I mentioned in the July 17 issue of my ezine that I was working on a documentary of Bruce Tegner, one of the first people to de-mystify the martial arts and bring them to the attention of the rest of the world. I talked about some of the tools that I would be using, especially those with online sharing capability so my partner, Peter, and I could collaborate without being co-located.
I was looking for more information about Tegner using Google search. Through it, I found a series of forums where two or three of his former students posted about their memories of him. I dropped a line to each of them asking if they would be interested in contributing a phone interview and maybe a scanned picture or two to the effort.
Today I got my first response.
Chuck Arnold trained with Tegner when he was in college. When he sent a response to my request, he included a full page and a half of reflections on his experiences and his impressions of Bruce as a person and a teacher. He also told me that he would be happy to provide me with some pictures (if he could find them) and a phone interview.
Now, I've been around the Internet since the days of the dinosaurs. I'm continually amazed by how easy it is to come in contact with interesting folks whom I would never have a chance to meet otherwise. Whether it's exchanging emails with my buddy Scott Ginsberg (the Approachability Guy), dropping a line to Jesse Bernstein (our Chamber President), or contacting a brand-new friend like Chuck, the Internet, contrary to the doom-sayers of the world, has actually made the world a smaller place and brought us all a little closer.
So, who have you met through the Internet that you might never otherwise have known?