Linking to a Legend Named Harvey

Posted on September 6, 2011

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“Learn about Harvey, your new connection…” So said the emailed I received tonight from Linked In.

Though it may be one of the least sexy or glamorous of the social medias in use, I love Linked In for so many reasons. I have had great luck finding sources when other options have failed. Searching by my past work experience and getting re-acquainted with faces and names gone by, has introduced and reintroduced me to past and–I hope–future connections.

It was just such a treasure from my past unearth tonight.

If you are a true fan of Philadelphia sports, then Harvey should need no introduction–Linked In or otherwise. To the non-informed he is Harvey Pollack, statistician extraordinaire for the Philadelphia 76ers, who has seen every great basketball player since James Naismith first hung the peach basket. OK, that’s a slight exaggeration, but he has been active in the NBA since its inception, kept stats for Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game. and was  responsible for many of the stats now a part of every basketball game from peewee to the pros–from blocked shots, to offensive and defensive rebounds.

When I was 17 I showed up on Harvey’s Veteran’s Stadium doorstep from California and basically begged him to let me work with him. Believe it or not, he did (maybe the fact I was attending his alma mater, Temple University, didn’t hurt). It was a magical opportunity, appreciated not nearly enough by a small-town teenage girl finally in the City of Brotherly Love, still young enough to cry after games lost.

But what I took for granted at the time, I have come to treasure beyond words, in the course of a career that enabled me to immerse in journalism and media, and end up teaching members of the next generation at a point in their evolution not far from when Harvey shaped me.

Harvey is now less than a year from 90, and I sense it is his most recent crop of interns who forced his social media hand. His place in history is secure (as is his record for consecutive days wearing a different T-shirt), and surely he does not need to cultivate long ago connections in the cloud. But whatever compelled him to join Web 2.0, I am honored that 21 years after I first knocked on his door, we are still “linked.”

Who have you “linked to” through Linked In or other social media? Any tips for making or using connections?

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Posted in: Journalism