I've been fascinated with the dynamics of online communities ever since discovering the nascent world of dial-up BBSes as a kid, in 1982. Back then, I dreamt of becoming a computer science professor one day... but many years later, I ended up with a degree in political science (with a minor in mathematics), and jobs in information technology support and healthcare data analysis. Along the way, I found that I had a natural interest in starting communities, both online and offline—including my own BBS in the summer of 1985, a cycling club (offline) in college, and most recently an "e-group" for inline skaters in my area.
By participating in the Meatball Wiki, I hope to offer helpful contributions to ongoing discussions, and to continually improve my understanding of the dynamics of social communities, online and offline, for the purpose of (to put it very simply) doing good.
Secondarily, I hope (nay, I long!) to learn how I can build a satisfying and rewarding professional career around my inherently strong interest in this subject. Although the IT-related work I've done before has occasionally provided interesting problems to solve, over time I have grown weary of its failure to engage me in any way that I find meaningful. I'm facile with both technology and language, I have very high standards of ethics and integrity, and I enjoy nurturing others people's personal growth. How best can I apply my interests and talents, in meaningful support of my values, while also building financial security for myself and my (future) dependents? That is the hottest-burning question in my mind these days.
Justin, welcome to MeatballWiki. I hear you about your desire. Right now I spend all my time doing operations and analysis, which is 180 degrees from where I want to be, which is doing more Meatballesque things. I'm interested in hearing what you have to say on the matter. -- SunirShah
Welcome, Justin. I think a lot of the energy of wikizens is now going into doing wiki projects, making good use of wiki technology, translating it to normal people, which is not easy. On the other side, technological developments and visionary ideas spread among many places because the surface of the wiki phenomenon has grown quickly. The energy left for reflections and the longing for collaboration — now that wiki becomes more and more accepted in the mainstream — seems reduced, which is a pity. -- HelmutLeitner
Welcome, and nice job on MeatballWikiSuggestions, Justin! As it looks like you're planning on helping out our community through CopyEditing (something I thoroughly approve of, having done it myself quite a bit), I thought you might like to glance at PunctuationConventions, ThreadMode, TimeStamp and UgLy, our guideline pages on several refactoring topics; also at DigestedSummary and EditCategories, explaining how our edit digest works (I've fixed it up on this page). I'll be keeping an eye on your edits, so you can assume any prolonged silence on our part is SilentAgreement not apathy! -- ChrisPurcell