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I'm not currently leading one, but I am very interested in the nature of online communities. I do have a tendency to be a lurker.

I'm 29, and have been involved in various types of communities since I first got access to the internet about 12 years ago. The types of online communities that have evolved since then have made it fun to watch, as ideas from previous types of communities are borrowed to use in new creations. Even when I haven't necessarily liked the end result (social megasites), they have made online socializing the norm, which I rather like seeing.

I'm a Christian, and a member of a Mennonite Brethren Church. Mennonites often tend to place an emphasis on community, which has helped spark my interest in that area. This, combined with my recent introduction to MeatBall, has sparked the thought that a wiki on Christian communities (in MeatSpace and online) might be a useful project. I'm not sure I've currently got the time and dedication to start such a project, but it's a thought worth considering.

Thoughts on Linking my Real Name and Pseudonym

UseRealNames brings up an issue I'm considering. Using my real name isn't much of a problem for me, partly because I tend to not worry too much about the typical paranoia, and partly because I'd be difficult to find without some serious detective work (thanks to sharing my name with some fairly high-profile people). However, I frequently use a very unique pseudonym, which has so far remained unique to myself, and I've made a habit of revealing limited data about myself when using it. The question becomes: am I willing to finally break that habit and finally connect that pseudonym with my real name if I decide to reference some of my activities in other communities? Complicating that, I know that, over the years, I've left a lot of clues to my identity through my usage of my pseudonym, such that a person could probably find out a lot about me, including possibly my real name, with a bit of work.


April 2, 2007
For helping us DefendEachOther, I award you a BarnStar. Thanks! -- ChrisPurcell

Thanks. I just did my best to LimitDamage based on what I know until someone more familiar with him and Meatball processes could step in. -- MatthewJacobs

Welcome to MeatBall, Matthew. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? What communities do you lurk at, for instance? -- ChrisPurcell

Thanks for the welcome, Chris.
I do on-and-off work at WikiPedia, and have been an active participant with the GeekCulture? forums [1] for a couple of years now. I often tend to explore other communities, lurking for a while before deciding if I want to join or not. I've joined numerous communities, but often dropped out if the place turns out to be a bad fit for me. -- MatthewJacobs

Matthew, welcome. I hope that you'll feel at home here. -- HelmutLeitner

Thanks. I hope so too. -- MatthewJacobs



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