Digital communities fascinate me. Twitter, Reddit, Hackernews, the many others ... Visit any of them and you'll find people discussing a topic of the day, arguing back and forth, and learning from each other. People who've never met. People from all around the world. At all hours of the day.
I've followed these conversations. I've admired them from a distance. But the truth is, I've never engaged. My reasoning was: since anything I share is out there forever, why should I risk saying anything, when it could come back to haunt me in the future?
I'm beginning to change this thinking. It's been in large part due to writing in this blog every day. I've realized that the possible negative consequences of being public online are out-weighted by the positives. It leads to interesting conversations, an accelerated process of learning, a public sense of accountability. It's also just pure fun being part of a lively global conversation.
I spent an hour today reflecting on my relationship with these communities. I will be making a change going forward. I'm going to engage.