Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Paul Reynolds: A Contribution

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  • MikeE,

    R.I.P Paul.

    Hadn't seen him for about 2 years (since I changed roles at work) but do remember him as a very lively and entertaining speaker at a few of my old Intranet conferences back in 2007/2008.

    Will remember him for being the guy who introduced wikis, blogs and this new fangled thing called facebook, not to mention "the semantic web", in his trademark scottish accent to a bunch of internal communications types.

    Kingsland • Since Nov 2006 • 138 posts Report Reply

  • Janice Greatorex,

    I'm not even sure what I am doing here, but I was so moved to hear about Paul Reynolds death that I just had to say something. I listened for him on Jim Mora's show every second week and before that with Kim Hill. Thanks to him I have learned a little bit about the internet and realised how useful it can be. I guess if it had not been for him I wouldn't be writing this. RIP Paul I will miss your voice.

    Since May 2010 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • James Edwards,

    I am surprised at this terrible news, and at being moved to tears in response.

    I remember Paul's distinctive voice and tone as a commentator on National Radio - unfailingly worth listening to, even for the elitist teenage geek I was.

    I later noticed his voice turning up at public lectures. I meant to thank him for his radio work. Now I will not have that chance.

    I did not really know him, and I will miss him.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2009 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Leigh Kennaway,

    He just knew so much.

    And had the very rare talent for making very complex matters accessible without crossing the line into patronising dumbing-down for the tech-tard hoi polloi. Reynolds was a "public intellectual" in the very best, non-wanky sense.

    Ditto what Craig said. It was always a joy to listen to Paul on the radio - he had the joyous enthusiasm you normally associate with newbies to a field, he had the background knowledge of where the latest exciting developments had come from and how it all worked, and yes, he could dumb it down without sounding like a patronising git.

    I never knew of his work with libraries until now, but now I have yet another reason to be grateful to him for all he did.

    sunny Pt Chevalier • Since Mar 2008 • 40 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    24 hours ago I didn't really know who Paul Reynolds was. 12 hours ago I sort of knew who he was and was sad to hear that he'd died (and feeling a bit strange that I'd existed in a different Venn diagram).

    But now a funny thing has happened. I've started reading all the tributes that people have been writing about him. While there's sadness, there's also a lot of energy. People have been genuinely inspired and fired up by him. And that energy is continuing - his work and his enthusiasm has been shared and is growing.

    And it's through these comments from so many people that I've started to get an idea of what he was like, and indeed what a tragic loss this is.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1841 posts Report Reply

  • AndrewD,

    I met Paul when he was a book reviewer on the Alan Gibbs version of the BBC (and of course working with Murray at Under Silkwood).

    His love of the internet to me was always an echo of his first love for books. His depair at the Whitcoullisation of the book trade echoed in his love of the freedom of the web.

    But most of all I loved the fact that he ran The Mean Fiddler in London for a very long time and it wasn't until his middle life that he embraced the world of words to make a living. I was always proud of the way that he forged a life for himself and his family out of McGovern, after knowing him when times were tough.

    I heard him last week talking about the rise of "Like" and the decline of search engines. He was captivating and now I am heartbroken that neither he nor I knew at the time that his day was coming.

    Paul, I never spent enough time with you, you miserable old bastard.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    Very sad to hear the news about Paul. I first met him in the mid 90's after that book came out and we kept in touch ever since.

    The last time I saw him was a few weeks ago. I gave him a lift downtown after an social media event we had both been at. The conversation was about mutual friends and mostly about what projects are next and what could he do to speed that up. That was him to a tee.

    Over the years we talked about many planned projects. More often that not he was "the" person who linked a very wide range of people together and got many projects to the next level by encouraging everyone he knew.

    He will be sorely missed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    There'll be an item on One News tonight. In fact, I'm being shot for it right now ....

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18503 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The last time I saw him was a few weeks ago. I gave him a lift downtown after an social media event we had both been at.

    It's probably fair to say he had the Scotsman's gift for cadging a lift :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18503 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Jim Mora's brief tribute on Radio NZ (streaming, 3 mins)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16261 posts Report Reply

  • Nigel Horrocks,

    As Russell will well recall, in the early 90s, standing up publicly and saying the internet was going to change everything often put you in the category of being a quack.
    Paul not only stood up but wrote books, helped groups he believed in to get online and continued to passionately push for the connected world to be a good place.
    It's hard to know where to start to pay tribute to a very fine genius but you spoke well Russell in your piece, so thanks for that.

    Auckland • Since May 2010 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    The Big Idea add their tribute

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16261 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Glad to see you here, Nigel

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16261 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    and one from Julian at Seradigm

    What I loved about Paul Reynolds was the way he brought texture and richness to the digital world. He had a unique way of connecting the beautiful, tactile, physical, and even musty nature of art galleries, museums, and libraries with the expression of knowledge in digital environments. He seemed to understand the innately human aspects of both, and bridge them in a way no one else could.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16261 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    and one from Julian at Seradigm

    Aw, that's nice.

    What Robyn said upthread about the creative energy Paul's passing has inspired.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18503 posts Report Reply

  • Chris O'Donoghue,

    Hell, that's a blow. I always loved talking with Paul. Over the years I've known him, I have always regarded him as a compassionate, and deeply thinking person. We didn't always agree, but our disagreemnts were always discussed with integrety and good humour. A terrible loss to us all.

    Since May 2010 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers,

    I met Paul Reynolds a few years back when I worked for IBM, based on Wellington. I had the privilege of spending a couple of hours in his company in his office in Auckland. We had a great old chat and he suggested I meet this mate of his, Russell Brown, as he thought we would get along famously. He gave my Russell's phone number.

    I called Russell soon after and unfortunately I'd been working long hours and had a major brain fart and said "Paul McGovern" had suggested I give him a ring.

    No such person. Instead, I think Russell thought he was talking to a complete nutter.

    But thanks, Paul for the great afternoon and some laughs. :-)

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 280 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Martin,

    I didn't know Paul personally but had a great respect for him as a commentator and thought leader. My thoughts are with his family.

    Since May 2010 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Liz Hardwick-Smith,

    Paul gave a guest lecture to my Communications class at around AUT 13 years ago that changed the course of my life. His vision for the future of this new “internet” thing was so inspiring that it shaped my future on the spot. I chased after him afterwards, bought him a coffee and soon after that he and Helen gave me my first job in the web business.

    I regret losing touch in recent years, but I’ll always be grateful to both of them for that start, and for their friendship over the next few years which included some very memorable parties!

    Paul’s passion and vision were always intoxicating. His stories were always hilarious – even the 2nd or 3rd time around ;)

    I'm so glad to have known him, and my heart and thoughts are with Helen at this terribly sad time.

    Since May 2010 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Wonderful to see all these first time posters. Russell, did that piece run on TV1 news? I missed it.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2001 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I called Russell soon after and unfortunately I'd been working long hours and had a major brain fart and said "Paul McGovern" had suggested I give him a ring.
    No such person. Instead, I think Russell thought he was talking to a complete nutter.

    Didn't I work it out in the end?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18503 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Wonderful to see all these first time posters. Russell

    Noticed that too. It is lovely to see. All cuddly like. :)
    Sorry for the loss of your friend Russell. he sounded like a lovely real person.Life eh? Gotta be in it.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5918 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    National Library's official posting.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16261 posts Report Reply

  • JTH,

    RIP Paul. An amazing man who introduced me to the internet way back in 1993, in the days when the internet had no pictures and we used pine (if I recall correctly) for email. He was a wily Scot with a heart of gold, a wicked sense of humour and an amazingly sharp brain.

    I learned so much from him. He will be sadly missed.

    Kia Kaha Helen.

    London, UK • Since May 2010 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    he came and spoke to my class when i was studying. Back in the days before Twitter, before Facebook, when Blogger was new, and I had only had a couple of email addresses.

    I remember thinking at the time that he was a visionary. That he would be a good man to know, to follow, to be able to talk to. That there was all this new stuff coming and he'd be someone worth listening to about it.

    And I did, and now he'll be sorely missed.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

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