Friday, December 02, 2011

RIP @TerrenceWing - eLearning Community Loses a Thought Leader

I was up early this morning (4am MTN time).  I couldn't sleep and so I grabbed my phone and checked on what my east coast peeps might already to up too.   And to my shock and disbelief I saw a tweet from @lilybiri ...
@trishuhl Shocked and sad about the news that @TerrenceWing passed away - met him IRL on #DevLearn #ASTD
I immediately sent her a DM asking for clarification.  I thought perhaps it was a misunderstanding.  She immediately replied saying she heard it from Rick Zanotti.  And that's when I knew it was real.  A quick double check of twitter revealed this post from @RickZanotti ...
I just received word that my good friend, our good friend, @TerrenceWing, passed away earlier today. Still in shock. Will say more later.
I've been following the twitter stream and just checked out his Facebook page.  Terrence was a big, hands on, supporter of social media.  Amidst the sadness of losing him, I'm discovering a new found hope in the new technologies that are so often blamed for ill will.  I see the number of lives touched by one man in an endless stream of twitter commets and Facebook postings.    And we will always have his podcast interviews with Rick.

Terrence, Rick, and Me
Rick and Terrence hosted a great podcast called eLearnChat.  I was honored on 2 occasions to be a guest.  They had the opportunity to talk with so many people in our industry as well as those on the edges.  I would highly encourage you to watch a few.

Social media can teach us a lot.  But when someone dies there is an intense moment of least for me.  I am a firm believer in people, NOT technology.  The technology simply enhances and amplifies our ability to reach other people.  Soon, the wonder of this new technology will disappear and we'll be left with just the amazing social enhancements it provides.  But its the ability to connect with many more people, more closely, that makes this technology special.

I dare you to walk in the footsteps of Terrence Wing and embrace social media with the same passion and enthusiasm.  Do it!  And share your skills with a friend or colleague.  It would be a fitting tribute to Terrence.  And honestly, if you can do nothing else today just try sharing a smile with someone... anyone.  I will never forget that big smile he shared so freely with everyone he met.

We miss you Terrence!  Rest in Peace.

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