Leslie Harpold has died. A writer, designer, editor, and web pioneer of prodigious skill, she was 40.

Why did Leslie Harpold matter?

To those who never met her, it was because she "was one of a pretty small group of people who shaped the early personal web, whose sites and words showed a lot of us what all the Hoopla could be about," wrote Brad L. Graham. Harpold published and edited Smug, an online zine that was one of the first/best to an online entity. She showed what the net could be as a creative form.

The word of her passing is moving like ripples through the internet community.

To those who were lucky enough to have met her, we've lost a powerfully good person.

She loved her friends, stories, cigs, and Diet Coke. She could hostess like all get-out.

Jason Kottke pointed out that Kevin Fanning is collecting online remembrances of Leslie on del.icio.us.

This is to be on SFist because Leslie passed through SF, indelibly touching many of our soft San Franciscan lives, whether in real life or through the internets.

When she was here in San Francisco for a couple years, she lived in The Mission over where the streets are named after the states. There she withstood flooding and the world's most poorly proportioned couch (pretty sure it was there when she moved in). The flooding got fixed, the couch was replaced, and things got done however long it took.

In all that she did, it always seemed like she was moving so much faster than everyone else. Her writing and design are as sharp and clean as record player's needle. When she brought her attention to bear on you, it could be blinding for its brightness.