This week's Early Reviewer Tuesday Thingers discussion topic is: discussion groups -- how many do you belong to, how much do you participate....
Oh, this is so going to feel like a confessional. I was on LibraryThing (LT) for a couple of months before I ventured into any of the talk groups. I've been in some discussion groups on other websites, and inevitably there is some controversy or uproar or just plain obnoxious posters who tend to spoil things. So I was a little hesitant to get involved in any of the LT talk groups. But happily, my experience has been nothing but positive. I "belong to" about half a dozen talk groups on LT - some much busier than others and some I participate in more than others. I also monitor a few other groups and "star" posts that I particularly want to track.
I've had amazing experiences with a couple of LT private talk groups - levels of sharing and trust develop that are impossible to achieve within open groups. I spend an embarrassing amount of time in these groups.
I'm fascinated by the new communications existing in the world today -- that I can nurture genuine close friendships with people who live in a different state or on a different continent without ever meeting them face-to-face (though that happens too, at group meet-ups). I have pondered the consequences of such communication -- are we forgetting how to communicate face to face? or are we expanding our abilities to communicate? I think both things can be true - like anything else, I can get obsessive about online communicating to the exclusion of other kinds of connections. But I'm also aware of how much I'm writing and learning and being creative, which have been goals.
On LT, I mostly view the communications as very positive -- I've learned an incredible amount about literature and have been introduced to authors and books I may have never run across otherwise. And meeting interesting and wonderful people is a bonus I hadn't counted on. I just wanted to catalog my books!