December 7 – Community Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)
Back in early 2001, I became aware of a community called Livejournal, where you could blog and share your life with friends. Some of my friends from various boards and email lists were signing up, so I had to check it out. This was back before Livejournal's many incarnations - before invites to join, change of ownership and the various dramas that have existed within that world. It started out as something I thought that I might use on occasion. I didn't have a very good record with any of the various blog/diary sites out there. All good intentions and very little follow through.
I managed to use livejournal though. In the beginning, I tried really hard to always be witty and offer up stories of my life in amusing ways. I mimicked my favorite bloggers of the time and told myself, "Who wants to read about the day-in-day-out grind of real life?"
Over time, I found my own voice. I discovered various communities that appealed to interests that I had and livejournal became about the bonds that I formed through its site. Many of those people that I became "friends" with randomly online have become such important real life friends who have supported me through some very rough times as well as great triumphs, sharing laughs and squeals of delight and everything in between.
This year, I am very lucky to have discovered Jamie Ridler's wishcasting community as it's been a great outlet for me - both to share my own hopes and to encourage/hope for others to achieve their wishes.
In 2011, I want to take a minute to step back, and when my O.C.D. starts to get out of hand and I find myself spending my free time on something like tagging my I-Tunes library, I want to remember that sense of community and friendship I've found. It's a bundle of peace and happiness and hope.