Its probably 2014, I first learned about Bill Slawsky when I was studying about Query Intent Templates. The Featured Snippets and all the Natural Language and NLP Topic based Content optimization was so new back then. I was just blown away by the level of information he was providing for free. Since then, every time I needed to learn about any clue of future Google's move in their algorithm, I just went to his blog.
Its worth mentioning that - whoever reads Google's patent these days to understand SEO; Bill Slawski is frontliner here. I myself try to understand the patents and seek for them these days, but I couldn't get the idea of reading boring patents to find the gist if Bill were not doing it.
I am forever in debt to SEOByTheSea.
We follow each other over Twitter and but never had any conversation. :(
But, I just wish to bill to come back strongly and get well soon.
The Community needs you.
N U Shamim