REAL. FWIW. 

    • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

      Ya know Davina, you do seem a bit off your rocker online too – HAHAHA!

      I feel you Davina — you are 100% the real McCoy and many of our mutual friends are the same way. They’re here to experience real relationships and get real things done. 

      Relationships are the easy part… I can spot somebody I want to get to very quickly - strengthening a relationship naturally occurs over time. 

      It’s the ‘purposefully getting things done that creates value’ part that’s a bit more challenging for some.

      Nonetheless, these relationships are real and valuable Davina, I am with you ma’am : )

      Cheers to you!

      • http://www.3hatscommunications.com/blog/ davinabrewer

        Don’t know how but it keeps coming back to this: WYSIWYG, but the operative word in that acronym is SEE. It’s real alright, just not the whole picture. Imagine the ‘off the rocker’ stuff I don’t let you see. ;-) Actually, it’s nothing exciting I promise… but online I get to at least try to be fun.

        • http://markharai.com Mark Harai

          Ah, but you see… we do see what you don’t think we see, which is actually different from what you think we see. 

          Make sense – LOL!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Conch-Condon/725497993 David Conch Condon

    thanks for using my photograph without permission mark…. ever thought of common manners in your amazing business world….

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