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Updated by Paul Hugh O'Mahony on Jul 13, 2023
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Great People To Whom I Feel Grateful

I wouldn't be the person I am without the influence of these people...
This List features people who are active online - who've been remarkable generous towards me personally (and also to others).
This List is personal & social. I would like others to add the names of people they value & their stories.


Chris Brogan @chrisbrogan

Chris Brogan @chrisbrogan

I don't remember when I first met Chris online. Must have been during 2006 (my first year blogging).
It was probably his ideas & reputation that first attracted me - but no one I knew knew him. He was one of a select group of thinkers I decided to be guided by.
The thing that distinguished Chris for me was his behaviour: he was consistently positive & often self deprecating - I remember a story he told against himself in which he spelled out what he'd learned as a result of challenging feedback he got in a blog comment. This impressed me because it showed me how you could be on a journey of learning to be a better person - while being successful in business.
Recently, after I recovered from a long bout of depression, I found Chris sharing information & feelings about his life in a way that left me feeling I belonged.
After admiring him, I began to connect a bit - he's been ever so welcoming & friendly.
He not only talks about respecting others - he's living it in a way that's given me courage to be myself


Jane Boyd @boydjane

Jane Boyd @boydjane

My first ever Skype video call with someone I felt to be a "success" across the Atlantic - I felt ever so lucky that Jane Boyd should want to connect with me on Skype. It felt like a big step forward on from Twitter - exchanging tweets is one thing, but arranging a Skype call on a Sunday evening is a whole new world.
Jane Boyd changed my life
: she told me about SOBCon - told me about AJLeon & @misfit_inc - introduced me to Liz Strauss, Diane Brogan ... and @listly @hashtracking. And so much more... I introduced her to Audioboo & she's made some of the most wonderful audio I know.
From twitter to Skype to Audioboo to Google Hangouts & on to collaborating - Jane is generosity personified.
It's hard to imagine what my online life would have been like without her influence.


Ted Rubin

Ted Rubin

Liz Strauss @lizstrauss

Liz Strauss @lizstrauss

First Liz was recommended to me by @boydjane - Co-founder of SOBCon Liz came new into my life slowly. I checked out #SOBCon on Twitter - I dipped into the website especially the videos of people at 2011 Conference in Chicago. I had no intention of contacting Liz until I had a sense of what SOBCon was about.
My way of checking was to connect with the conversations going on between people in the run up to SOBCon2012. As I experienced extraordinary welcome & interaction, I felt SOBCon was different. It seemed more a community than an event. I got hooked.
The more I learned, the more I got curious about the woman whom so many spoke about with love, awe & respect.
Then I had a shock - Liz Strauss contacted me & encouraged me to come to Chicago. Imagine - from Cork to Chicago...
I wasn't used to being welcomed into a special gathering & community. It did wonders for my morale.
I'll never forget the Phonecall that afternoon.
ps - A Liz Strauss blogpost motivated me to record an infamous Audioboo from my shower - overcome with the joy of experiencing her inspiring writing.


Nick Kellet

Nick Kellet

Christian Payne @documentally

Christian Payne @documentally

This is an amazing modern journalist from UK.
Anyone who starts to use @audioboo meets @documentally : he is so big a user of Audioboo.
I was first attracted by his avatar - it reminded me of my youth as a political activist. Then I began to listen to him...
Christian Payne's diversity is breathtaking - I remember loving his work with park rangers in Africa - the sound of him in a helicopter or small plane - the interviews he did with workers there.
This is a guy who makes journeys - and turns them into social adventures. He went from Cornwall to the top of Scotland without any money - trading data cards he got from Vodafone (I think).
Christian Payne also has a dog - he recorded his walks with dog. I copied him.
I imagine myself walking in the footsteps of @documentally every time I bump into someone and hold conversations with strangers on Audioboo.
Christian shares - he engages - he highlights the interesting world of other people.
He has won the admiration of so many that he gets to speak & teach the next generation of audio journalists. He's also a fine photographer.
I'd like to continue following in his footsteps...
We've never met face-to-face - we keep missing each other - but we have exchanged tweets & left comments on each other's Audioboos.
It is great to have someone you admire - especially when they are so accessible...
The wonderful thing about Christian Payne is that I feel I've barely scratched the surface of his talent. He's definitely a great guide.


Mark Horvath @hardlynormal

Mark Horvath @hardlynormal

Remarkable campaigner - a man with a cause... He hooked me with his ambition "to abolish homelessness in America".
It was an accidental discovery that led me to his blog from Los Angeles.
There you find him honouring homeless people - giving them a voice...
I felt he was promoting not only people but showing me an approach based on extraordinary respect & love.
Mark is credible - he speaks from a position of experience & passion. I wish I was more like him.
Back in my student days in Dublin, I met Anton Woolham-Smith, founder of the Simon Community - an organisation that helps homeless people in UK & Ireland. Mark Horvath brought back my youthful commitment to fight for the underdog.
I still hope there will be a bridge between the Simon Community & Mark Horvath.


Brandie McCallum

Brandie McCallum

Jacqueline Carly

Jacqueline Carly

AJLeon @ajleon @misfit_inc

AJLeon @ajleon @misfit_inc

I've met AJ Leon, his wife Melissa Leon @melissaleon & another nomad Jesse White @jessemwhite - face-to-face in the White House pub in Limerick.
It was fabulous...

Paul O'Mahony

Where to start?

I remember the ground being broken in a field about a quarter of a mile from my house. A new estate was being built. I was commissioned to photograph it at various stages. The client was very particular about this project. It was a prestige undertaking. Special.

Special indeed.

What I didn't know was that I was watching, brick by brick, the house being built that would become the home of one of the most remarkable men I have ever met. The roof on that house now shelters one of my best friends and his family.

He is more than a friend. He is a mentor - sometimes gentle, sometimes tough. He is a driver. Together we've done more than I would ever have done on my own. Alone, I am given to inaction. With him I go on unlikely adventures, meet amazing people, make new friends, am included in new circles. Nearly always I go into these journeys reluctantly and fearful. They always end well. I learn, I grow.

My life would be poorer if he weren't in it.

So, Paul O'Mahony is one of my heroes.