On 'Community' & Stephen Hackett

Matt Alexander, on how a few compassionate nerds helped run 512 Pixels this week:

Stephen shares so much of his life and his struggles because we — the community — care. Myke and Shawn leapt to help Stephen — without Stephen asking — because they genuinely care. And we read, link, joke, and support each other online — regardless of readership or Twitter follower counts — because this is a community built organically upon compassion and shared beliefs.

Watching the 512 brand continue this week — as if all were normal — has summarized the wealth of support inherent within this community. If it passed you by, I tend to think that’s the very best that could’ve happened.

I don’t know Stephen Hackett, but I feel like I do. I’m a proud member of his site, and faithfully visit every day. Many of the design elements found here are stolen inspired by Stephen’s site. I listen to his podcast every week and follow him on Twitter. The obstacles his son, Josiah, faces with brain cancer hits home for me too, because I’ve worked with children in similar situations. I’ve even emailed Stephen a few times -- in fact, I asked him to beta-read “Re-Enabled” before it hit The Magazine. The praise and kind words he gave me for my article meant so much, because he’s one of my nerd heroes. That isn’t an exaggeration -- I truly do look up to him for all the great work he does. I don’t drink beer and we’re not friends, but I’d buy Stephen a drink in a heartbeat.

He’s that cool.