by Yvonne DiVita
Wayne. Wayne Hurlbert. I think of him often, now. Now that... he's gone. Why is that? Why did I not think of him more often, before he was gone? It's just how we humans are.
Not always thinking of him does not mean he was unimportant to me. Wayne was superbly important. In so many little ways - he was a talented blogger; he was a great friend; he was a marvelous story-teller; and he was on the leading edge of what we call social media today. Wayne was among the very first friends I made, all those years ago, when I started Lipsticking. And, he made me feel important - just by being himself.
I was too shocked to see the accolades and RIPs on Facebook, more than a week ago... so many people remembering a man that was both elusive and inviting - expressing the dismay you feel over a sudden loss like his. I didn't believe it, of course. I thought it was an early Halloween prank. I willed it to be a prank... a poor excuse for fun, yes, but a prank nonetheless.
Not so. It was true. My very best friends online, Toby Bloomberg and Paul Chaney, were sharing the news ... in little whispers, I think, as if the softness of the sharing could make it go away. Make it unreal. Make it ... not true.
But, here it is. Wayne Hurlbert, he of the most generous spirit and warmest heart, is no longer with us. His words and his essence live on - in the hearts of so many who will always remember him fondly, but he, the man... the life and times of... whom few if any actually met in person... is slowly becoming a memory - a light one embraces now and then, when the shadows and darkness slip in. Wayne's smile will be among us when we meet and talk and laugh and share - as we sometimes are lucky enough to do. He will be in our thoughts and our stories, ever told from the perspective of people who were there "when" social media wasn't social media, it was just... blogging.
She says, "For me, Wayne and I shared another passion. We believed that blogs, and then social networks, could impact the way business could be conducted with honesty, openness, and transparency."
He writes, "Not only that, his was the longest-running show among the thousands hosted at Blog Talk Radio. He interviewed dozens of business leaders, entrepreneurs, authors and notables. (Hisfirst show aired in 2006 where he interviewed another of my dear friends, Toby Bloomberg.) I was given the opportunity to be interviewed by Wayne on two separate occasions, one of which followed the publication of my book The Digital Handshake."
As we move forward in our lives, we may speak of Wayne with admiration and respect, but let us not speak of him without love. He was and will remain beloved among the first movers in the world of social media - the few of us who knew him well. As well as ever we could, or ever will. It is in his generous spirit and my fondness for this simple man who made me feel as if I could conqueor the world, that I offer this small tribute.
Be well wherever you are, Wayne Hurlbert.