Written by Pamela - I'm not sure how I first met Mike. Probably online through Community Informatics. I remember finally meeting him face to face in Brighton at an event organised by Peter Day (perhaps around 2005).
As a non-academic (then working as a supply teacher to pay my bills and fund my trips to Africa etc) I couldn't justify the time and money to attend the full event. However, Brighton is an easy journey for me. I therefore indulged in a "day-trip to the seaside" so that I could connect, however briefly, with the academic world. (Achieving effective academic-practitioner collaboration is one of my ongoing quests.)
Mike and I have continued to connect in various ways over the years, and I appreciate his encouragement. I think of him as "one of the good guys" when it comes to academics who have an understanding of the potential - and pitfalls - of academic-practitioner collaboration (evidence my comments on his Community Informatics blog).