I was very sad yesterday for good reasons unconnected with blogging, twitter or Facebook so I was already feeling miserable when I saw that Norman Geras had died.
This is a man I'd never met but like other Internet acquaintances he had become a friend.
I was startled when I was the subject of one of his famous Normblogs and even more surprised when a friend request came in from Facebook from him.
This meant I was able to follow his blog daily and was truly inspired on a number of occasions by what he'd written.
He told us all months ago that he had cancer and I knew this but was still struck by how quickly the end has come.
For me the whole relationship highlighted first how friendship on line can become real and involve mind and emotion just as much as with those we see face to face and then it threw the whole Facebook deal into the pot because the only way of responding is often a quick "yes" when what you mean is, "I wholeheartedly agree with every word you've said"
You can write a comment but more often a tick is all there's time for!
So now I regret Norms passing...as a friend and as someone whose views I didn't always share but who always made me think more clearly than before about the subjects he held dear.
Rest in Peace Norman Geras. You did a great job on earth.