Join 3,562 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Remembering our friend Brad
January 4, 2010 3:00 PM   Subscribe

Our dear longtime member Bradlands is gone. Delightful SXSW party host, coiner of the word "blogosphere", all-around bon vivant & damn fine friend. Not much news yet, but here's a placeholder for news to come & remembrances. He will be so greatly missed.
posted by judith to MetaFilter-Related at 3:00 PM (420 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite

.
posted by djacobs at 3:01 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by allen.spaulding at 3:02 PM on January 4, 2010


This is fucking wretched news. He was a splendid, kind and generous man. I'm reeling.
posted by Skot at 3:03 PM on January 4, 2010


He was the second person I ever met at SXSW in 2000, and the first person I went to each year after to get a hug. Hugely missed.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:05 PM on January 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


Fuck. I never knew him beyond general familiarity on the site, but I was recently reminded of his epic pun-athon from years ago. I probably would have finally met him in person this year.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:06 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


fuck.

A toast to Brad and let's plan a bacchanalia for sxsw.

.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:06 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


.

Brad had an effect on my life that can't really be summed up in words, and I keep hoping this must surely be a mistake and in a day or two, holy shit, is Brad going to be drink for free forever on this one.

Nicest man on the internet, though he'd absolutely hate to be remembered that way. Vaya con whoever, Brad.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:07 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by binkin at 3:08 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:09 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by sudama at 3:09 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by gleuschk at 3:10 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by annathea at 3:11 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by hermitosis at 3:11 PM on January 4, 2010


ugh, what a horrible shock. Always enjoyed talking with him in Austin and around the Web—he will definitely be missed.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:12 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by mrbarrett.com at 3:13 PM on January 4, 2010


I just spoke to a friend and coworker of Brads. He has apparently been sick for a few weeks, but had not shared much about it. I don't know if he meant the flu, or more. He did not go into work today or answer his phone, so his housemate was called, and found him when he went home to check on him. It sounds as though, he passed in his sleep.

Brad is my friend, and I am so very sorry this has happened. I wanted it to not be true.
posted by thirteen at 3:13 PM on January 4, 2010


I remember the flirtatious funny comment and then the big hug.
And the Break Bread With Brad sessions in San Francisco 2000, '01 and '02

RIP Brad, you handsome, funny devil.

.
posted by tomcosgrave at 3:14 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:14 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by scody at 3:15 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by sueinnyc at 3:16 PM on January 4, 2010


Absolutely tragic. The world loses a bit of light with his passing. RIP, dear friend.

.
posted by youcancallmeal at 3:17 PM on January 4, 2010


This is really, really sad.

When I went to SXSW in 2001, I was an anxious wreck. Brad was the first person I talked to, and he was immediately so welcoming and funny. The world lost a very good egg today.
posted by jess at 3:17 PM on January 4, 2010


This is heartbreaking. Brad was one of the first people to knit together the early personal web (around the time when he christened it the blogosphere) with face-to-face gatherings. He wasn't just a great friend, he helped me meet many of my best friends.

I checked with the Post-Dispatch reporter who did the piece Judith linked to, and she doesn't have any other information yet. So this thread is probably the most info we'll have for those of us who knew him primarily online.
posted by anildash at 3:18 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


.
posted by functionequalsform at 3:19 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by rcade at 3:19 PM on January 4, 2010


What a shitty, shitty week for MeFites and the MeFites they love.

.
posted by Madamina at 3:19 PM on January 4, 2010


This is horrible. He will be so missed.
posted by norm at 3:20 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by clare at 3:20 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by finn at 3:21 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by strixus at 3:22 PM on January 4, 2010


I feel lucky to have been counted among his friends.
.
posted by me3dia at 3:22 PM on January 4, 2010


What terrible, terrible news.
posted by MarkAnd at 3:22 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by greekphilosophy at 3:22 PM on January 4, 2010


> .
posted by GatorDavid at 3:23 PM on January 4, 2010


Just this morning, I was thinking about the aging of the blogosphere. My parents' generation is starting to die off (including my dad). Soon, they'll be sitting in nursing homes, mourning a different friend every week. It won't be long before we're in the same place, only mourning each other in cyberspace.

This makes my resolve to die a severely entertaining death all the more important. Don't want to be lost in a sea of online obits.
posted by Eideteker at 3:23 PM on January 4, 2010


.

I need my hug now.
posted by LeiaS at 3:23 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


.
posted by churl at 3:23 PM on January 4, 2010


a friend is going through brad's phone now and calling everyone, so there will be more information channels opening soon.
posted by patricking at 3:24 PM on January 4, 2010


Terribly sad.
posted by Medley at 3:24 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by whatnot at 3:24 PM on January 4, 2010


Really, just so awful.
posted by redfoxtail at 3:24 PM on January 4, 2010


I think more than anything else - his sense of humor, his warmth and generosity, the hundreds of people whose lives he made a little better - Brad would want to be remembered as the coiner of the word "blogosphere" "the most dangerous sodomite in Missouri". Salut!
posted by snarkout at 3:25 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


.
posted by heather at 3:25 PM on January 4, 2010


erg... I hope 2010 turns out to be a great year, 'cause it has started pretty rocky.


.
posted by edgeways at 3:25 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by terrapin at 3:26 PM on January 4, 2010


This year will be my 13th SXSW. His smiling face has been a part of at least 10 of those years. I will miss all of that warmth.
posted by maximolly at 3:26 PM on January 4, 2010


Goodbye, my dangerous sodomite friend.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 3:26 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


What the fuck, 2010?
posted by nanojath at 3:27 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by thatothrgirl at 3:28 PM on January 4, 2010


His last Tweet was a shout of joy in response to Matt's announcement that he was getting better.

Tragedy often has a fine edge like this, but it's always so startling. The universe can be a real motherfucker sometimes.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:28 PM on January 4, 2010 [11 favorites]


.
posted by jasonshellen at 3:28 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by polexa at 3:29 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by joescales at 3:29 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by amyms at 3:29 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by shylock at 3:29 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by goshling at 3:30 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by halcyon at 3:30 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by gomichild at 3:30 PM on January 4, 2010


He came very close to turning me.


(...and would have appreciated that joke.)
posted by mikemonteiro at 3:31 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by the.carol.baxter.experience at 3:31 PM on January 4, 2010


For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. For the great happiness that Brad brought from the first time meeting him at SXSW in 2001 to the many times that followed, there is now a great sadness.

This can only be cured by remembering all wonderful laughs, hugs, and enjoyment of life Brad surfaced and shared as easily as the wind blows through the trees or a great martini goes down.

.
posted by vanderwal at 3:31 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is very sad news. Brad was one of the truly good ones. He will be missed.
posted by camworld at 3:32 PM on January 4, 2010


I am in shock at this news. Brad was one of us, the happy few, at the start of this new genre. And learning of his death through Twitter was surreal.
posted by whump at 3:32 PM on January 4, 2010


What an amazing man in person and online. Rest peacefully...
posted by MarkBakalor at 3:32 PM on January 4, 2010


What anildash said. Startling, indeed, Astro Zombie.
posted by dhartung at 3:33 PM on January 4, 2010


Back in '99, he was Wendell's first real Blogging Buddy, and my best 'on-line' friend... at one point, we created a series of fake news stories about bloggers buying each other out that became more crazy with every additional 'report' we batted back and forth. His sense of humor always cracked me up. It's not funny anymore.

.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:33 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by burnmp3s at 3:34 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by Zosia Blue at 3:34 PM on January 4, 2010


Tragedy often has a fine edge like this, but it's always so startling. The universe can be a real motherfucker sometimes.

Indeed. It's a weird feeling to be mentioned in his last twitter utterance.

I mentioned it on Twitter, but a handful of us old timey bloggers and friends of Brad will eventually organize a Break Bread For Brad at this year's SXSW, continuing his tradition for the last ten years of throwing a first night mixer in a bar for participants to meet and greet. I figure the turnout could be larger than in years past and we always sort of flooded out the areas of the bar we were allowed to use, so we might need to rent out an entire large bar for this. I volunteered to pony up the dough for that, and I suspect in the next couple months we'll work the logistics out but I would assume it'd be something Friday night for Brad.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:34 PM on January 4, 2010 [8 favorites]


.

Like others, Brad's generosity of spirit, laughter, and warm hugs were one of the things that I look forward to every March.
posted by msjen at 3:35 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by mikewas at 3:36 PM on January 4, 2010


Wow, fuck. I hate that it took his death to remind me of how funny and kind Brad was.

.
posted by Driph at 3:36 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:36 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by prolific at 3:37 PM on January 4, 2010


I'll miss him at SXSW, and I'll miss him when I visit St. Louis. I never drive by Uncle Bill's Pancake House without thinking of the time he took me there at 3AM.
posted by bluishorange at 3:37 PM on January 4, 2010


It is hard to imagine what the web will be like without Brad to tie it all together. I'm just gutted. *raises glass*
posted by jdunn_entropy at 3:38 PM on January 4, 2010


I wish I'd taken more photos of my acronymphomaniac. J took the best one, of course.

(I'm pretty sure he's the only one that merited three separate entries in the dictionary.)

This sucks.
posted by GatorDavid at 3:38 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by Neale at 3:38 PM on January 4, 2010


:*
posted by honkzilla at 3:39 PM on January 4, 2010


Seconding mathowie -- I know a number of folks (me3dia, bluishorange, me) had wanted to throw a Break Bread For Brad, as Matt's kindly volunteered to sponsor. I think it makes sense to wait a few days until we know more about the circumstances, as well as any family, etc. that we might want to be in touch with, but I'm certain we'll have a remembrance for our friend at SXSW, and hopefully can use it to help one of his favorite charities as well. For now I just miss my friend and hope we can collectively do a good job of explaining to the rest of the world why he mattered so much and what made him so special.
posted by anildash at 3:40 PM on January 4, 2010


Aw shit. I hate this so much.

.
posted by pjern at 3:40 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by mynameisluka at 3:41 PM on January 4, 2010


.

I went to one of the SXSWi Break Bread With Brad events (2006) when it was a ginormous happening that took over an entire bar and its patio. I can't remember if I actually got to meet The Brad, but I did meet some people who have been a part of my extended interwebs network since then. (My blog, Flickr pics) Plus I won a book!

It was a great introduction to the SXSW madness, and it seemed wonderfully generous for him to organize that obviously grew way beyond what he might have originally intended.

::sigh::

on preview: what, he invented the word blogosphere?! wow.
posted by epersonae at 3:41 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by bkeaggy at 3:42 PM on January 4, 2010


Nobody's going to get <MarthaWash> now.

Did I mention that this sucks?
posted by GatorDavid at 3:42 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


.
posted by scottandrew at 3:43 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by Ufez Jones at 3:44 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by lhl at 3:45 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:45 PM on January 4, 2010


.
There really are no words to describe how much this has affected me this afternoon. I will miss our dear friend Brad very much. Certainly some of my fondest memories from SXSW were from Break Bread.
I look forward to celebrating this beautiful life with all of you in March.
posted by medium format at 3:47 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by allaboutgeorge at 3:47 PM on January 4, 2010


Fuck.
posted by Zeldman at 3:48 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by alainabrowne at 3:50 PM on January 4, 2010


What's that old Lucinda Williams line? Feel like I been shot and didn't fall down.

Brad was one of the funniest, kindest, friendliest people on the web. What a horrible loss. My thoughts go out to his close friends and loved ones.
posted by EliseTomekDignan at 3:50 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by davidfg at 3:51 PM on January 4, 2010


I can't express how I feel about this. I talked to Brad almost every day for the last how many years, and now he is gone. I never met him in person, and I am the poorer for it. He made me proud to know him, to be touched by his quick wit. I will miss him very much.
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:51 PM on January 4, 2010


Tom Cosgrave says Brad died in his sleep and was discovered by his roommate.

A tragic loss. I loved that guy.
posted by waxpancake at 3:52 PM on January 4, 2010

Unexpected pre-coital comedy
"Wow, that's a cool nightstand."

"Actually, it's an 'occasional table'."

"Why do you suppose they call them that?"

"I don't know. I sometimes suspect that, at night while I'm asleep, it becomes an armoire."
posted by bryanjbusch at 3:52 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Brad was a good man. I met him at my first SxSW in 2003 and he helped introduce me to many people. Every year since I've gone to Break Bread and chatted with him. We shared a bus ride somewhere once and he tried to explain why St. Louis is nice to me while I was quite drunk.

SxSW ain't the same these days compared to what it was. A lot more personal and time spent sitting on the floor chatting, making new friends, connecting with the blogging tribe. No one was selling anything. Brad was a big part of that.

I'm in for any way the group wants to celebrate Brad. Party, donation, buttons, whatever.

Man, I'm going to miss the giveaways... I miss Brad already.
posted by Argyle at 3:53 PM on January 4, 2010


I'm so sorry to hear this.
posted by Sailormom at 3:55 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by penguin pie at 3:57 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by adactio at 3:57 PM on January 4, 2010


Holy crap! I didn't know him, but I saw the linked article on stltoday.com earlier while looking for something else, and remarked to my coworker how awful it was that someone had died so young. A little while later, I heard another group of coworkers down the hall—a couple of whom had actually known him, I think—mourning the news.

Come to think of it, I remember the name of his blog from when it was aggregated on the sadly now-defunct stlbloggers.com. I didn't know he was on MetaFilter, though! I wish he'd come to some of the recent STL meetups so we could've gotten to know him.
posted by limeonaire at 4:00 PM on January 4, 2010


I can hardly find words for how sad I am. He was the dearest person. We should all hope to be loved by as many people as he was.
posted by rodii at 4:01 PM on January 4, 2010


What a tragedy! Brad was a hero.
posted by benbrown at 4:02 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by ericb at 4:04 PM on January 4, 2010


Damn. It.
posted by julen at 4:04 PM on January 4, 2010


I'm shocked and so very sad.

When there were fewer than 50 or so weblogs, I read pretty much everyone's and Brad's was one of my favorites. He made a point of posting links to my weblog and other web projects on twenty or more occasions, always with encouraging or funny words which meant a lot to me, especially when I was going through some rough times.

Back in those days it seemed like a small town and Brad was one of the best at encouraging people and getting people together offline to "break bread" or whatever. Heck, he's still great at that stuff. After more than a decade of chatting online, I'm so very sad that I'll never get a chance to break bread with him.

God, this sucks.
posted by laurel at 4:04 PM on January 4, 2010


Now that he's gone I'm going to go ahead and reveal* that Brad was Doublepost Guy, MeFi's first real joke sockpuppet.

*I guessed, he threatened me to keep it under my lid. Confirmation enough.

I am still so shocked. Brad was one of the first Internet friends I ever met in meatspace. A hell of a nice guy, too.
posted by norm at 4:05 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by eamondaly at 4:09 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by sarahnade at 4:10 PM on January 4, 2010


Wow, I remember that pun thread, 7(!) years later. Until today, I hadn't realized it was one poster.

.
posted by stet at 4:11 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by michaelbrown at 4:11 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 4:11 PM on January 4, 2010


Oh no! Damn. Damn!

So awful. He was such a nice, funny and good hearted guy. :(

.
posted by zarq at 4:13 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by thomas j wise at 4:14 PM on January 4, 2010


My encounter with him was very chance -- BBwB was the first event I went to at SXSWi 2007, and I was somewhat lost and overwhelmed in the scale of things in the bar. At one point he came over and said, "Do you have a button?" and handed one to me. I wanted to talk to him, but at that moment someone else came right over and launched into an I Haven't Seen You In So Long sort of conversation, and then the crowd moved and I never saw him again.

I'm disappointed I never really actually met him other than getting a button, my first SXSW button.

.
posted by dw at 4:16 PM on January 4, 2010


He was one of the people I really idealized when I first started reading Metafilter. So funny, so kind, so damned smart.

I am so sad for his friends and family... and us.
posted by reflecked at 4:18 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by ob at 4:18 PM on January 4, 2010


.

I thought that 2010 was supposed to be a better year than the last one...
posted by schyler523 at 4:19 PM on January 4, 2010


.

I was another whose first experience at my first SXSW was at a Break Bread with Brad gathering. It had to have been 2001 or 2002. I made several other since that first, but never had the chance to talk with him as much as I did that first time.
posted by misterioso at 4:19 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by perplexed at 4:20 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by stagewhisper at 4:23 PM on January 4, 2010


Brad's greatest contribution to the 'Filter was that string of nearly 200 pun-ishingly pun-ful comments in the "Tom Swifties" thread ("'I suck,' Tom said vacuously." "'That tuna just saved our planet,' said Tom superficially." "'Worship my scrotum,' said Tom sacriligiously.") after which I tried to pick up the baton and put my eye out with it.

So it is with total respect that I say that Brad apparently passed away the way he lived... Swiftly.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:25 PM on January 4, 2010


Oh, man, I'm so sad to hear this. I've internet-known him it seems like forever, since I first joined this site, almost a decade ago.

Sorry to his family and friends and everyone who knew him better than I did.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:26 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Six years and some change ago, I was driving cross-country from Chicago, moving out west. Brad was one of the other gay folks I met when I got into weblogging (one of the first ever, arguably) and he was kind enough to house me in St. Louis on the first night on my trip, after I called him up in my unclassy manner and asked for a couch to crash on. I didn't even get him a thank-you gift, and to make up for it when I saw him next, I ended up doing an ad hoc slide show thank-you thing on a notepad. It was lame, but he was gracious in all instances, as he always was. He's one of the kings.
posted by jason at 4:26 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


.
posted by sennoma at 4:27 PM on January 4, 2010


And you know, not to be flippant, this almost feels like a funeral, where you see old friends you haven't seen for years. It's another layer of sadness, but is always a testament to the person who has passed, that people care, and come back to the old place, even if briefly.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:29 PM on January 4, 2010 [17 favorites]


.
posted by contrariwise at 4:33 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by humannaire at 4:33 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


.
posted by jkottke at 4:34 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by scottymac at 4:35 PM on January 4, 2010


.

And dammit, this is not how 2010 was supposed to be.
posted by genehack at 4:36 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by bearwife at 4:39 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by bump at 4:40 PM on January 4, 2010


RIP, Bradford.
posted by rorschach at 4:41 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by Bangaioh at 4:42 PM on January 4, 2010


I did the same thing, jason, stopped at Brad's place in St. Louis as I was travelling cross-country in 2001. He put up me, my friend, and her two cats with totally no hassle at all. I got to see the theater he worked at [where he intro'ed us around a lot and it was clear everyone there was totally in love with him, I mean really we all are] and got a little tour around his neighborhood where he lived right by the Botanical Gardens and Tower Grove Park.

As I got to know him over the years in bloggerland and through meeting at various nerdy get-togethers it was clear that he had managed that tricky balance where he had both a rich offline and online life and was responsible for bringing people together in both of them. People who adored him, and he them.

Thanks to his many almost-TMI stories at Fray Days for a decade, I probably know more about his personal life than almost any other living person's. And yet, he always had stories to tell, and time to listen to yours. Fuck.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:44 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


When I was laid off my first job in 2001, I spent the severance package on a cross-country roadtrip to meet people I knew from their blogs and #blogirc. Having only met me online, Brad let me stay at his place in St. Louis and showed me around town. I have always felt lucky to have met Brad and had been meaning to reconnect...
posted by dan_of_brainlog at 4:47 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 4:47 PM on January 4, 2010


[[[[[Everyone that needs a hug right now...]]]]]
posted by schyler523 at 4:49 PM on January 4, 2010


-- OK, who here didn't crash on Brad's couch in 2001? :)
posted by dan_of_brainlog at 4:49 PM on January 4, 2010


*cries*
posted by baby jesus at 4:50 PM on January 4, 2010


dan, didn't you also crash on my couch in 2001?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:50 PM on January 4, 2010


He will be missed. So sorry to hear this news.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:53 PM on January 4, 2010


I met Brad just once, nine years ago when the Chicago blogging community was just getting off the ground - a mix of us from MeFi and other people doing great creative stuff.

I remember that Brad showed up, impromptu, to one of our meetings since he was in town. It was great to meet him and have his presence there - his sense of humor and devotion to the personal web was second to none.
posted by hijinx at 4:54 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey, dan_of_brainlog, let me and Bryan know if you decide to come down in March. We think you should.

(Sadly, it is just like a funeral, touching base with people you haven't spoken to in years.)
posted by Lyn Never at 4:56 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by crazyhorse at 4:56 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by lowkey at 4:56 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by nakedgremlin at 4:57 PM on January 4, 2010


I just discovered the real problem with online social networking: When you find out that a good friend died, there's rarely anyone within hugging distance.

This would have been ten years since I met Brad. One decade is a terribly insufficient amount of time to know him. I need a fucking hug. Preferably from him...
posted by fooljay at 4:58 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


.
posted by harold at 5:01 PM on January 4, 2010


Brad sang me the rubberducky song for my birthday in a voicemail 10 years ago. I used to replay it whenever I was feeling down and it never failed to cheer me up. I wish I still had that sound file. I could use that cheering up effect his voice had on me right now.
posted by Firda at 5:02 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I didn't know him at all, but talked to him briefly at SXSW in 2001 and he was so warm and funny to everyone, even the "nobodies". And of course he was always a spectacularly funny presence online.

Terribly sad.
posted by stefnet at 5:04 PM on January 4, 2010


Brad always understood my Star Trek references, no matter how obscure. That such a cool person could be such a nerd always made me feel a little less nerdy.

The world is less today.
posted by frykitty at 5:04 PM on January 4, 2010


.

Here's an MP3 of Brad telling a story at Fray Cafe 3.
posted by fraying at 5:06 PM on January 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


.
posted by roll truck roll at 5:06 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by brundlefly at 5:07 PM on January 4, 2010

"I try to be my own hero. That may sound flippant, but 15 years ago when I was really trying to grasp a direction for my life, a friend wise beyond his years reminded me that no one is perfect, that heroes fall and white knights on horseback are rare. Instead, he said, I should identify those qualities I found heroic and good and valuable in anyone I admired, and cultivate them in myself. "You won't always succeed," he said, "but you'll be better for trying. Losers sit and wish. Heroes try. Be your own hero."

It ends up, though, that most of the admirable qualities I want to have I saw in my father. He was the smartest man I've ever known and understood better than most the difference between education (of which he had little) and knowledge (of which he had much). He was incredibly gregarious, could always find something to talk about -- at length -- with absolutely anyone and in conversation with him, you always felt as though you were the absolute center of his universe right then. Dad had a story about everyone, and I never met anyone who knew him who didn't have five or ten about him.

There's a quote by Mark Twain, something along the lines of "You should endeavor to live your life such that when you die, even the undertaker will be sorry." The procession of cars at my dad's funeral stretched out four miles and, yes, the usually stoic funeral director cried. I should be so lucky. "

-Brad, May 2001
I'm sure you will, Brad.
posted by Neale at 5:09 PM on January 4, 2010 [81 favorites]


In life, Brad was great at bringing people together.
In passing, he has done exactly the same thing.

In that at least, we can be take some sort of comfort.
posted by tomcosgrave at 5:13 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


.

2010 officially sucks now.
posted by dabitch at 5:14 PM on January 4, 2010


Can I just say that it is a testament to his contributions to the early web community that so many 3-digit userids have come out of the woodwork?
posted by stefnet at 5:17 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


And you know, not to be flippant...

Brad would be completely okay with flippant. I am filled with near certainty on this point.

...this almost feels like a funeral, where you see old friends you haven't seen for years.

On top of that, stavrosthewonderchicken, my MetaFilter login hasn't worked for me for years, and suddenly today I could get in with a password I know I've tried before. Thanks for fixing my login, Brad!
posted by jason at 5:18 PM on January 4, 2010


1, 2, and 3 digit that is!
posted by stefnet at 5:18 PM on January 4, 2010


i only met brad once, spoke with him for less than five minutes, but relied on his "break bread with" events to get oriented at sxsw, see old friends, and meet plenty of new ones.

i really do hope there's a break bread *for* brad event this year and i'd be happy to chip in to cover the costs.
posted by xian at 5:19 PM on January 4, 2010


When did the internet turn into something so much like real life?

.
posted by junkbox at 5:19 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by box at 5:20 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by Caduceus at 5:22 PM on January 4, 2010


I gave my mom a Lesser Kudo mug for her birthday almost a decade ago. She still uses it and calls me every now and then to tell me she still thinks it's hysterical.

What sucks is that I have about a thousand anecdotes like that ...

On an old hard drive somewhere I have easily two months' worth of 2am ICQ logs between us debating whether I should leave my first wife (I did) and move to Los Angeles (I did).

And somewhere, also, I have the receipt from Canter's Deli in West Hollywood where he and I shared a breakfast a few months after I got to LA ... the first time I met someone from 'netspace in meatspace ...

Damn.
posted by GatorDavid at 5:23 PM on January 4, 2010


.

This is so very sad. I didn't know him at all the way some of you folks do. But I remember that way back around 1999 when I was still keeping a real "blog" he was one of the leaders behind a "Day Without Weblogs" event on December 1, World AIDS Day, which I joined in on.

I wish I'd met him.
posted by dnash at 5:28 PM on January 4, 2010


Just a total, utter shock.
posted by theNonsuch at 5:33 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by msconduct at 5:34 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by inturnaround at 5:35 PM on January 4, 2010


I knew Brad for 20 years. Posted a few photos here, and I'm going to dig out a few more. Frankly I'm still stunned. Brad was such a witty, fun, smart-as-hell friend. I can't believe he's gone, just like that.

p.s. GatorDavid -- I have a photo of you from that breakfast at Canter's...
posted by pnoeric at 5:37 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by msippey at 5:39 PM on January 4, 2010


Back in the old days, when all the webloggers could (and seemingly did) read and quote from each other's weblogs, so much seemed to start with Brad. And long after many of us petered out and our longer writings got replaced by our Twitter streams, The Bradlands for the most part kept right on going. I grew up near St. Louis and he gave me a familiar point of reference back in the late '90s when I'd first moved to Georgia and "knew" far more people via their weblogs than I knew in person here. I had a suspicion we crossed paths in high school, but apart from that I never met him in person. Just a couple weeks ago we conversed via Twitter, and I thought the very next time I was in town to visit family I'd make a point to visit. And now I'm far poorer knowing that'll never happen.

I guess I'll have to make it a point to go break bread at SXSW instead.
posted by ewagoner at 5:43 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


.
posted by spinifex23 at 5:47 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by The Deej at 5:47 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by barkingmoose at 5:48 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by bwanabetty at 5:48 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by holgate at 5:48 PM on January 4, 2010


Brad served as a fine Ambassador to Gaiety for at least one naive straight kid emerging from the right-wing Christian stupor in which they were raised.

He was the first gay person with whom I recall interacting (despite having been an altar boy for years; INORITE) and, by way of blogging and late-night #blogIRC sessions, did more to humanize the Dreaded Homosexual than Holy Mother Church could withstand.

So, in a way, Phelps is right; the queers ARE out to convert your children. Here's hoping their good work continues where Brad, unfortunately, has left off.

.
posted by Danelope at 5:54 PM on January 4, 2010 [6 favorites]


.
posted by fredosan at 5:54 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by Skorgu at 5:55 PM on January 4, 2010


I have no special stories about Brad, except that for the couple of times that I met him in real life, he always made me feel that he was really glad to see me, and without exception, did the same for everybody else. He welcomed people with such utter openness, and made an oftentimes cold world much warmer.
posted by Avogadro at 5:57 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by jjray at 5:58 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:59 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by cameron at 6:03 PM on January 4, 2010


I'm going to miss you, Brad.
posted by cCranium at 6:03 PM on January 4, 2010


damn.
posted by phoebus at 6:07 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by owen at 6:10 PM on January 4, 2010


Same age as me... I fondly remember 'Must see http' from way back when. This is sad indeed.

.
posted by kokogiak at 6:12 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


.
posted by cali at 6:16 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by rebeccablood at 6:16 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by Miss Matheson at 6:19 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by Sapphireblue at 6:20 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by ltracey at 6:28 PM on January 4, 2010


This is just terrible. One of the funniest and most large-hearted people I have ever known. A HUGE part of my SXSW experience, and a truly talented storyteller. He leaves an enormous absence behind and I hope that some of us can gather to tell Brad stories this March in Austin.
posted by jmcnally at 6:29 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


.
posted by salt at 6:30 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by Scotch at 6:31 PM on January 4, 2010


"Don't be sorry, after all, you didn't kill him."

posted by zenon at 6:34 PM on January 4, 2010 [7 favorites]


"Did you?"
posted by zenon at 6:34 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by zenon at 6:35 PM on January 4, 2010


The original link Judith posted to start this thread has been updated with more information, but here it is again to save your scrollfinger: Repertory Theatre’s Brad Graham dies [stltoday.com]
posted by jason at 6:36 PM on January 4, 2010


It's taken me a good portion of the day to process this info. Like many other people that have posted I was most familiar with brad through #blogirc and ICQ. He was always such a generous and warm presence and always ready to give back in any way that he could.

.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 6:39 PM on January 4, 2010


He invited bluishorange and I to break bread with him at out first SXSW, where I met everyone who would grow up to run the internets. He inspired me, always made me laugh, and I will miss him very much.

"Bold. Follow your word. Follow your word!"
posted by sixfoot6 at 6:40 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


.
posted by ginky at 6:51 PM on January 4, 2010


Damn, we are starting to drop like flies. Perhaps we are just hearing about it more.... Anyway, RIP Bradlands, you will be missed.
posted by caddis at 7:02 PM on January 4, 2010


I did not know him, know of him, but all the same, it speaks well for him to be remembered so by all of you, by all these names I have not seen for years. I am sorry for your loss, each and every one of you.
posted by y2karl at 7:03 PM on January 4, 2010


.

I'm crying very hard, but I know Brad would want a laugh in there too and this is one of my favorites from Brad.


"My favorite animal at the Zoo is the lesser kudu. You have to admire an animal with a name like that, laboring as he must in the shadow of the greater kudu. It must be like having an older brother who excelled at sports and academics in school, to whom you have always been compared and found lacking. A few months ago, I was visiting the Zoo at lunch with a friend and discovered the area where the lesser kudu is ordinarily found was empty.

I hope he made a break for it. I hope he made his way out into the world, free of expectations, shedding labels, determined only to be the best damn kudu he could be."
July 28, 2000


Thank you, Brad, for always inspiring us to be the best damn kudus we can be, especially to each other. We'll keep breaking bread with your memory every year, you wonderful human.

You are so terribly missed, my friend.
posted by MetaGrrrl at 7:07 PM on January 4, 2010 [19 favorites]


.
posted by christine_bpc at 7:09 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by angrycat at 7:11 PM on January 4, 2010


:( Brad was a standup guy and I'll miss him. This is so heartbreaking.
posted by Moireach at 7:12 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by DragonBoy at 7:22 PM on January 4, 2010


I just can't believe this is actually happening. Brad may have been the friendliest guy I've ever met. Always there with a smile and a joke. What a guy.
posted by Handcoding at 7:24 PM on January 4, 2010


This sucks. Stop getting sick/dying you internet people.
posted by Memo at 7:29 PM on January 4, 2010


oh shit.

.
posted by The Whelk at 7:35 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by nicolelee at 7:45 PM on January 4, 2010


Peace and love to a friend. He was a good man and he made the world better. I would wish that my son turn out so well.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:53 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I always wish that I had gotten to know Brad better, but I'm glad for the times I did get to spend with him before moving from Missouri. He was my "blog-daddy" and he will be missed.
posted by hit-or-miss at 7:56 PM on January 4, 2010


An all-around friendly, funny guy, and the funky, compassionate, vivacious, welcoming heart of the early blogosphere. It would never have worked so well without him.

So long, Brad. It was great to know you, even from afar.
posted by kevincmurphy at 8:00 PM on January 4, 2010


I regret never meeting him, because I can tell how special he was. I enjoyed reading his blog, contemporary with a bunch of others belonging to some of the members posting in this thread. Since I never told him so, and rarely thanked others, I'll do it now. I'm grateful to all of those early pioneers who helped shape my creative and professional interests. Thanks for being awesome.

I'm sorry Brad is gone.
posted by empyrean at 8:00 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


> Back in the old days, when all the webloggers could (and seemingly did) read and quote from each other's weblogs, so much seemed to start with Brad.

This.

I wrote a weblog back in the day (1998ish) and remember participating in "A Day Without Weblogs", and laughing at Brad's effortless wit. My first reaction to seeing this post was "Wait, they can't mean THAT Brad, can they? Surely, surely, it's someone else they're talking about."

.
posted by booksherpa at 8:02 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by mattbucher at 8:07 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by free2bme at 8:08 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by geneablogy at 8:12 PM on January 4, 2010


What a terrible shock - way too young, so not fair. My condolences to all who knew him well. I never met him, never so much as exchanged an e-mail with Brad, but for me, as for many others, his blog was a near-daily stop for years. He was a warm and joyous guide to the early days of the blog world. Happy travels, you wonderful spirit - you will be missed.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:16 PM on January 4, 2010



"When I was done with them, Vaughn, McMahon and Lombardi weren't worth a penny," Tom said convincingly.
posted by bradlands at 9:07 PM on August 6, 2003 [1 favorite +] [!]


"I will not buy anything ahead of time," said Tom unprepossessingly.
posted by bradlands at 9:07 PM on August 6, 2003 [1 favorite +] [!]


"I wish I hadn't sold my NES," Tom said disconsolately.
posted by bradlands at 9:08 PM on August 6, 2003 [3 favorites +] [!]


I didn't even know him to miss him, and now I do.

.
posted by lysdexic at 8:17 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


What rotten news. Anyone who met Brad and didn't enjoy his company would have to be made of stone. He was a terrific guy and a true bon vivant. I will really miss him.
posted by Succa at 8:21 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by readery at 8:28 PM on January 4, 2010


I only got to meet Brad a couple of times, but he was one of the quickest-witted men I've ever met, and I know of at least one good friend of mine who is likely devastated by this news.

I've never forgotten Brad's April Fool's prank of 2004, which everyone fell for, even though it was Brad Graham and it was April Fool's Day (and he always observed April Fool's Day). People fell for it because it seemed so possible. The permalinks broke a while back, but start here, then go here, then finally here.
posted by Tin Man at 8:33 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


.
posted by gregorg at 8:46 PM on January 4, 2010


Brad was always incredibly kind to me, linking to my blog Mermaniac within a month of its launching (way back in 1999). As has been mentioned many times, the culture of blogging was different back then, and you really could follow just about everyone.

I finally got to meet Brad in 2001; Philo Hagen and I had organized a gay blogger meet-up (one of the first?), but Brad couldn't get away from his "Break Bread with Brad" event until after our meet-up had mostly concluded. Three of us were still around to grab coffee with him after he BARTed over, and I ended up giving him a ride to the airport late that night. He wrote about this trip here. He must have flown home early on September 10 2001; I remember that I never got around to blogging his visit because I waited too long to write it.

My biggest regret, though, is that we managed to miss each other in 2008, when I was in St. Charles MO for a work conference. His email to me ended "Perhaps next time we'll have a glass lifting with a bit more notice, eh?" I intend to hold you to that one, Brad.
posted by bjennings at 8:51 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Such a sad occasion to bring out all the early MeFians. Brad's was one of the first of them new-fangled "weblog" thingies I ever ran across. Thanks, Brad, for all the millions of good, funny words and condolences to all who knew and now must miss him.
posted by Lynsey at 8:58 PM on January 4, 2010


Even the undertaker is sad.
posted by ColdChef at 8:59 PM on January 4, 2010 [12 favorites]


.
posted by sidesh0w at 9:00 PM on January 4, 2010


This sucks. And it feels like a piece of history has been lost. Wretched, stupid, march of time and death and all of it.

.
posted by jokeefe at 9:02 PM on January 4, 2010


Miss you, Brad. Buffy and Broadway forever.
posted by girlhacker at 9:03 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by mrbula at 9:14 PM on January 4, 2010


godDAMNit godDAMNit godDAMNit. be well, brad. you are missed.
posted by monstro at 9:15 PM on January 4, 2010


So I think Brad would find it hilarious that I finally joined MetaFilter just to leave a comment here.

He was the first person I met at SXSW in 2005 at Break Bread With Brad. I told him it was great to meet the guy that everyone on the internet knew. He replied with "It's great to finally meet what is standing between me and Andrew Huff getting closer." *wink, wink*

I replied with "Well, if it wasn't for your erect penis you might be able to stand a little closer to him."

He opened his mouth and closed it twice. I was convinced I had gone too, too far and would be ostracized. He threw back his head, laughed, and said "You have no idea how hard it is to leave me speechless. I don't know what to say." And then he introduced me to no fewer than 5 new people in the space of 10 minutes. He did this for so many people. He was the glue that kept the blogosphere together and I am immensely grateful to him for that.
posted by cinnachick at 9:20 PM on January 4, 2010 [23 favorites]


.
posted by nickjadlowe at 9:21 PM on January 4, 2010


I have no objective evidence, but it seemed clear to me for many years that Brad was quite depressed. I am hoping his untimely death was not self-inflicted or the result of an unforeseen interaction of medications. (Sometimes, though, otherwise healthy people simply die of natural causes. It happened to a gay scientist in Toronto in 2007.)

My reminiscences of Breaking Bread with Brad in 2003 and 2005.

I’ve been thinking: Who’s next from the old gay guard? Me? Plasticbag?
posted by joeclark at 9:21 PM on January 4, 2010


I never had the opportunity to meet Brad in person and am really sad that I will never get the chance to now. He was always fun in #blogirc, gave good advice in my email conversations with him, and never failed to make me smile. He will be missed.
posted by zannah at 9:27 PM on January 4, 2010


You know Brad's passing is a big deal if every blogger from nine years ago is desperately trying to relogin to Metafilter to say something nice about Brad, me included. He would probably roll his eyes to all the sentimentality. Or tear up. Maybe both.

Thank you, sir, for having made my life a better place.
posted by littleyellowdifferent at 9:36 PM on January 4, 2010 [7 favorites]


You know Brad's passing is a big deal if every blogger from nine years ago is desperately trying to relogin to Metafilter to say something nice about Brad, me included. He would probably roll his eyes to all the sentimentality. Or tear up. Maybe both.

Reading through this thread, I was thinking much the same thing. There probably haven't been this many old guard users chiming in on a single thread here in quite a while. I didn't know Brad all that well (I only interacted with him perhaps a dozen times online) and never met him in person -- much to my regret. But it's truly nice to see how many people he touched and affected.
posted by zarq at 9:46 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


.
posted by mediareport at 9:49 PM on January 4, 2010


brad, su and i took forever to meet, but when we did it was as if su and i had simply caught up with a member of our family we'd not talked to for a few weeks.

we've been friends with brad for at least eight years online before we met, and that happened at SxSW 2007. we didn't need any sort of introduction, it was simply, "hello, here we are together, it's about motherfucking time, let's carry on with things."

after that trip, brad contacted us to pillage the bars every single time he came to chicago. usually via text message.

once i got a message simply reading, "gentlemen, i have arrived. where shall we begin?" and that was how things went when we were together. always a night of ridiculous debauch, carried on all through chicago up until the wee hours. it usually took days to recover.

brad was the most wickedly, deliciously homosexual man i have ever been graced to meet. everything about him was a small orchestrated motion towards his greater goal: to wring the greatest celebration he could from the world.

brad did everything gay men are told we should no longer do in this day and age. he drank far too much, he loved to smoke, and he had a taste for distractingly handsome, alarmingly young men. in fact, su and i once referred to a boyfriend whose name we had forgotten as "this many." the name stuck, and brad would tell us for months how "this many" was doing.

brad's last trip to chicago left us in some disgusting bar at four in the morning—our fifth for the night—commandeering the jukebox, and brad howling along to prince's "let's pretend we're married," something i'm sure anil would have loved to have seen.

i think that my next trip around the city wells will be a made to all of his favorite bartenders to tell them what has happened. one of our finest bon vivants has left us.
posted by patricking at 9:50 PM on January 4, 2010 [23 favorites]


"I’ve been thinking: Who’s next from the old gay guard? Me? Plasticbag?"

@joeclark - Hush now! Old and gray you, nor Tom, nor Brad, is/was not. Even more hush! May you and Tom both live to 102!

Ok, Tom can pass at 92, but you, 102...

@cinnachick - I am favoriting you a second time.
posted by msjen at 9:52 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


everything about him was a small orchestrated motion towards his greater goal: to wring the greatest celebration he could from the world.

We should all be so lucky as to have such an epitaph.
posted by jokeefe at 9:52 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


I was fortunate enough to hang out with Brad several times from 1998-2000 since we lived in the same town and all. I think he may have been my first real-life-meeting-from-online-acquaintance.

Of the many great memories I have of him, one I can link to is his dogged determination to put something worthy up for April Fools' Day, several years running. I know it's hard to do even once, and he kept on doing it.

Many were plays on 'BradLands', and every time I thought there were no more iterations to be had, he'd find another.

This is a quote from his 2006 post (The MAD Lands), which seems to be the last one. Most of his actual redesigns have been lost, but the titles still make me grin:
There have been eight years of April Fool japes altogether here in The BradLands. That's a lot of foolery:
  • 1999: Ethay entireyay itesay asway anslatedtray intoyay Igpay Atinlay orfay ethay ayday.
  • 2000: The site heard Avon calling and became The BardLands
  • 2001:The DrabLands re-rendered the entire site in monochrome (and this was before I knew about CSS, so that was done all by hand, kids!)
  • 2002: What a sell-out I am! For 24 hours, this was The BrandLands
  • 2003: A Bunch of groovy changes brought about The BradyLands
  • 2004: A bit of fiction for the RSS-reading crowd: More Fool I
  • 2005: My (under-)wired website: The BraLands, Must-See Double-D, and The Daily Bra.
Thanks for fooling around with me for so long!
As I tried to describe him on Twitter: "we shared exactly the same sense of humor, plus he had about seven more."
posted by s.e.b. at 10:04 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


So few people are a friend to so many and such a good friend to them all. Brad will be terribly missed.
posted by mattpfeff at 10:17 PM on January 4, 2010


What a fine fellow he seems to have been. Give 'em hell Brad, and hug hard friends of Brad.
posted by vrakatar at 10:17 PM on January 4, 2010


I didn't know of Brad, either, but after reading this thread, I feel like I do, a little. I'm so sorry for everyone's loss.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:20 PM on January 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


Fair winds and following seas, Brad.
posted by dcehr at 10:23 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by aniretac at 10:26 PM on January 4, 2010


I am shocked and saddened.

I think he may have been the first ever Internet Being I'd Never Met to exchange emails with me, back when he graciously added my ol' Xoom site to his blog list. For some reason, it's always stuck in my memory that his bio stated he'd made (at the time) "28 revolutions around the sun." 13 more was not nearly enough.
posted by (alice) at 10:46 PM on January 4, 2010


Damn. Another one of you that I won't get to meet unless I start believing I'm an afterlife of some sort. I'm reminded that I'm looking for a job so I can afford to travel and meet awesome internet people in this life.

I'm sorry for the Brad shaped hole in my life. I'm glad he brightened as many lives in person as he did online.
posted by bilabial at 10:47 PM on January 4, 2010


Another story from Brad. This one from Fray Cafe 9, 2009.

I'm still too sad to type.
posted by fraying at 10:54 PM on January 4, 2010 [8 favorites]


.
posted by gen at 11:15 PM on January 4, 2010


.

and ((((((for all his friends that need one))))))
posted by Duke999R at 11:15 PM on January 4, 2010


Sidebar the link fraying just linked, please.
posted by vrakatar at 11:17 PM on January 4, 2010


@jessamyn: I did indeed crash on your couch that trip. Thanks again. :)

@Lyn: I'm seriously considering it in light of this event--I've missed a dozen opportunities--but I'll have to see what I can manage. (Bringing the fam or leaving them behind are both expensive propositions.)
posted by dan_of_brainlog at 11:19 PM on January 4, 2010


.
posted by ccoryell at 11:24 PM on January 4, 2010


Every time I come back to this thread, I see another comment from someone I haven't talked to in a half-dozen years (or more).

If you're (ever) in Los Angeles, let me know and I'll buy you a drink. Or I'll let you buy me a drink, which is what he usually did.
posted by GatorDavid at 12:41 AM on January 5, 2010


Also, fwiw, he's the only blogger that warranted his own tag on my site. Just browsing some of those is killing me. Man ...
posted by GatorDavid at 12:48 AM on January 5, 2010


:(
posted by aigeek at 1:07 AM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by Kattullus at 1:17 AM on January 5, 2010


I remember emailing Brad about a Dutch version of the Day without Weblogs in 2000. He was kind, genuinely thankful and really encouraged me to go on with it, even though the dutch blogosphere was a bit hostile at that time. I'm still grateful for his support.

Thank you, Brad.

.
posted by martijnves at 1:22 AM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by monocultured at 1:57 AM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by plep at 2:05 AM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by taff at 2:20 AM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by Saima at 3:01 AM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by various at 3:51 AM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:06 AM on January 5, 2010


A truly great man. We love you, Brad. The world is a dimmer place without you.
posted by daveadams at 4:16 AM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by mikel at 4:35 AM on January 5, 2010


Saddened.
posted by artlung at 4:44 AM on January 5, 2010


And you know, not to be flippant, this almost feels like a funeral, where you see old friends you haven't seen for years. It's another layer of sadness, but is always a testament to the person who has passed, that people care, and come back to the old place, even if briefly.
This was my thought too, on seeing all those old familiar names.

I only really knew Brad in a very peripheral sense (didn't really know him as much as know of him). I never realised until now how highly he was regarded. I'm deeply sorry for the loss that so many of you are feeling. I've lost enough friends to know how it hurts, expecially when it happens suddenly like this.
posted by dg at 4:50 AM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:08 AM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:13 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


so sad.
posted by de at 5:33 AM on January 5, 2010


BradLands evokes a time when all of this was new, deliciously weird, and kind of romantic. I read him, never met him. I wish I had.
posted by spaceboy86 at 6:01 AM on January 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


.
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:40 AM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by DreamerFi at 6:50 AM on January 5, 2010


I never knew Brad, nor ever corresponded with him, but I read him habitually in the early 00's. I laughed a lot at nearly everything he wrote, which was good, because it wasn't a very funny time, otherwise. Thanks for the laughs, Brad.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:56 AM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by peacay at 7:19 AM on January 5, 2010


I met Brad at a Break Bread event in New York, of all places, back when Must See HTTP was on a shortlist of blogs to read because there weren't all that many blogs. My correspondence with him over the years was minimal but always hearty and friendly, as though he'd been and would be my friend forever. Which, I suppose, is what he is to many people.

I've never gotten to SXSW but I may make it a point to attend this year and break that last bread in his honor.
posted by werty at 7:19 AM on January 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


.
posted by almostcool at 7:57 AM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by jragon at 8:06 AM on January 5, 2010


It's odd, but I checked his blog yesterday and wondered why it hadn't been updated in a while. Brad was my primary inspiration for starting my own weblog and although we never met in person (only via comments and email) this has hit me like a ton of bricks.

My IRC nick is based on one of his subtitle lines, I'm going to retire it in his honor. It just doesn't seem right to do otherwise.
posted by tommasz at 8:14 AM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by plinth at 8:29 AM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:46 AM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by Noah at 9:52 AM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by RakDaddy at 10:00 AM on January 5, 2010


I wish the circumstances were different, but it's heartening to see so many old friends here. It's one hell of a tribute to Brad on how much he meant to people.

I hadn't seen that hilarious lesser kudu blog post before. If anyone is looking for ways to pay tribute to him, the St. Louis Zoo offers a program to adopt them.
posted by rcade at 10:03 AM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by _dario at 10:10 AM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by bshort at 10:17 AM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by tizzie at 10:25 AM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by tingley at 10:30 AM on January 5, 2010


Strange and wonderful to 'meet' Brad for the first time here through the mosaic of loving, tender, appreciative, open-hearted comments in this thread. The world is a better place that he lived and lives on in the goodness he brought to it through you. Thank you for having lived and being such a likable, loving, loved person Brad.
posted by nickyskye at 10:41 AM on January 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


.
posted by bitteroldman at 10:44 AM on January 5, 2010


@rcade - I LOVE the idea of adopting a lesser kudu in Brad's name...
posted by pnoeric at 11:03 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


My reminiscences.
posted by joeclark at 11:08 AM on January 5, 2010


this hurts my heart.
.
posted by Jeremy at 11:09 AM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by Elmore at 11:12 AM on January 5, 2010


What nickyskye said.

My condolences to you all. I'm so sorry for your loss.
posted by rtha at 11:43 AM on January 5, 2010


I remember chatting with Brad on the old #blogIRC on wednesdays way back in the day. He was always so friendly and just a blast to have in the room. I was an immature kid finding my feet and myself on the web and having Brad there to offer a word of encouragement, a corrective whack on the head, or just a rippingly good pun meant the world to me at the time.

There were so many participants there, and though we never had a connection outside the confines of those chats, his was the personality that stuck with me throughout the years.

He was definitely a special guy.
posted by jgooden at 12:07 PM on January 5, 2010


Such sad news. I never met him, but I remember reading his site, back in the early 2000s, before the whole concept of blogs even became popular over here in Germany, and he always came across as a wonderful person. Thank you all for sharing your memories.
posted by starzero at 12:10 PM on January 5, 2010


Hey Rafe, we should *definitely* put together some way for folks to donate a few bucks to adopt a lesser kudu in Brad's name. I'd just start a Paypal collection right now if it weren't for my furious hatred of Paypal (and for mathowie's recent experience with them); anyone know other good ways to collect microdonations from folks online?
posted by delfuego at 12:13 PM on January 5, 2010


I'm in for the kudu.
posted by ltracey at 12:14 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I had to ask for help to get my login (yes I'm one of the old skool folks and it's been far too long since I'm been here - I wish I were back for better reasons). I just couldn't NOT say something here even though I'm not sure exactly what to say.

Here's one memory/story...

I think it was 2000 or 2001, Brad was complaining about the maid "service" at the La Quinta during SXSWi because they cleaned his room but didn't bring him any washcloths. I was staying at the Omni on the company dime and had plenty of washcloths. So later that evening I brought him washcloths from my hotel room. This began a silly tradition.

Every year back at geek summer camp, I would bring Brad a better, fancier washcloth or hand towel. And every year he would hug me and laugh and say, "where would I be without Miss Jessica and her bringing me linens?"

The sorrow that I feel is immense and profound. I still don't want to believe that this is real - it must be a crappy joke or a really bad dream.
posted by thinkdink at 12:52 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


@delfuego - I'm happy to collect for the kudu. I'm looking at SmartPay, which I think might work for this. Let me test it with a few people and we'll see if it might work. MeMail me if you want to be a test user.
posted by judith at 1:10 PM on January 5, 2010


Sorry, URL (gosh, there are a lot of things called SmartPay!): http://www.circleup.com/pub/
posted by judith at 1:11 PM on January 5, 2010


(waves at Jess -- Brad really DOES bring old SxSWi buddies back together!)

Judith, I'm happy to be a guinea pig with SmartPay-for-kudu goodness. :)
posted by delfuego at 1:25 PM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by LinusMines at 1:38 PM on January 5, 2010


I'm in for the kudu as well.
posted by Rumple at 1:45 PM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by sa3z at 1:54 PM on January 5, 2010


I called the Zoo. We could sponsor the animals like that page says, but they don't normally do anything in the Zoo itself for that (I'm used to seeing "In Memory of Joe Smith" on Zoo plaques next to animal enclosures). I kind of want something physical that people can see in the real world, y'know?

They said for $500 we could sponsor bricks in the pavement parts of the zoo saying in memory of Brad or if we want to sponsor a full bench, it was $10,000. That would be adding a new bench to the zoo in a public place with whatever we want on a place along the back rest part of it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:26 PM on January 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


I agree with you about wanting something physical, maybe in a place Brad loved, like the Rep.

It looks like the SmartPay fees are very high, as is FirstGiving, which is another option. PayPal might be our best bet, despite the horror you experienced with it. Once we decide what to do, I'm happy to coordinate.
posted by judith at 2:29 PM on January 5, 2010


I've not posted here for a very long time. I went out for lunch with Brad at last year's SXSW and he was as awesome as ever and he will be enormously missed. I'm desperately sad to see him go. It really reminds me of the death of Leslie Harpold a few years back. They were both people who did wonderful, creative things in early days of the web. Both lovely, friendly, positive people as well. It's weird to lose peers like this so young and it all makes me ache a bit for the heady naive community of people we all were ten years ago before Facebook and Nexus and Techcrunch. It was a simpler, more open and naive time, maybe, but I miss it enormously.
posted by barbelith at 2:45 PM on January 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


The other thing I'm really worried about is his hosting account and domains. I would guess he was the computer nerd in the family, so what do we do and who do we contact to try and keep his tech stuff up to date?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:54 PM on January 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


We need to start some kind of trust or bit of legal wording that people can put into their wills as to what to do with their stuff on the net when they die. A morbid idea, I know, but so much of Leslie's stuff disappeared too.
posted by barbelith at 3:05 PM on January 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


.
posted by fabius at 3:20 PM on January 5, 2010


I've often pestered jjg to write down all the passwords to all his domains for this very reason. I hope Brad had the forethought to put them all someplace, and with someone who would know how to at least post a final update. I'm sure Brad's mother has much more pressing things to do right now, but it would be nice to see his sites live on....

We *may* be able to get the money together for a bench at the zoo. It might also be nice to buy 10 or 20 or 30 years of domain hosting for his sites as well.

{ And don't you wish there was a way to just freeze certain accounts when someone died? Some big server somewhere that you could pay a fee to to host sites in perpetuity. Of course, a business might go under. I actually think the Library of Congress or somesuch should be doing this. }
posted by rebeccablood at 3:23 PM on January 5, 2010


Matthowie & barbelith - Bradlands.com appears to be paid through to 2014 and his hosting is Pair.com.

I agree with Tom that we should think of a good way, corporately, to handle the legal affairs of our blogs in case of accident or untimely death, as digital archives are too easily gone and domains off to auction. Every December I tried to find some of Lesile's Advent Calendar even if in pieces but to no avail. Cory Doctorow has discussed elsewhere his strategy for his passwords and access to his computers and domain in the event of death.

Two years ago, I gave my best friend admin access to my blog and an sealed envelope with my passwords with strict instructions that if I have an untimely death that she is to post every day for 365 days yet another photo of my dog so that by the end of the year any readers will have left in disgust and be glad that the crazy dog lady is gone.
posted by msjen at 3:29 PM on January 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


I've been watching this thread since yesterday trying to figure out what to say. All I could think of was: There were only two of our "Internet friends" at our wedding. One was Jessamyn, whose reputation is well-established around these parts. The other was Brad.
posted by jjg at 3:31 PM on January 5, 2010


And he was my date!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:41 PM on January 5, 2010


I'm contacting folks that worked with Pair.com before, to try and see how I could pay his hosting fees for the next year or two.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:44 PM on January 5, 2010


And don't you wish there was a way to just freeze certain accounts when someone died? Some big server somewhere that you could pay a fee to to host sites in perpetuity. Of course, a business might go under. I actually think the Library of Congress or somesuch should be doing this.

That'd be a really cool Archive.org foundation of some sort. Like we all donate something into a big pot, they run it like an endowment and then step in whenever people pass early in their lives.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:48 PM on January 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


And I've called the St. Louis Rep, Brad's beloved theater, to see how to best get some sort of physical memorial to him organized. I listened to his Fray Cafe 9 story last night, and heard him tell the story of seeing Dreamgirls, and believe that as much as he loved the lesser kudu, he'd want to see money reach the Rep more.
posted by judith at 3:50 PM on January 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


I only got to meet Brad in person once, but damn, he made me feel like an old and well-loved friend. I'm all in favor of a memorial, and want to help in any way I can. I was thinking this:

* A lesser kudu adoption as a sweet, small joke -- Brad was funny and good-hearted and this is totally in his spirit.

* A Break Bread as a good-bye -- Friends gathered together to drink and talk is how I got to finally shake his hand, and I think it's the reason that a lot of us knew him, and each other.

* A permanent physical installation, at the Rep maybe, as a memorial -- Something that will be there forever, in a place that he cared about and that he was deeply involved in.

* Decades of hosting as a legacy -- I knew Brad because of the Web and to see him gone from it, even after he's gone, simply cannot be allowed to happen. I should have mirrored Leslie's sites, and didn't, and I regret that deeply.

Each of these make me think of Brad, in a different way, all of them good. Someone point me in a direction and I'll do everything I can to make any of them happen.
posted by gknauss at 3:56 PM on January 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


.
posted by crabwalk at 3:58 PM on January 5, 2010


msjen: I was thinking about Leslie last month too, and while archive.org has a fair amount preserved (though with broken images etc.), you have to know how to get there when you hit a an old broken link.

I doubt that it's possible to restore lost sites when the loss is so sudden and unexpected -- though it might be feasible to curate a kind of retrospective, reconnecting broken links to whatever archives exist -- but here, now, it's worth the effort to see if Brad's site can stick around as his memorial, so that people searching the internets for "lesser kudu" might find him near the top of the pile, and laugh.

(I also saw that the archived version of alicila's site had gone dark again, and the domain's set to expire soon.)
posted by holgate at 3:58 PM on January 5, 2010


I agree with judith: I think that Brad would be more touched by a donation to The Rep. Although Brad always loved a good joke, he loved theater so much more. It was his life.
posted by Avogadro at 3:59 PM on January 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


I have no idea what to say. I never met Brad, but he was such a huge part of those early days of just soaking in whatever sites were out there. The days where you felt you could visit every site worth visiting in a day. The days where just out of school and stuck in a small town and people's online journals were the closest thing you had to friends who understood you. I remember leaving him a dirty limerick about John Ashcroft on his voice mail during some weird "please send me a voice mail" thing he did.

The idea that I'll never get to meet him leaves me feeling like there's a giant hole that can't be filled.
posted by alan at 4:03 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I met him a few times. Back in the old school blogging days before the Reluctant incarnations, which is WAY back. A lot of the early bloggers didn't know how to react to gonzo types like me, who approached blogging like a feral animal with a crazed vernacular. But Brad was always very kind and, like any dutiful curiosity-seeker, wanted to know how all the ostensible oddballs ticked. Really a terrible loss.
posted by ed at 5:26 PM on January 5, 2010


Oh, hell. I'd never heard of Brad until now, but now I'm a little teary.

What wonderful stories. I'm so sorry, those of you who lost such a warm, funny, innovative, memorable friend. And a wee bit sorry for myself, that I won't get to meet him.
posted by hippugeek at 5:47 PM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by numlok at 7:07 PM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by rkcrawford at 8:08 PM on January 5, 2010


damnit, every time I come by here to read the latest comments, I totally start crying again. this really won't do. :-(

I agree that as much as Brad loved a good joke -- re lesser kudu, which we should GoogleBomb to point to that little story on the Bradlands forever -- musical theater was his life. Maybe some kind of fund or memorial or something at the Rep.

I sent a note to his roommate/close friend Ken, and let him know about this thread.
posted by pnoeric at 9:17 PM on January 5, 2010


holgate, et al;

Re: archiving

Previously if one was a writer or artist or scholar or otherwise historically/culturally significant, one would give one's writings & 'collection' to a university library. What do we do with our websites & blogs past the time we can pay for them?

How can we know now what might be significant for study 100, 200, 500, 1200 years from now? How do we archive bytes?

Some folks are printing out their blogs to custom ordered books, but this is not necessarily the best solution, as what will the children or grandchildren of our friends and families do with those books? Will they end up at flea markets along with 78rpm acetate records? But maybe that is good, the randomness of the find.

By choosing to engage in the frontier online space, we have chosen to some degree to toss the long term to the wind. The suggestion of the Library of Congress, or other institutions that function as a cultural respository, may be a good bet for the long run in terms of keeping an archive of text|image|ephemera, as after 2 recessions, I don't trust the market to keep a reliable archive.

If we can now register our copyright with the Library of Congress or the Copyright Libraries (such as Trinity, Oxford, etc), and we can get an ISBN or periodical number for our blogs, how do we start to archive the actual posts and images to a repository.

Do we lobby our congress|political critters to set aside resources for blogs that are periodicals to be archived as Matthowie suggest do we donate to an institution such as the Archive.org foundation and make sure that it can function as a cultural archival NGO?
posted by msjen at 9:33 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oops. Last paragraph of my last post, should read:

Do we lobby our congress|political critters to set aside resources for blogs that are periodicals to be archived OR as Matthowie suggest do we donate to an institution such as the Archive.org foundation and make sure that it can function as a cultural archival NGO?
posted by msjen at 9:36 PM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by joedan at 10:04 PM on January 5, 2010


(delayed... waves back at Jason!)

The washcloth story I mentioned further up? Here's Brad's take on that and me looking, well, not my best: http://www.bradlands.com/scrapbooks/sxsw2001/3sunday-06.html

I still haven't found a way to really express how wonderful Brad was and how very sad I am.
posted by thinkdink at 11:20 PM on January 5, 2010


.
posted by halonine at 11:34 PM on January 5, 2010


I don't know, msjen.

When Leslie had hoopla.com stolen from her, people shouted about it and expected NetSol to put things right. That never happened, but because she moved everything over to harpold.com, it felt okay: the inbound links got edited, the content remained. And then Leslie died, and in the shock nobody knew what to do, or if anything could be done -- Leslie would have known what to do -- and the hosting ran out and the domain went to spammers.

They have conferences now to talk about the problems of preserving digital archives, but I'm not sure if conferences, or the market, or even the affection of peers will suffice -- but at least the affection of peers is in our grasp, cobbled together, requiring white-hat infringement of literary estates, and with enough backup to prevent the chain breaking.

joeclark writes that "the earliest bloggers are old enough to die", and the knock-on is that the earliest blogs are old enough to die with their creators, and not through graceful retirement. Reaching back to Brad and Rebecca and Derek doing Fray and Leslie doing Smug and so many others, they were all a kind of conversation that I followed from the periphery, and which mattered way more than the corporate webmonkeying I was doing in my spare time, because it was about what the web might be good for, if you cared about it enough.

Conversations are transient (though their products ought not to be) and social memory has its own big role to play, so I'm not a stickler for completeness, but it was always a writing and building both in the moment and for posterity, especially at that point when Blogger made it easy to keep the new stuff up front and preserve the archives. It's just that there wasn't quite the sense of what to do when posterity came around, and that's what we face today, along with an apparent powerlessness to stop their vanishing.

As the New Year rolled in, Tom was calling blogs "the vinyl of social media", and though I know he meant it with a smile, it reminds me now that vinyl isn't just an old medium: it's a repository of so much that never made it to digital.

I hadn't visited Brad's stuff regularly in years, though I passed by though the occasional link, and in nostalgic moments. It was good to see it still there, a prompt for those warm memories of someone at the heart of that weird new blogging thing. So, one last thought: if you were around ten years ago, maybe pay a visit to those places you used you cross off your daily list, just to see if they're still around, and if they are, glance through what you've missed and say hello.
posted by holgate at 12:16 AM on January 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


.
posted by schoolie at 12:45 AM on January 6, 2010


A few approaches were made to Leslie's family about assuring the continued availability of her work, but nothing came of it. If she had written under a Creative Commons license, mirrors could have sprung up without requiring their permission.

While I was looking into that, I found what could be the reason she got her domains stolen. She had several huge archives of her Eudora email zipped up in directories on her site that were exposed to search engines. Network Solutions took modifications by email back then with a password.

The iBiblio online library at UNC is always looking for new collections. Getting the archives of writers like Leslie and Brad into a collection there would be a good way to assure its continued availability.
posted by rcade at 9:08 AM on January 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


.

My condolences to everyone who knew him.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:20 AM on January 6, 2010


Just an FYI that Judith Newmark posted a great tribute to Brad over at the StL Trib. It's a nice read, and definitely a good remembrance of the man we all loved.
posted by delfuego at 10:07 AM on January 6, 2010


And Jeff Jarvis has a nice piece on NPR's site.
posted by delfuego at 10:08 AM on January 6, 2010


I'm surprised that Jarvis didn't note that "blogosphere" (and Brad) are now in the OED.*


*Brad reacted to this development with simultaneous shame and bemusement.
posted by Avogadro at 10:25 AM on January 6, 2010


I'm tight with some of the people over at UNC (they host librarian.net), I'll see if there's a way to maybe do something official.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:48 AM on January 6, 2010


thinkdink: Ha! I'd forgotten about that.
posted by bluishorange at 11:04 AM on January 6, 2010


Oh, and from that same photo collection, here's me and sixfoot6 at Break Bread with Brad during my first SXSW, when I was nervous as HELL to meet all the people whose sites I'd read for so long. But the nervousness lasted less than an hour, as we ended up at a table with people who were awesome, next to a table with more people who were also awesome, at an event hosted by someone who was awesome enough to bring us all together.

If it weren't for Brad I'd probably have spent the entire event wandering around downtown Austin, mute, eyes like saucers.
posted by bluishorange at 11:12 AM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


A link to Jeff Jarvis' NPR article just showed up on their Facebook page. Links to Judith's StL Tribune article and to this post in the comments.
posted by zarq at 11:16 AM on January 6, 2010


Jessamyn: Cool. Ideally, iBiblio would have a site for the archives of multiple early bloggers and web publishers, including some who are still around but mindful of their own legacy.
posted by rcade at 11:38 AM on January 6, 2010


bluishorange, I think I met both of you for the first time about 20 or 30 minutes after that picture was taken!
posted by fooljay at 11:54 AM on January 6, 2010


> I'm surprised that Jarvis didn't note that "blogosphere" (and Brad) are now in the OED.*

Actually, Brad was already immortalized in the OED under the entry for "blog."

Which I think is wonderful. As long as the English language and the OED still exist, so will Brad.
posted by Tin Man at 12:22 PM on January 6, 2010


I am very sorry I never knew Brad but this thread has really, really gotten to me.

Life today feels like a snowflake melting on my window, beautiful, then suddenly gone - secretly transformed into something intangible.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:25 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, and as Brad commented when I blogged about his immortalization in the OED:
Envious, eh? Well, please note that the OED also preserves for posterity my usage of the phrase “Tee-hee!”

*hangs head*
posted by Tin Man at 12:27 PM on January 6, 2010


"Thank you for using your PayPal Debit Card for your payment of $242.86 USD to PAIR NETWORKS INC PITTSBURGH PA."

I called Pair.com, talked to billing and the above quote from my email was me making sure Bradlands.com will stay online until Feb. 2011. Pair.com asked if I wanted to become the new account owner of his sites, but I felt uncomfortable with that, but the upside is Pair.com was cool about me renewing all his sites for another year and they are open to working with whoever wants to become the custodian of the sites eventually.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:07 PM on January 6, 2010 [22 favorites]


:( just found out... sad indeed.
posted by Dean_Paxton at 1:33 PM on January 6, 2010


Matt, nice work. It looks like at least the bradlands.com domain is also with pair, their pairnic.com registrar. Expires 2014. Does your payment cover the currency of the domain registrations as well as the hosting?
posted by artlung at 1:53 PM on January 6, 2010


It was just hosting. I think all his domains were paid up to 2014.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:57 PM on January 6, 2010


Just listened to an obit for Brad on All Things Considered.(radio)

Further reasons for me to be sad I didn't get to meet him.
posted by bilabial at 2:50 PM on January 6, 2010


Thank you, Matt.

(I just can't seem to stop saying that.)
posted by pjern at 5:01 PM on January 6, 2010


I'd like to add my thanks, Matt. I didn't know Brad, but the affection and respect lavished in this thread is overwhelming, and I'm glad his work will stick around a while longer.
posted by languagehat at 5:08 PM on January 6, 2010


I finally got through a good bye to Brad. I'm still amazed how moved I am by his death.

Oh, deep thanks Matt!
posted by vanderwal at 5:38 PM on January 6, 2010


I keep catching myself hoping it's all some kind of bizarre case of mistaken identity or a practical joke gone uncomfortably too far.

Every time, it's still the same shitty bad news.

----

Thanks, Matt, for stepping in to preserve the Bradlands for at least a while longer. It seems to me that, unless Brad had a will to the contrary, his mother is the one who has the legal right to determine what to do with his online properties. Is there anyone who's been in contact with her? (I would hope she'd see some of the things that everyone's been saying, anyway.)
posted by mikewas at 6:18 PM on January 6, 2010


Thinking about archives (I'm an architectural and technology historian who spends a lot of time in them):

One thing that's necessary for most archives is for some kind of funding to accompany the archive. Say for instance you donate papers of your famous aunt or uncle to a library -- in order for them to be catalogued and made usable and useful to the archive, money needs to be attached to it.

Are we possibly talking about creating a new archive for personal web narrative or content? In the collection criteria, iBiblio notes that most of what they archive is not personal in nature, though they make exceptions. There is certainly a question of inclusion criteria: who would you include in such a collection and how would you choose? How would it be curated? I also wonder about semi-private email lists (some of which gave rise to words like "blog" to begin with) -- and whether such archives might ever be donated to iBiblio or anyone else, in the way that someone donates correspondence from their business, studio, or personal files. Such a donation could have a stipulation that personal files might be sealed until a certain date.

Thoughts? This would be a fitting memorial for people like Brad and Leslie Harpold, whose voices shaped the web we love.
posted by maximolly at 6:19 PM on January 6, 2010


ibiblio sent me a quick response....

"Hi Jessamyn,

Wow, this is great! Paul has actually forwarded your message on to the University Archivist as a greater preservation project, but if they don't pick it up we'll definitely take this onto ibiblio somehow. I'll let you know what we hear back?"

So I think space is both possible and likely no-cost [though they take donations] and it might be worth some sort of awareness project for people to know that such a service might be available. Thinking out loud at the moment, but this might be doable. And, as with most things I'm not just yammering, I'd actively help. I've had a working relationship with ibiblio for a decade or so [and UNC has a great archivist] and this sort of thing is up their alley.


I'm aware that "this is great" may seem a little off, but they're geeks and they didn't know Brad, and this is a project, and they like it. Neat.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:40 PM on January 6, 2010


thank you jessamyn. it warms my heart to see everything that people are doing to preserve Brad's netspace and meatspace.
I was just realizing that Brad was the last person I said goodbye and goodnight to at the end of SXSW last year; in the Driskill bar. We were meant to get together this past year and discuss plans for a 20x2 event in St. Louis. That never happened.
I'll remember his hug that night for a long time to come.
posted by medium format at 7:09 PM on January 6, 2010


I heard about this yesterday. I only knew Brad from here, from SXSW, and in a heartfelt email conversation he and I and a friend had when a friend of mine was coming out and facing some real pressure that Brad helped him learned to handle. Plus; he told me, back when I was doing a serialized comedy almost 10 years ago, that it was funny. His linking to it was probably the only reason anyone ever read it. He encouraged me to keep going. It was a wonderfully kind thing for him to do.

Reading through these comments, and those on twitter and other sites, his death has reverberated through my friends and my communities, and I just wanted to say how very sorry I am to all of those who are mourning him. If I adored him with such brief contact, he must have meant so very much to those who were close to him. My deepest sympathies.

He was so young, vibrant, wonderful, and so beloved by everyone who ever came into contact with him. It is hardly a fair universe that takes someone like Brad, when he did so much and was so important to so many people.

I want to contribute to whatever memorial we mefites decide upon. I wish there was something I could do to help ease the hearts of everyone who misses him.
posted by dejah420 at 7:47 PM on January 6, 2010


.
posted by longsleeves at 8:31 PM on January 6, 2010


.
posted by Quarter Pincher at 9:36 PM on January 6, 2010


We should consider talking to George Oates at the Internet Archive to see if they have any options for this kind of situation. They might be the perfect place to put sites after someone dies like that.
posted by barbelith at 12:49 AM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I posted two old photos of Brad (1991!) and finally was able to write up a post remembering some of our time together.
posted by pnoeric at 1:53 AM on January 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


.
posted by foggy out there now at 7:20 AM on January 7, 2010


Bill Quick is getting snippy about all the props Brad is getting for coining blogosphere. "I'm sorry that Brad is gone, but frankly, the impact of Blogosphere is my responsiblity, not his. And you know what? I'm proud of it."
posted by rcade at 7:46 AM on January 7, 2010


What a fucking jackass.
posted by Skot at 8:01 AM on January 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


That was a fine rebuttal rcade.
posted by thirteen at 8:27 AM on January 7, 2010


Gee, who could possibly tell he was proud of it? Was it the 'yes, I coined the term 'blogosphere' up on his banner next to the picture of the burning twin towers?

Quick sure seemed like a peach before, when all he was doing was claiming credit for coining a term that had already been coined; now that he's metaphorically spitting on the grave of one of the nicest people I've ever known he seems like he's legitimately evil. What an asshat.
posted by norm at 8:55 AM on January 7, 2010


Posted a little graphic that Brad sent me years ago... still makes me laugh.
posted by pnoeric at 10:31 AM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just read Bill Quick's little screed about 'blogosphere'. I feel as if I've just had an object lesson on how to be a fine human being (all the remembrances of Brad, of course) as opposed to being a egotistical asshat. How to be light-hearted and good as opposed to being petty, self-interested, and bitter. How to be a big person instead of a small one. Thanks, Bill! I'm going to try to be more like Brad and less like you.
posted by jokeefe at 10:47 AM on January 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


Jesus, Bill Quick is a jackass. Way to piss on a man's memory for the sake of your own ego, Bill; way to demonstrate, in one fell swoop, one of the biggest complaints people have had with the word blogosphere, its association with you and your ilk of jackasses. Nice job all around.
posted by delfuego at 12:06 PM on January 7, 2010


I’m sorry, but I really have to object to hammer Jeff Jarvis’s viewing of Brad’s passing as a nail. Not every single thing in the universe is about the Web and blogs, especially not the life of a man.
posted by joeclark at 12:30 PM on January 7, 2010


Since comments are open on Bill Quick's blog, may I politely suggest that comments about his asshattery be posted there and that we save this thread for celebrating the positive life of Brad?
posted by terrapin at 12:53 PM on January 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


i second that. we all see the immaturity happening in that conversation; there's no reason for us to dwell on it in this one.
posted by patricking at 4:02 PM on January 7, 2010


I just want to thank everyone for their links to obits, recordings, all of your stories, and the effort in sustaining his presence on the web. Even though the sadness is like a fist to the chest, this thread is a comforting remembrance of an amazing person.
posted by Jeremy at 4:32 PM on January 7, 2010


Brad sent me the following when my dad died, about seven years ago now:

I won't tell you that "I'm so sorry", because nearly everyone did that to me when my father died a few years ago and my black humor response never went over as well as I hoped it would. "Don't be sorry," I'd say. "After all, *you* didn't kill him." And then I'd pause, two beats at most, lean in and inquire darkly, "Did you?"

What I *will* tell you is that I'm around if you need anything, talk, shout, cry, laugh, whatever. Fathers and sons have such complicated relationships, don't they? But they're relationships that never end, even with distance or death. The things we got or didn't get from them -- or, to be perfectly fair, that we did or didn't allow for them -- hang around for quite a while.

If we're very, very lucky.

Take care of yourself, Mike, and your family. I'm thinking of you.

Love,
Brad


I have been told that I need to write something of my own about him, and I know that Brad would delight in whatever morbid humor I could find in the situation. Frankly, I can't do that, even after a few days. Brad's gone, and I don't see any humor in anything. I loved that guy so damn much.
posted by Epenthesis at 8:18 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


.
posted by bryanboyer at 10:15 PM on January 7, 2010


I had another Brad memory this morning that just seems a perfect example of his sneaky and brilliant sense of humor. At BBwB 2008 I was talking to him one-on-one very briefly and doing the "how are you doing" "oh, busy but great" thing. When Andrew walked in our line of vision.

Brad: I really hope that he helps love handles come back in fashion.
Me: (a little shocked) He hasn't put on that much weight.
Brad: Oh, honey. I was talking about the sideburns.
Me: Oh? (think) oooooh!

I agree with Epenthesis that his loss, his absence, isn't funny. But he was hilarious. And remembering his sense of humor is making it easier to smile through the tears. Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories.
posted by cinnachick at 7:32 AM on January 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


Just heads-up for people interested in the "place to host Brad's stuff" idea... I got more reassuring email from Paul Jones who heads the ibiblio project.
Thanks for bringing this up. Of course, we'll help out with the Brad Graham project.

To do something bigger has been on my mind for a while and your note helps to get me back on the case. I'm trying to get some time with the University Librarian to talk about the very same idea.

Carolyn Hank is doing her dissertation on preserving faculty blogs as part of scholarly discourse so I'm included her on this note as this work will certainly be part of her ongoing research and service.

I've also included Cal Lee is teaches archiving here at UNC and is particularly interested in digital curation. What you are, I think, proposing is right in line with so many of the born digital archives that he and his students will be working with now and in the future.
I'm not sure where this will go but we def need to pay attention and see what we can all do together.
So, there's a long email blabla going on at the moment but it sounds like ibiblio can not only put Brad's stuff there -- and at some point later we'll get in touch with his Mom, make sure this is okay, etc -- and possibly set up something for other similar content further down the road.

Sorry to be seeming like all business, I've been thinking about Brad all the time and doing stupid admin work is the only thing that keeps The Mope at bay.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:33 AM on January 8, 2010


.
posted by metrocake at 7:41 AM on January 8, 2010


I had a very nice chat with the Gifts coordinator at the Rep this morning, and they're going to put some proposals together for us about what they could do with a donation. I told her that we'd want to use the money "as Brad would have wanted", with a physical memorial of some sort as well.

The next step seems to be actually raising the money, so we can give the Rep a sense of the scale we're working with.

After investigating the various payment options, I think I'm willing to take a chance with PayPal despite Matt's bad experience - it has the lowest fee structure and requires the least action on the part of individual donors, rather than registering for new services, etc. My email address is ffrvscnt at gmail.com. I think Matt & Jessamyn will vouch for my trustworthiness, but I will of course provide a full accounting to anyone who asks, and I'm planning my contribution to cover the gap in PayPal fees. Please MeMail me if you have any questions.
posted by judith at 10:10 AM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Judith, this sounds like a great idea and I'm totally on board. Just let us know here what our next steps are. And thanks for taking the initiative, too.
posted by jmcnally at 11:28 AM on January 8, 2010


Thanks jmcnally - the next step is to use paypal to send whatever you'd like to contribute. I'll be collecting at ffrvscnt at gmail.com over the next week or so. Please help spread the word!
posted by judith at 11:54 AM on January 8, 2010


I made another attempt to see if Leslie's family was amenable to allowing her work, in whole or in part, to be republished. It did not go well.

I have enormous sympathy for her family -- today would've been her 44th birthday, though I didn't know that when I contacted them. But I can't understand how they'd want her work to disappear.
posted by rcade at 5:09 PM on January 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Judith, does the Rep have some way that people could send the money straight to them earmarked for the Brad Graham memorial?

It might also be a good option to use something like ChipIn.com to set a goal for raising and let people see the meter bar as it goes up?

I was inspired to pull out the book "We've Got Blog" this morning and read it - and I was so moved to see how in Brad's chapter he said he wanted to see his words left behind so others could read them. Seeing Jessamyn's work on making that happen makes me smile.

Brad Graham, you were a damn fine man. Even if you corrupted Pimp Kermie. (Or especially because you did... either way.)
posted by christine_bpc at 6:51 PM on January 8, 2010


Thanks so much, Christine. ChipIn looks perfect, and I've set up a page: http://bradmemorial.chipin.com/brad-graham-memorial-fund
posted by judith at 7:25 PM on January 8, 2010


And now, the linked version! http://bradmemorial.chipin.com/brad-graham-memorial-fund
posted by judith at 7:26 PM on January 8, 2010


I can't understand how they'd want her work to disappear.

I'm going to obfuscate out of caution, but there's republishing, and there's pointing to the result of excavations, and the latter is different from the former. And now I'm off to chip in.
posted by holgate at 7:33 PM on January 8, 2010


I chipped in!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:23 PM on January 8, 2010


.
posted by decagon at 8:25 PM on January 8, 2010


chipped in, thanks so much for putting it together judith!

brad, you wonderful beautiful dangerous homosexual. i will miss your corrupting influence, your sense of humor, your singular joie de vivre. i will always regret never getting drunk with you and never getting to go on a tour of your st louis. 91 would have been too young; 41 is just bullshit.
posted by lia at 9:15 PM on January 8, 2010


Somehow I did not see this thread until today.

Brad and I joined this site on the same day, almost 10 years ago. I wish I'd gotten the chance to meet him.

.
posted by litlnemo at 5:11 AM on January 9, 2010


Chipped in.
posted by tomcosgrave at 8:29 AM on January 9, 2010


Chipped in - as I said on Twitter, think of all the drinks you'll never get the chance to buy Brad, and contribute some of that.
posted by Medley at 3:38 PM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


.
posted by june made him a gemini at 3:40 PM on January 10, 2010


Chipped in...
posted by genehack at 6:40 PM on January 10, 2010


.
posted by jquinby at 8:38 AM on January 11, 2010


.
posted by gd779 at 7:34 AM on January 12, 2010


It took me a little while, but I wrote a bit about Brad today.
posted by anildash at 9:17 AM on January 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Great post, Anil.
posted by rcade at 3:54 PM on January 13, 2010


Playbill also posted a piece about Brad yesterday.
posted by Aaaugh! at 9:53 AM on January 14, 2010


Thanks AAaaugh! The Playbill note contains some memorial information if people are in the area: A public memorial will be held 6 PM Jan. 24
at the Rep's home at the Loretto-Hilton Center,
 130 Edgar Road, 
Webster Groves, MO.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:09 PM on January 14, 2010


.
posted by solistrato at 2:06 PM on January 24, 2010


i can't even read this whole thread. at least not yet. i missed it when it was first posted and was out of the news loop at the time. so it's an awful surprise and so, so, so sad.

never knew Brad personally, was not an avid blogreader when i would have liked to have been (yet another reason to never let work take your life over - you will miss out on more than you realise!), and have never ponied up for SXSW because it always seemed out of my reach.

but Brad was known to me because he was everywhere, because he knew everyone who was thinking out loud online, because he coined things, because he inspired people, because...because, apparently, he was Brad. and now this light has drifted on, hopefully taking with him all of the bits of energy he absorbed by being so Brad, soon to fuel some other major manifestation of goodness and human learning.
posted by batmonkey at 10:57 AM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


« Older In the recent thread on the pi...  |  I know we've been over this be... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments