I've mentioned the "Smart Cookies" listed to the right a few times and promised to introduce them to you, but with the holidays I haven't had a chance to do that properly. But, what better time than the start of a new year?
There are many intelligent people that I've met in the blogosphere and I'll get links up to some of them soon (really!), but the "Smart Cookies" are the reason I have this blog. They welcomed me, encouraged me and, in some cases, pushed me to start this adventure. So, if you have complaints about this blog, please address them to these folks... :)
Without further ado....
Jake McKee was the first person to welcome me into the blogosphere. Although he and I went back and forth on a few issues, not really agreeing on any of them, he was always, always patient and welcoming. Our conversation happened when I had a high fever and I could have been quite delirious at times and not making sense, but he hung in there! We came out of that discussion with some understanding of where the other was coming from and agreed to disagree on a few points, which was fine. Since that time, Jake and I have kept in touch and he's been a wonderful sounding board and teacher. He's well respected as the community person for Lego and been referenced in BusinessWeek more than once this past year. Smart, smart cookie.
Shel Israel and Robert Scoble are a twofer. They came into my world at the same time. Their book, Naked Conversations, was in the process of being written this past summer and I contacted them to try to correct a few things I knew were inaccurate. They not only heard what I had to say, but really listened. They were both open minded and willing to have a conversation with me.
Shel and I have conversed many, many times over the last few months and each time I have learn oodles from him. He's a wealth of knowledge that he readily shares with those of us who are newbies to this world. He's also a transplanted New Englander. I truly enjoy all of our conversations.
I must admit that I haven't had too many interactions with Robert, but when I have it's been refreshing to see how open minded he's been. Let's face it, whether you agree with him or not, he's an A-list blogger. Me, I'm a Z-list blogger. At the time I met him, I wasn't even a blogger...Egads! But, he's taught me a few things about blogging and how I want my blog, even by showing me some things that I wouldn't do. Half of getting where you are going is knowing what you don't want, too, right? He also 'introduced' me to his lovely wife, but I'll get to her in a minute.
Tara Hunt. She's a force of nature and I'm so glad I've met her!! The woman speaks a foreign language most of the time (remember, I'm so not techie!), but she has so much passion for what she does and what she knows it's contagious. She's feisty and let it show when she first interacted with me, but I like feisty! I was drawn in to her blog and into conversations with her that really opened my eyes to a few things. She's great and I suggest everyone read her blog daily. She's living her dream working at start-up, Riya, and doing a darn good job of it. They are lucky to have her.
B.L. Ochman. One word to describe this woman? Complex. Integrity. Ok, so that was two words, but I've always had trouble condensing. B.L. and I flat out did not see eye to eye in our first encounter (seems to be a trend on this list...), she was even very snippy, but she did something that has earned my respect forever. Her comments are moderated, yet when I called her on something she'd said she didn't just leave it in her comment section she put it in a post to make sure it was seen. She didn't have to do that because part of my comment was based more on a technology glitch that I didn't know about than her, but she did it to make sure I was heard. Respect. Respect. Respect.
We've emailed often over the last few months and each time, I have found her to be sharp, warm and very talented. I mean, c'mon, did you see what she did for Budget this past fall? Brilliant!
Jeremy Pepper came into my world next. I'd seen his comments around the blogosphere, but then he did something that no other blogger has done. He wanted some information from me so he picked up the phone and called me! What a concept! In this world of companies reaching out to bloggers and bloggers expecting to sit back and have this happen, Jeremy decided to take the bull by the horns and contact me at work. We hit it off and had a lovely chat. Since then he and I have conversed on a few topics and, surprisingly for me, we agree on most things! That should scare him, by the way, because I'm a little odd sometimes. :)
Tim Jackson. Wow. It's hard for me to describe Tim without gushing. He literally walked me through blogging step by painful (for him)step. He's the only one on this list that I've met in person; this fall at Interbike in Vegas. We just hit it off right away. He's so intelligent and, like Tara, has a boundless passion for what he does. So much so, I think I caught this blog "bug" from him and proceeded to ask him question after endless question. He's a busy guy, but he always answers my questions even when they are the most basic to most people who have even one technical bone in their body (remember, I have none).
Tim also has a fierce passion for his family, which is very touching and moves. He seems to balance his home and work life quite well, too. Life is all about balance - it isn't all about work, that's for sure! I'm truly very lucky to have Tim as a colleague in the industry and as a friend.
Maryam Scoble. I can describe her in one phrase: Amazing woman. There are some people that just radiate warmth no matter how they communicate. Maryam is one of these people. I've never met her in person, but I have a feeling if we ever did (and I hope we do!), we'd be able to chat all day and into the night like old friends. She is so open about herself and why she started to blog that she was the final kick in the pants to me starting this blog. I was on the fence, but then she posted about her trepidation about starting her blog and the process she went through that it inspired me to just jump right in. I look forward to each and every one of her posts. She's fascinating, super smart, funny and, well, warm. Simply amazing.
So now you know a little about these Smart Cookies. Each of them has been instrumental, for one reason or another, in me starting this blog - whether or not they even are aware of the reason. Thank you all for sharing your knowledge and passion with me.
Happy, healthy new year to each Smart Cookie, your families and assorted critters. I truly hope that my path crosses with each of you in the coming year.
Thanks for stopping by.