In a way, this is a Thanksgiving story.
The story of Batman is legendary: young boy sees his parents killed, and grows up determined to fight crime to right that wrong in perpetuity. As he develops, Batman learns martial arts, learns scientific methods, becomes a detective, and combats ever growing threats to his beloved Gotham City. The police department under Commissioner Jim Gordon rely more and more on Batman to solve the more complex crimes, and they take the simple petty ones.
Besides the fact that this is about a comic book, meaning, if you just accept that for a moment, the thing is this: it wouldn’t work.
Batman, no matter how amazing, is only one man. Crime is a large and amorphous thing, and it requires lots of people to fight. It requires a better Gotham Police Department, a more capable Commissioner Gordon, a Robin, a Batgirl, and more and more help from others. Oh, and let’s not forget Alfred.
For all that I do, and all that I try to do, and for as many places as I try to be to help others, I can only do the work of one man. That means that I need a whole cast of characters to help, a whole bunch of fellow crusaders who have similar interests, or supporting goals, or who are just generally great people.
Today, I want to thank some of them (it would be difficult to name you all), and I want you to click these links, visit these people, and get to know the people who I count on as part of the larger story of educating people about the value of social software to our business and communications needs (each in their own way).
Visit These People
- Jon Swanson – Jon is the best kind of holy man. He speaks to me in my language about his understanding of God. Jon and I share a lot, and he takes on quite a burden from me at times. He’s one of the smartest, most thoughtful people I’ve ever met.
- Rob and the Hatch Family – Rob is a school friend from Pittsfield, Maine, who came back into my life four years ago. He and his family are an amazing family to spend time with (when I can manage to schedule such), and are filled with incredible projects and media making of their own. Megin and the kids are every bit as much my heroes as others, for very different reasons. They are genuine practitioners of being good people *and* making good media.
- Britt Raybould- We met at a conference last year, and she has come to be one of my trusted confidantes. Britt helps smaller companies and individuals use social media in very practical ways. Amongst other things.
- Becky McCray – Becky proves that small towns have new media souls, and that these tools aren’t a San Francisco / Boston / DC / Boulder thing. She is a great friend, a powerful supporter, and passionate in her loyalty.
- Whitney Hoffman – Whit and I met at PodCamp (the first ever), and she immediately became “the mother of PodCamp,” and by that, she has run/assisted/advised/and attended more PodCamps than me. Beyond that, she just wants us all to succeed. She’s a superstar on her own, but in support of me, I can’t enumerate how much she’s done for me.
- Christopher S. Penn – If someone was at the ground zero of my real emergence as a person in this space, Chris would be it. We met at BarCamp Boston, immediately formulated how to do PodCamp, and have had a crazy/interesting relationship every since. He’s smarter than me. He’s more helpful than me. He can kick my ass with a light saber. And I’m grateful for his friendship and partnership in the PodCamp events.
- Justin Kownacki – Justin introduced me to Jeff Pulver (listed below). He introduced me to the videoblogging world. He introduced me to Pittsburgh. And he was the first to execute PodCamp after we did our first one (proving it could be done). Master of the hare-brained scheme in the old days, Justin has evolved to be a very practical guy with an ability to muster troops together in a heartbeat. Pittsburgh has one of the most vibrant media communities out there. Deal with it.
- Jeff Pulver – Jeff believes in people’s dreams more than anything else in the world. He trades in dreams all day long. He pulled me from my wireless telco world into the circus. We ran conferences together, built a startup, but above any of that, we had lots and lots of long-tail fun. Jeff is what a lot of you should want to be, spirit and vision wise, when you grow up.
- Julien Smith – Julien has taught me more in the last several months about the new business of the web than I ever deduced on my own. He helps put reality against my human-focused premise. He is a brilliant and talented co-author, and the book we’re writing together, Trust Agents, will be a master work thanks to his determination and drive.
- Liz Strauss – Liz Strauss has more ideas in a given day than you might have in a year. She has endless ways to make your ideas better. She knows how to get you thinking. I couldn’t leave off Liz.
The Home Team
I’m grateful to Katrina and the children for supporting me. No, it’s not always easy surrendering your husband / daddy to countless weeks on airplanes to attend dozens of conferences in far off areas. It’s not always apparent that all this social media stuff makes sense. Right now, I’m writing this while they’re waiting to get breakfast (so I’ll cut it short). Know that there’s a team behind me at home, that they support me, and that it’s not always easy for them. Thank you, Katrina.
My parents, Steve and Diane Brogan are not only my lifelong supporters, but they are also on Twitter ( Dad, Mom). They blogged their home building project, and they continue to stay active in social media. They also help support my family when I’m not there. This support is invaluable. Thanks.
The Next Generation
There are many people that I admire and have made friends with over 2008 that I’d love to list as interesting and important people who are also making a big difference in this world. The problem is, I will most definitely miss people who matter to me, and you’ll put some really polite comment in the comments section, and I’ll feel bad. I’ll name a few of you, but please know that if you and I have talked a bunch about this stuff, I’m also thinking about you. Fair?
Just know that I’m thinking about you, too, as people who have done amazing things and will continue to be part of the larger plans for 2009.
There, I’ve mixed Thanksgiving and Batman into one post.
Happy Batman Day to you. With love.
Photo credit, chanchan222