ecember 7 Prompt

Author: Cali Harris

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?


My first thought of community is always the burn community.  However, that was not new to 2010.  In the past year, I joined some new online communities – photography forums, the goddess circle, and some dedicated to those who live a more nomadic lifestyle.  I really hope to connect more with all of these in the next year.

The journeys with photo forums has been a rollercoaster.  I joined a few last year, however many of the more popular ones have a large percentage of members who are narrow minded, jaded, bigoted, self righteous jerks.  They (majority of members are male) often post sexist, sizeist, and other discriminatory remarks.  But they also post some good information.

I found a much more tolerable site, however no business related discussions can take place in the open section of the forum, and it will be a long time before I have a portfolio to get into the pre-pro forum.  Also, this forum is mostly populated by women, who mostly shoot families and babies.  My dream forum would be a combination of the two, with respectful postings by people who shoot a wider variety of images.  For now I still participate in both, and do my best to walk away when any of my hot buttons are triggered on the first site, because I know now that I’m in the minority on that site and will never have my opinion treated respectfully by most of the members.

I actually am dreaming of creating a new community, not a global internet one but a more regional one, for local budding photographers to gather and learn.  I do need to see what else is out there first, but we’ll see what happens with that idea.

At the same time, I feel my community (ie, all the friends/family in my life) has grown so large that I am hesitant to grow it bigger, though I know it will.  I feel stretched too thin and that I cannot provide for others in the way that I want to – including myself at times. So, I will be growing acquaintances online in specific areas of interest, but in 2011 I hope to focus on the DEPTH and QUALITY of friendships, and not worry about quantity.  It will probably mean some shifting and downsizing, but I will just have to trust that things will work out as they should. (I’m not closing any doors, except on relationships that cause more harm than good!)

I dislike feeling closed off to new opportunities, or that I’m being disloyal to people who were once close if we naturally drift apart…  I don’t know.  I have trouble living up to my own standards, and I feel guilty and like a failure for not being a better friend.  I guess what I’m saying is, I’m giving myself permission to not live up to those standards, or to lower them – and focus primarily on the community that is immediately around me: myself, my husband, our kitties :P, our families.

Beyond that, I will focus on trying to have more quality interactions with my friends rather than quantity.  And, because it’s something I struggle with, I want to ask more of my friends as well as give more – as in, asking for help when I need it and inviting people over when we are tired of running around to see everyone else.  (We totally are going to be doing more of this in the coming winter!  We want more visitors! Give us a holler if you feel like hanging out! :D)

Wow rambly post, and I don’t have the time now to edit.  My apologies if you couldn’t follow my train of thought 😛