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Allen Stern passed away last week, his sister reported on his Facebook page. There are few details at this time.
Since I didn't know much about his personal history, I'll leave that to others to describe. What I do know was that he was a pioneer in tech blogging through his website, CenterNetworks. Although based in New York, and very involved in the tech scene there before it really exploded, he was by no means provincial and totally New York focused. In fact, I remember he was very aware of the Philly tech scene and would write about major developments there and would come down for big events. I assume many in Philly met him or communicated with him at some point.
As an observer and evangelist, he served as one of the catalysts for the emerging tech ecosystem in New York City, as it began to become swamped with startups, entrepreneurs, technologists, and tech VCs. CenterNetworks also served as a model for many aspiring, creative tech bloggers.
CenterNetworks was sold at some point a few years ago and Stern apparently moved to Austin, Texas, reportedly making considerable progress attacking a longtime weight issue (see the before and after photos he posted on Facebook), and running a website on which he shared weight management and recipe advice with others. He also had other entrepreneurial ventures, such as one aimed at capturing business card information in the Cloud.
CenterNetworks was influential, but it never had the financial success of websites that emerged later on such as TechCrunch or Gigaom. The site now appears to be largely dormant now.