The beauty and sadness of social media

This week for me brought to light what makes social media so great. But conversely, it also showed me or allowed me to share in the pain and sadness of the passing away of someone who made a difference in the lives of many.

Andrew Bourland, the co-founder of ClickZ passed away this week  after battling cardiomyopathy, a form of heart disease.

Bourland was also the former publisher and CEO of ClickZ.  In 1997, He and Ann Handley, founded ClickZ  to cover the Internet advertising and marketing sector.

Andrew Bourland also had Bourland.com, his blog where he covered everything from blogging and email marketing to video marketing and viral advertising.   But back in November, he did something amazing; similar to Randy Pausch he used his blog to announce that his heart condition was worsening, stemming from having radiation treatments to treat testicular cancer many years before, and that he wasn’t sure how much longer he might have.

He subsequently had posts from him, his brother and his wife, who all chronicled his remaining time with family and friends and loved ones.

It was painful, it was joyful, it made me cry, it made me smile;  but most of all, it dawned on me that this very private time was there to be shared by anyone and everyone. Social media, specifically this blog, had allowed us to share in the life and times of Andrew Bourland.  Andrew Bourland and his family had allowed it. They let us in. For me, these are truly amazing times. Thank you for that Andrew.