I’m writing this post because of the very sad passing of Kim Parsell, but it’s not going to be about her. Much has already been said by people who knew her far better than I. I only met Kim briefly at WordCamp San Francisco last year and didn’t really know her. I do know that she was a valued member of our community, who contributed selflessly and who meant a lot to a great number of people. RIP Kim – you will be missed.
I learnt of Kim’s passing through the tweets of Jeff who’d been at the centre of this sad story (at least at the very end of it). Upon reflection, I realised that I first came across Kim back in 2009 when she was on the WP Weekly podcast, created and hosted by Jeff. She appeared on a number of episodes and came across as very knowledgeable and likeable. And I got to know who she was because of Jeff (and her willingness to step up and get involved).
Further reflection lead me to realise that Jeff, the Tavern and WP Weekly have been at the centre of an awful lot of what’s gone on in the community over the years. The big stories and the little. Too many to name.
I’ve been a part of the WordPress community for a while now. Not a big part admittedly, but I’ve been sitting in my little corner since 2007. And in that time, I’ve learnt more about what’s going on in the community through Jeff than any one else. Yes he’s taken the odd hiatus or two, but for the most part he’s been there throughout, putting himself into the community with heart, body and soul.
The community has grown and there’s a lot happening in spaces around the edges, so its hard for anyone to be across everything, but for me, Jeff is still at the centre of it all. I still learn more about what’s going on from him than anyone else. I’ve always appreciated that, but today I appreciate it more than ever.
Jeff, this one’s for you. At the moment, the focus is on Kim and rightly so, but it’s also time to give you a shout out. Thanks for being there over the years at the centre of the community. You’ve obviously been through a lot in the last couple of days, but please know that you mean a lot to many of us in the community. Thanks Jeff.