A lot of people will tell you that the internet isn’t a real place, and you can’t forge friendships and relationships that are purely virtual in nature.
Leon Noone made a mockery of that belief.
A business management consultant from Australia, Leon was one of these people you just instantly took to.
A typical Australian bloke, Leon was as blunt as he was funny. Every interaction with him, whether it was a comment on a blog post, or a personal email exchange, was guaranteed to leave you smiling.
It wasn’t just his smarts, though, that endeared Leon (though he was one of the smartest folks I ever had the privilege of knowing). It was how he genuinely wanted to teach the business world to be better, while calling out the frequent shallowness that was, and remains, the social web.
His very first comment on this blog was a great pointer on the always enjoyable interactions that were to follow.
I’m a relative newbie to the web. But I ran an offline direct marketing company for many years. The most irksome thing to me isn’t confined to social media.
It’s the constant reference to “internet marketing” when about 75% of it is old fashioned, hard-nosed, foot in the door selling. Marketing it ain’t.
I suspect that the reason that social media is replete with trite and trendy twaddle is that most tweeting is sheer self-indulgence. There’s nothing wrong with self-indulgence. You just need to know when you’re engaged in it.
Anyway…. make sure you have fun.
The fact that Leon used the phrase “trite and trendy twaddle” made me an instant fan – and he didn’t disappoint in any other comment he made, or email message he sent.
It got to be that I smiled as wide as a Cheshire cat whenever I saw notification that Leon had left a comment, or a new email alert popped up in my Inbox from Leon – that’s how much he made you look forward to his thoughts.
Today, I learned that Leon passed away on December 26. While I never met him in person, I’m still incredibly sad to know that the world will never again benefit from the words of “this old curmudgeon”, as Leon often referred to himself.
They say virtual friendships and virtual connections are merely a passing thing, and can’t be compared to “real life” friendships. Leon Noone would have laughed at that, and made sure everyone else did too. Because he knew different, and always made you feel different, too.
Goodbye, Leon. Thank you for sharing some of your time on this little part of the web, and I know wherever you are now, you’re making those around you believe in something others can only imagine.
Sleep well, my friend.
Dedicated to the memory of Leon Noone, 6 October 1939 – 26 December 2014.