The community around my mom

View from my mom's house

At Microsoft we often talk about "the community." You know, when we have news to get out, or initatives to build, or conferences to attend.

Today Mark Cuban, CEO of the Dallas Mavericks, among other things, says that blogging is personal.

Oh, yes it is, yes it is.

But I'm learning about community in a whole new way. Through firefighters who knew my mom through her store (and the same guys drove my mom on the three-hour-drive from Livingston to Billings and back again). Through church members who shared with me that part of my mom's life. Through customers in her store.

I've been forced to join a community I wouldn't otherwise join this week. It's interesting to see just what my mom meant to a community I didn't otherwise know.

The community of Livingston, Montana is an interesting one. When my mom arrived here in the late 1980s the community had been devastated by layoffs at the local rail yard. The community here was dying. People were moving away. Community members tell me that my mom's store helped spark a return of the community. Folks have been coming through here all day telling stories. (She owned a religious bookstore in Livingston).

Statue of Liberty photo in my mom's house

As I looked around my mom's house this morning I realized that I got many of my values from her. The biggest thing in her home is a huge picture of the Statue of Liberty. This is no mistake. My mom loved her freedom. She wanted to live life the way she wanted to, damn the consequences.

It's why we drifted apart. I didn't get her community. She didn't get mine. Although we both respected each other's community (as I've learned this week, cause she was always bragging about me to her friends).

She also worked hard. She got that from her parents who ran a restaurant in Germany. She also cared about the people she served. Her sign in her store said "you are cherished." And it was obvious from the stories that her customers told me that she did, indeed, live those words.

It's something that I am thinking about a lot. I've been reading blogs while my mom is asleep and I realize just how much you all mean to me and what an interesting little community we've built.

It's also why I reject the whole "numbers game." It's screwed from the get go.

How do you get a million people to do business with you? One at a time.

Dave Winer is right. Saying that 53,651 don't matter is nutty. They are the ones that'll convince the rest of the world that something is worth paying attention to.

Already my blog has gained a whole bunch of people this week that didn't know what a blog was. Family members, friends, customers of my mom's.

Welcome to my community. I appreciate your friendship and support a lot.

And, if you wanna blog your thoughts, just ask how, we'll get you started.

My mom's house

To everyone else, what stunningly beautiful country it is up here. I'll try to post pictures but cell phone coverage is shaky at best (my mom's house is so remote that GPRS signals don't reach it). Update: my mom's house is the brown one in the picture here. The photo of Emigrant mountain is what greeted us out her windows this morning.

I've also decided not to go to Syndicate and really appreciate Eric Norlin and his team's support.