Good People Day 2008, Part I

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It takes more than a good person to declare a flash holiday; it takes one genuinely good person.

Outside the SXSW Bloghaus in Austin last month, some guy was hanging near the door handing out wristbands. Me, a sucker for swag, approached the guy and said, “Hey, can I have one?” He turns to me, says ‘sure!’, and hands me a wrist band. “Thanks!” I said, “My name’s Michael. Who are you and what’s your story?” 

And that’s how I met Gary Vaynerchuk. Up until that moment, I hadn’t heard of Gary or winelibrary.tv. We spoke for a couple of minutes about how crazy I thought he was for answering his thousands of daily e-mails in lieu of delegating. Then it struck me as not so crazy: here’s a guy who cared so much about his job (wine) and his community that he made it his lifeblood. (I’m omitting a joke about transubstantiation right here.)

I ran into him later that night in the lobby of a hotel where about a hundred people had gathered. I went over to say hello but before I open my mouth he puts bottle of wine in my hand, “Gruen! Take this!” (I wasn’t wearing a name tag), raising another bottle to toast mine. At 2am, this man has energy.

“Gary, we’re so hanging out when we get back to New York.”

“Definitely! Now DRINK!” [sic]

Three days ago, I went to New York’s NextWeb Meetup and ran into Gary. Though we hadn’t talked since SXSW, he remembered me and we went right back to shooting the shit, with me making fun of his e-mailing habits.

So, it should come as no surprise that Gary could galvanize the social media world and beyond in an unedited two-minute video clip. Today is Good Person Day 2008, so spread it on.