The 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)
Chances are good that you’re reading this because I tweeted a link or posted it to Facebook. If that’s the case, then you know a little bit about me and how I’m just a wee bit embedded in some virtual communities. [With all due respect to my friend Mark Sample, I claim there’s something to community-building and generation through Twitter.] I even wrote an entire post about how social media got me through five years of graduate school (and beyond). From these virtual communities come smaller virtual communities (the ProfHacker community for some time, the DH Answers community, etc) as well as some hybrid communities (folks who go to THATCamp(s) but maintain close ties between events, for example, and physical-world communities (of teachers, students, etc) spill into the virtual world, and so on and so forth. What I’m trying to say, poorly, is that I can look around at any given moment and see a number of communities I can reach out to when I need help, or jump into when I have help to offer.
Really. Name the subject, and I have people who will have my back and I’ll have theirs—regardless of where we actually live, or where we stand in some academic hierarchy, or whatever. I should know, because I’ve had occasion to call on people in several areas over the last few months: personal, pedagogical, professional…all the biggies. And never has my community (whichever it was at the time) failed me. I hope I haven’t failed them.