According to Zuckerberg, I have about 1,500 friends.
According to whoever runs things at Twitter, I'm followed by about 5,000 people.
And my LinkedIn coterie puts me in a league with televangelists, Gary Vaynerchuk or other snake-oil salesmen. (Which isn't really fair to snakes.)
But like most people, at least most people in our office-less age, I have long, losing bouts of loneliness.
Much of the work I do now is of the solo ilk. And at times I feel, if it weren't for Whiskey, my ten-year-old golden retriever, and my surpassingly patient wife, Laura, I'd go weeks, if not months without speaking to anyone approaching sentience.
When I lived as a bachelor in San Francisco for ten months, that was my life. I had no friends outside of work. I don't socialize. And the kibbitz culture New Yorkers embrace is unknown west of the Hudson. People don't joke with people. And jokes, at least to me who uses humor as a currency, are my life.
That's life up here in Connecticut. A little laugh-and-life-less, he lisped.
I see friends on occasion. Ex-CCOs and I meet at a coffee shop near a strip mall under high-tension wires in the shadow of a broken-down Staples. But those small moments of uplift are scant recompense for having people around.
Enter Ad Aged.
The other day Wil Boudreau called me.
Jeff Eaker messaged me.
My some-time-partner Sid Tomkins, called me.
Debra Fried texted me up.
My friend, Maya Goldberg and I exchanged little bits of smiles and laughter.
Rob Schwartz is a constant source of light.
The hundreds of notes and comments I get even when I post something slight and allegedly funny.
All over this stupid blog that started as a spit-take on the woes of the advertising world.
And now, for me, it's something more. It brings with it a welcome, non-pharma set of side-effects.
It's a place to find kinship. To rekindle. To say hi. To say WITT (We're In This Together.) It's a place in a hugless and smileless world to encounter digital hugs and smiles.
It's funny how things go sometimes. Especially things that you do with regularity. They start off one way and grow into something else. You never really know, no one does, how they'll develop or if they will. It's a little like planting a bean when you're a kid and one day finding a beanstalk.
That's all to say, "thank you."
Thank you to this blog for letting me write it.
Thank you to my wife for letting me have a bit of quiet when I need it.
Thank you to my friends--those I know and those I don't--for your bits and bobs of encouragement.
Thank you to my readers, 96-percent of whom I'll never meet.
Thank you for breaking something.