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So, how many ActiveRain groups do you moderate now, Jason Crouch? Well, here's the answer.

Yesterday, my friend Joey Aszterbaum wrote a post in which he named me as his favorite ActiveRain blogger.  This is incredibly flattering, but even more complimentary were the reasons that he chose me - "because of his great writing plus an ability to connect people".

I wrote extensive on my blog about my close friend David Wilder, who passed away in late March.  One of the things that I always admired about him was HIS ability to connect people, and to stay in contact with friends for years even when he didn't see them in person anymore.  He always seemed to know what everyone was up to.  I am happy to think that some of this characteristic may have rubbed off on me during our 13-year friendship. 

One of the ways that I have found to effectively network with others is through the groups I have founded and those that I moderate on AR.  I had someone ask me the other day how many groups I was moderating. 

Here you go...


On August 4th, 2007, I began "actively" participating here, on the same day as my (now) good friend, Adam Waldman We hit it off partially because we are both big Dallas Cowboys fans.  I was the first person to join Active Rain Addicts  after Adam launched it on August 12th.  A couple of months later, he asked if I would be willing to moderate the group.  Of course I would - what are friends for, right?



In late September, Adam and I were brainstorming about starting a group to include our posts about family stuff, and we co-founded Family Ties, which has sort of become my "baby" since then.  I remember being on the phone with Adam when we finally hit on the right name for the group.  This has also grown steadily, and we have about 2,600 posts and 330 members now.

Adam was full of ideas (and he still is), and he wanted to start a group about music, so Inspired by Song! was born (co-founded by me, Adam, and Paul Slaybaugh.  Our monthly contests have been a lot of fun, and our judging conference calls have been a source of juvenile laughter ever since. 


Several months ago, Rich Jacobson contacted me to ask if I would be willing to help moderate the new "HELP/FAQ" group (which can be accessed from the Help/FAQ link at the bottom of any page on AR).  Of course, I readily accepted.  I have written a good number of tutorial posts for other members, and this group has been a great help to newbies and AR veterans alike. 



In mid-March, I was talking to Paul Slaybaugh, and I told him that we needed to start an entire group devoted to the art of hijacking posts.  He wholeheartedly agreed, so we co-founded Jacked!!!!!.  Paul came up with the name and the accompanying graphic, which features one of our favorite actors, Steve Buscemi.  We never made an official announcement about this group, yet it has now grown to 92 members.


Last month, I was tapped by Melissa Grant to assist with moderating the Blast from the Past! group, because she was overwhelmed with business and with the "Makeover 2 Takeover" contest that she is involved in.  I think you can probably see a pattern developing by now.  I think I have become the default moderator of choice for many of my friends, which is actually just fine with me.



This past weekend, I called my friend Alexander (Alex) Harb in Orlando for the first time.  He is in charge of the Christianity and Real Estate group, which has a membership of over 900 now! 

In the wake of the bickering that had occurred when an AR member was removed from the network, I wanted to encourage Alex because he had gone through a lot, both here and in his personal life over the past several months.  As of this week, I am now one of the moderators helping with his group as well.  This is something I am excited about, especially since I am currently involved as one of the core group starting a new church here in the Austin area (Georgetown). 


So, that pretty much sums up my serious commitments

On a lighter note, I am a moderator here and here, too, although those groups are a bit less time-consuming.  :-)  The first one is based on a running joke, and the second one started from an offhand comment that I made to Jeremy Blanton.

If you haven't already done so, why not...

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