Six Months in the Rain Already? Where did the time go? My personal retrospective
Although I wrote one post last March, I didn't write again or interact with anyone here until August. In fact, I posted my very first Active Rain comment on August 5th, 2007, exactly six months ago today. Tracey Thomas had written a featured post about how the movie "Fight Club" inspired her to begin networking through support groups. It was an interesting take on this subject, and I would still recommend it, as it hasn't lost its luster.
Of course, I added a LOT to the conversation with my gem of a comment. Submitted for your approval:
This is a truly terrific post. Thanks for writing it -
by Jason Crouch
Mine was the 42nd and final comment there, sort of an exclamation point that stopped any future discussion. What else could be said at that point? Of course, I am kidding. This is quite possibly the lamest comment in the history of Active Rain, but at least I had started reading and commenting.
My third comment on Active Rain was also a virtual treasure chest filled with information. George Tallabas wrote a post about reaching the 100,000 point mark, and I shared his joy with my effusive and incredibly revealing comment that failed to even earn me 25 points:
Well done, indeed. Way to go!
by Jason Crouch
What was I thinking? This comment clearly opens up my life and heart like a book for the whole world to read!
With regard to my initial posts, I started a friendship with Adam Waldman with this post of mine that received a mere 5 comments (2 of which were from me):
Adam and I started here the same week (possibly the same day), and I was the first person to join his Active Rain Addicts group, where I now serve as a moderator. Later, he and I started Family Ties, which I now run, in order to have a place to put our family-related posts.
Later in August, another good friend of mine, Paul Slaybaugh, first commented on my post about truly bad MLS photos (which I truly feel is a classic - my friend Shannon Lefevre mentioned once that it should be placed in the AR Hall of Fame):
Worst photo contest - Feel free to bring more today if you like! It's like a running archive of terrible pictures.
Rather than attempting to name all of my friends here in this post, as I know that I will inevitably leave someone out and be far longer than it is practical to read, I will stick with mentioning these two friends, since I now speak to each of them several times a week. Sometimes all three of us talk during conference calls, as we judge contests for the Inspired by Song! group (the latest contest was announced a few days ago, if you are interested). I must admit that I laugh as hard during these calls as I did when I was talking to my junior high friends, and if I am being frank the humor level is very similar.
If someone had told me that I would form great friendships on Active Rain when I first started, I probably would have scoffed at the notion, but it's true.
On another note, I view my first Active Rain featured post in an unusual way - it's sort of like a beloved childhood toy that you don't want your parents to sell at a garage sale (Mine was a 13" tall GI Joe that looked exactly like the one at left, by the way). In other words, it has a lot of sentimental value for me, because I really felt accepted here and I started to garner some real feedback:
Thankfully, since that day, I have had 23 featured posts, including both AR and Localism. Somewhere along the way I guess I figured out what people were interested in reading.
Since those early days of learning and finding my way around AR, I have made tons of friends here, along with receiving numerous referrals, consumer contacts, listings, etc. The points are certainly fun and motivational, but the relationships are priceless.
Everyone starts somewhere. I'm glad that I stuck around long enough to see the value of this network. I look forward to the next six months and beyond! Thanks for taking a minute to read some of my random thoughts.