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March 16, 2008

Our friend and colleague Russell Shaw

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Posted by Hylton Jolliffe

It was with shock that I returned home from a night out last night to hear the news of Russell's passing. How terribly, terribly sad. Most of all for him, as he'd seemed buoyant, healthier, and content when I'd last seen him several months ago when he was in town - he was happy that work was busy and rewarding and was having fun with it but most of all was thrilled about how things were going with his girlfriend, Ellen.

I've known Russ for what seems like ages now (in a good way) though in fact it's only been about six or seven years since the early days of "commercial" blogging when he started working on various projects at and around Corante. He was a diligent, committed, and prolific journalist who had impressively and more ably than others been able to make the transition from the old-school way of doing things to the new. He had his quirks, as we all do, but I greatly valued that he was good-natured, collegial, reliable, quick to adopt, trustworthy, eager to learn, and earnest in his interest in helping others better understand what he wrote about.

He was also, it should be said, a kind and thoughtful soul and it was the rare conversation in which he didn't ask, with sincerity, about what he knew of my life, e.g. our new babe, and we didn't talk as seemingly old friends about our lives and respective paths. I can't say I knew him very well, of course, but in our half-dozen get-togethers over the years and dozens of conversations I got a good sense of the man: he cared about learning and sharing and his bearing was earnest and ego-less and we'll miss him for that and more.

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