I was sorry to hear the news yesterday of the untimely passing of Steve Newson. I met Steve a few times after he attended #trulondon last year, and set up a local tweetup to discuss what we got out of the event. Only 5 of us attended but we had a great night with some great conversation.
A few months later Steve contacted me to advise that he had been diagnosed with adenocarcinoma – it’s a form of lung cancer – ironically the most common form of lung cancer in non-smokers. He was going to be announcing it on his blog and wanted a few people to know in advance, not as a cushion but to push the post!He published the post:”Starting my fight against cancer” on the 16’th June.
Since then Steve posted 32 posts, mostly updates on his condition and thoughts on the back-stream from conferences on recruiting. Steve grew to really look forward to the backstreams and became an avid contributor. I know from our conversations that whilst he was too unwell to attend, and clearly more unwell than he was sharing, he felt that twitter gave him the opportunity to be really involved in what was going on and what was being said. This involvement of others who can’t attend events (for whatever reason) in the conversation is something we should never over-look or under-estimate. they are as much a part of the event as those who attend.
I asked Steve recently why he continued to blog about his condition and he gave me 2 reasons. Firstly, he found it therapeutic to share his feelings and secondly, it meant there were no long silences when people were anxiously edging around asking how he was.
His blog is an inspirational read and everyone should take time to have a look and reflect on the unfolding story that starts in June and ends with his last post on the 20’th December.
Steve passed at 4.50pm yesterday (19’th Jan.) It seems appropriate that as I met steve through twitter, I was notified this way.
I think it would only be appropriate if we marked his life in some way through social media. I don’t think it need (or necessarily should be about raising money), but acknowledgment, awareness or something that would be lasting. My idea was to create a team of conference reporters from students, and give them the training, tools and reach to cover all the events in our space, but that’s just an idea. please leave your suggestions and thoughts.
I wasn’t a great friend of Steve’s of long history, but I enjoyed all of our meetings, conversations and twitter exchanges. I will miss him in the stream, he was a great ambassador.
Steve Newsons Blog (From June 21’st)