I spend my 9-to-5s with the great team of people that make up Terralever, an interactive marketing agency based out of Tempe, Arizona. Recently, the passing of one of our founding and managing partners quickly and dramatically altered life as we knew it. After a week passed and after the funerary services, as we returned to our daily tasks and project deliverables, I kept thinking about the company’s blog. How could we, how should we, go from our last post that announced Andy’s death to a new one covering user interface design or email marketing? What was that post in between, the one in which we, in front of the world, transition from loss to business as usual, knowing there really would be nothing usual about it?
I am touched that Terralever allowed me to author that post. And I am thankful for Courtney Crane, Marketing Manager for Terralever, and great friend to Andy, for helping me find the right words.
Originally posted to the Terralever blog on October 13, 2009:
Social Media Connections are Human Connections
As many of you know, Terralever recently suffered a great loss with the passing of Andy Richter, managing partner, colleague, friend, and mentor. We have mourned and we have laughed as we continue to remember great times spent with a man whose passion for living was infectious.
Shortly before we learned of Andy’s passing, I discovered that my friend and his wife were expecting a baby via a biweekly web comic. Life cycled within mere hours. As the day continued, and news of Andy’s passing spread, the outpouring of support, expressed through Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and personal emails, was overwhelming. The loss was not just our own, Andy’s family or those closest to him, but one felt throughout Phoenix and the greater entrepreneurial and internet marketing communities. Each post brought home with new meaning that which I already believed, that social media, however digital it may be, is still human.
Sons and daughters are born, cancerous diseases are fought, promotions are celebrated, wedding vows are exchanged, and losses are mourned. Life is shared as it happens.
News channels will continue to publish the latest headlines, brands to focus on building communities of impassioned evangelists, and retailers to announce their hot new sale. Indeed, our role as an interactive marketing agency is to help our clients navigate opportunities to best leverage their online activities. It is my hope that as we do so, we always remember that social media is where humans connect with one another in meaningful ways.
We cherish the knowledge, guidance and passion that Andy brought to us each day. We are thankful for the gracious support of the community since his passing. Both are inspiration for us as we move forward together.
*If you’d like to leave a comment, please feel free to do so here and/or on the original post on the Terralever blog.