A few months ago, at an "un-conference" called PodCamp Ohio, I met a woman, Barbara, whom I would never have met save for the fact that she was visiting with one of my Twitter faves, AnnOhio (there were large panties involved - but that's all I can say about that). I was immediately engaged by Barbara and her passion for new media, her knowledge and her ability to thoughtfully take in information, ponder it and turn it into a discussion (and she has a great smile and an even better laugh). My friend Jeremy and I ended up sitting with Barbara rather than attending one of the block of sessions and it will go down as one of the most important conversations for me in my new media journey. Barbara gave the low down and dirty on important tools to consider, ways to think about being in the Web 2.0 world, and some tips on some cool new things coming (or things that should be coming). The conversation was thought provoking, challenging, interesting and lingered in my mind for days. I was immediately struck at Barbara's ability to not only share and learn but also defend her position without apology or arrogance.
So, of course, I started following her on Twitter, and I continue to be impressed. She's out there really engaging in the conversation. If something comes up she always has a thoughtful question to pose back - a challenge to an accepted practice and ALWAYS an invitation to continue the conversation (sometimes stated, sometimes implied).
Barbara has become one of my Web 2.0 gurus. I have immense respect for her and am always stopping to read what she tweets (even if its just about the road trip she's on). In hindsight, I am even more thankful for the brief time we spent together this past summer and I am thankful to know a woman who has a strong mind and the ability to use it to always find new ways to think about something and connect with others - all at the same time.
Barbara's got a wicked sense of humor too which totally sealed the deal for me! :)