Craig Cline passed away last weekend. He is probably best known for his role organizing the program for the Seybold Publishing Conference. He worked for a company whose name and shape changed drastically over time in the binge-and-purge 90’s. The Seybold Conference, which usually occurred around this time of year in San Francisco, was one of its acquistions and one of its victims, coming to an end several years ago. Around that time, I talked to Craig about a new conference that O’Reilly and his company might collaborate on. I came up with the concept of the Web 2.0 Conference sitting in Craig’s office, and he was the first person to say that it was a good idea.
Craig left the company by the time the Web 2.0 Conference came to fruition, and I ran into him several times afterwards. Frankly, he seemed mentally tired, still trying to figure out what it meant for him to move on. He’d talk about his gadgets and blogging about his political interests, and this seemed to stir him up.
Craig was big like a brown bear: slow and watchful, deliberate yet excitable. He had a unique perspective on the printing and publishing industry as it went through the dramatic changes brought about by the Web. He played a valuable role in introducing the agents of change to the old guard. My sympathy goes to his wife, Gayle, and his family. They have set up the CraigClineFriends website for him.