I have always been a reader, a researcher, a consumer of knowledge, remember, I am also a school Librarian/Media Specialist, it’s what I do! To keep up with ways to run my business I did internet research years ago and found a forum called Paint Talk, nirvana for someone in an isolated area to be able to talk shop with other professional painters. At first I was just a timid “noob”, just lurking and soaking up the information from the seasoned veterans. Where did they find this information? How did they learn it all? From one man shops to guys who had multiple crews, they were all there sharing what they had learned, sometimes it was from their father or another mentor, some times a business class or coach, but for the most part, it was the school of hard knocks. I wish I had a nickle for every guy that said, “sure wish they had a forum like this when I was starting out.
Over the years I continued to read everything and contribute more, and now have 10,000 posts, am a moderator, and hopelessly addicted. You see, I found more than just information, I found a kinship, a brotherhood, even welcoming a “girl who does not paint”! I found an eclectic group, from solo operators to guys who had not picked up a brush in years and even retired painters. There were also plenty of franchise owners, handy men, guys working “under the radar” so things are usually pretty interesting. All there with the intent of trying to learn to improve their business.
Over the past few years on the forum I have seen many guys and gals come and go, but it is the ones that come on timidly asking for help and evolving to the point where they are contributing greatly to the forum and their business is flourishing, well, as best as they can in these times, that I admire the most. Guys like Mike, who has gone through a great deal to be where he is at now, and has the support and camaraderie of like minded guys to cheer him along.
Then there are members that pop in every few months, and I always envision the scene at Cheers, all the regulars at the bar raising a hand in greeting, Brenda, where are you? There are also members that lurk without really posting, and I hope they continue to enjoy their visit, but would love to hear more from them.
There are plenty of other members with thousands of posts, many like George and Aaron who drop in with a well placed piece of advice or solution to a problem. Some of those high post count members earned their stripes by entertaining the gang and keeping the mods on high alert, Wise, I really do miss you, I hope all is well! And y’all remember Kevin! But now we have Steve, and there is a smile on my face again!
I always wonder where some have gone, like Kelly and Slick, maybe like Timmy they got happily married and are pursuing other interests, but their contributions still remain in the archives.
The senior members, what can I say, sometimes we fight with each other like siblings, until a wise one like Wolfgang steps in and reminds us of what is important. But I can’t think of one member who would not stand up for another when it really counted, heck, we all voted Gabe back in!
Some of the members have been fortunate enough to meet up with each other, one day I hope to meet a few, but there are some that I have “known” long enough to consider good friends, like my blogging buddy Scott, Bill, who is like my crazy uncle, and Chris, who once called me a “self proclaimed painting goddess” in an online argument, and I have done all I can to live up to that!
And the mod team, Sean and I became mods at the same time, and then Bill took the summer off, Tim was traveling a lot, so Sean and I spent many a late night pm’ing each other and wondering what we were going to do about Verneps’ latest escapade! Good thing that only lasted a short time, Sean and I were spending more time with each other than with our spouses, he is still my online BFF! The return of Bill and Tim, along with the addition of Dean and Paul was very welcome! We have a mod team that works incredibly well together, although some may liken it to the inmates running the asylum!
There are many other members I have a great deal of respect for, and make Painttalk what it is, and just not enough room to mention them all. I look forward to another 10,000 posts and meeting more online friends and continuing the journey. What I have learned on PT has changed the way I run my business and opened so many doors that I did not even know were there.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!