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Is there still a contributing community?

The earlier years on the web tended to be a hugely diverse but contributing community. It was small enough for people to be able to find each other and for the conversations and contributions to extend far beyond the original thoughts. It appears that the groups and the size of the net have resulted in the break up of the original nucleus, and we have as a result breakaways into niche markets, which now tend not to stretch beyond their borders.

While this is understandable because no one can know everything about the entire web design development and all the other areas of the internet it is sad in a way that the old camaraderie seemed to largely disappear into cliques. The biggest problem with this is the lack of centralized cohesion. Oh I am aware of the organizations like C3W are out there and that places like Adobe are developing huge applications but the part that is maybe lacking leadership in an overall direction is the open source community.

This is the field in which new ideas and new developments should be taking place and without some overall guidance that has meaning there are so many ideas there that could be excellent but because of lack of mommies garage or the funds behind them, they get left to oblivion.  Who knows the next Microsoft or the next iPhone might be being left to rot.

Technology is moving at such a fast pace that the difficulty is that the idea you have that might need the idea that Mr. X has, might never meet and so the end product that would be a world winner never materializes. The end for cross pollination of ideas has never been greater. And it needs to come in the Open source area. The other areas are well financed and only after higher and higher prices. In fact, those conglomerates have almost priced themselves out of the Mom and Pops reaches. Not only the original product but the cost of the continual updates means you don’t buy the product you rent it.

It is no good just agreeing to someone else remark in a discussion its up to you to make a real contribution to the discussion so it can lead to more thought provoking ideas, and they can be expanding upon. It’s time to say more than just that sounds like a good idea. How about saying that sound great but have you tried using this or that technique, I found it did this or that which resulted in XXX. Make a contribution people.

Instead of floating through 20 different Twitter feeds stick on one site for twenty minutes and actually read the blog not just the headlines and take time to actually absorb and comment with insight and good suggestions. Bring the art of conversation back into the blogs.  Leave your comment and suggestion in a form that invites response and takes the time to go back in a few days and read the update and keep the thread going. Believe it or not this will be helpful to your own site as well. You might even find yourself with a back link as a result.   People do appreciate good constructive posts and will respond.

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