After a long period of refection I was thinking warmly of a few people. In a tweet to @lookadoo I said something like “thank goodness for people like @rustybrick (Barry Schwartz) because he actually knows who rocks in forums and I hope he knows about you.’ this was a tweet I said to @lookadoo who to many of us who have been around for a few years know by a few other names.
I began my online stuff in forums, mostly help forums where I tried as honestly, patiently, and informatively as I could to answer peoples questions.
There were alot of us in the Google Webmaster help group circa (errr, years ago?) and I have to say I simply respect them. People like @halfdeck (i think the last time we spoke we were arguing, but I love that. The other as I mentioned above was @lookadoo. There was also John Mueller @johnmu, who now works for Google. These are twitter names obviously, but please check them out).
But this post has Barry Schwartz and Aaron Wall in the title. I am gonna talk about them….
I will start with Aaron Wall of SEOBook fame.
It is really important for me to be honest here about him, I am writing this from a lovely home looking over the ocean in Puerto Rico, but what I really wish more people knew about me is this…
When I got into SEO I was homeless. I did not own a computer. It wasn’t some cute, nice version of homeless, I was flat out homeless.
While I do not really want to highlight that fact (it is embarrassing), I constantly will highlight when I am talking about Aaron Wall. I have zero reservations about it. The reason is that although I may look bad for being homeless back then, it is the perfect compliment to Aaron what he did for me.
I had been working in the forums and at the Google help group and I kept realizing that just about everything people were asking about or having problems about were already covered in the Google webmaster guidelines. After literally talking to hundreds of people about how they can improve their site to be more visible in Google I decided to write a website that explained the Google guidelines in detail for layman.
I really felt a wrote a great site (feedthebot.com) and I didn’t really know what to do with it.One of the big voices online then was Aaron Wall. I wrote him a simple email (I can’t find it, but if Aaron want to post it he can feel free). It said something like…
“I can not afford your SEObook, but I want it, As soon as I get money, I will pay for it, and I will try to hook up other people with whatever I learn”
He wrote back to me and gave me the book free of charge.
That is Aaron Wall.
In about a month I was able to pay for the book and I did. But the thing to remember here is that he just gave it to me for nothing. This kindness has never once left me and I have never written a post that I felt would be helpful to others without thinking of Aaron.
Sorry Aaron for this public compliment, but it is really true. Some of my tutorials, like the one to make Google gadgets, have been used by tens of thousands of people. The only reason my tutorials are good and real is because of you Aaron, so deal with it.
I do not have a sweet or historical story about Barry, what i do have about Barry is the same thing you have about Barry, alot of knowledge.
Barry has been following our space for years and his insights are always right on spot. His work on Search engine roundtable, Search Engine Land is widely and universally known to be simply superb.
My public thank you to Barry is this.. Thanks for paying attention when we are not. My other public compliment is this..
Thank you for creating great apps that are useful.
Barry was creating iPhone apps that were great when the “norm” was to create apps that where invasive and pretty much begged and manipulated people to get more users. That was what the norm was, and there was Barry creating apps that were so damn useful they they out shined the other apps.
I love that.
Anyways, they are good people and if you want to be good people in this field I suggest you research and read them.