Thankful Thursday – Mark Bradbourne

I started dabbling in the Tableau community on Twitter in 2017, so when I went to Tableau Conference that year, I made the goal to connect with a few of the people whom I recognized. Mind you, as a card-carrying introvert, this was no small goal. I’m making myself talk to someone, so I kind of need to carry on the conversation for at least 30 seconds. (Insert sweaty palms here) But I wanted to become more involved in the community and connect with people, so I told myself to suck it up and deal with it for a week.

So I start out at Makeover Monday Live, and there are 3-4 tables up front with all these faces I recognize from Twitter. Did I do the easy thing and go sit at one of those tables to let natural conversation flow during the hour-long session? Nope. I think I sat smack dab in the center of the room. So now I’ve given myself only one option, approaching someone after the session. (This is my only option at this point because I know if I wimp out on this opportunity, the rest of the week is shot, at least as it pertains to this crazy goal I had.)

I sauntered up to the front of the room where, thankfully, Mark Bradbourne and Ken Flerlage were speaking to each other mostly side-by-side, rather than face-to-face. It was like they were saying “please, come complete this circle of conversation.” I walked up, introduced myself, and we chatted for a few minutes. I don’t really recall what we talked about, but it could have very easily ended with “well, Kyle, it was nice to meet you” and going on their way. Instead, Mark said “I think we’re going to go grab some lunch, do you want to come?” (or something to that effect, it was two years ago) Within 30 minutes I proceeded to meet a large chunk of the VizItPhilly crew and various other people from the Twitterverse. And it made it so much easier to talk to other people throughout the rest of the week when I ran into them, because I had that early win.

Me, Anna Foard, and Mark at TC19 Data Night Out

Mark is all about the #datafam, but more importantly he takes action on the great ideas that come up. After a great discussion we (our table) had at TC18 Fanalytics about mentoring, Mark started, a site to connect willing mentors with hopeful mentees. Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, Mark and Chris McClellan announced this DatafamNetwork blog opportunity as they thought about all the people who contemplate starting a blog after the TC high. I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a dataviz blog for years, but never found the right time to investigate the different options for hosting or the myriad other things that I “needed” to have in place to start a blog. That roadblock was removed for me. That, coupled with a life event that helps to have a distraction, was the push I needed to get started.

So thanks, Mark, for being that great first experience with the #datafam, and continuing to reach out and help those in the Tableau Community.

One thought on “Thankful Thursday – Mark Bradbourne”

  1. Another great post 😁 keep up the great words, I need to start myself soon!! Hopefully we can meet up at TC20, I saw your face at TC19 but didn’t have the opportunity to talk!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *