Farewell, Carlo

It’s with great sadness that I write this last post at MobHappy, with the announcement that my blogging partner and friend, Carlo Longino, died over the weekend, losing his long fight with cancer. He was only 39.

I’ve known Carlo since around 2003 when he was Executive Editor of The Feature, an early, brave blogging experiment, sponsored by Nokia. He managed to recruit a bunch of great writers and mobile visionaries, including luminaries such as Howard Rheingold, Douglas Rushkoff, Mark Frauenfelder, David Pescovitz and Mike Masnick, among others. He also encouraged my early writing on all things mobile and was typically generous with his feedback and support.

In 2005, Nokia’s sponsorship ended and I asked Carlo to join me to start MobHappy, which I was just setting up at the time. To use a footballing analogy from Carlo’s beloved Liverpool FC, I felt like I was asking Steven Gerrard to join my Sunday League team. But much to my delight and surprise, he threw himself into writing and we covered pretty much everything mobile for the next 7 years until our day jobs pulled us in different directions.

Although we lived on different continents, we managed to meet up fairly regularly over the years. Whether it was at Mobile World Congress, a Swedish Beers or WIPJam event or just a meal or beers in London or Munich, he was always great fun to catch up with and I enjoyed our sessions immensely. He was just a really great guy.

I was in regular touch with him by email during his illness and it was typical of Carlo that he never complained about his cancer and always remained positive. So much so that when I heard the news of his death, it was totally unexpected. I had offered to buy him tickets to the Liverpool game of his choice on his next trip to the UK and I fully expected to be shelling out a few hundred pounds – while secretly hoping that it wouldn’t get really expensive with The Reds getting to the FA Cup Final or something equally extravagant!

I’m sure Carlo will be missed by everyone who knew him, but I can speak particularly for the Mobilist community. In the beginning, there were only a handful of us who could truly foresee what impact the mobile would have on our society. Carlo saw this more this anyone and his vision and astute, amusing, snarky writing provided a fascinating commentary on the newly emerging, mobile-centric world.

Helen Keegan has promised to organise a Swedish Beers for Carlo’s many pals in London to celebrate his contribution to Mobilists everywhere. I hope to see you there.

Rest in peace, Carlo, my friend. You will be missed.

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