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January 03, 2008


Joe Crawford

I know the feeling. I began the websandiego mailing list (hey, in 1999 it was *the* social networking tech that worked best!) and it continues to this day, but without me. I always got kudos for my work, more credit than I deserved, really. I loved it, but in the end, local boosterism and knowing lots of folks and even getting yourself in local media is not the endpoint. Cultivating community is hard work. You've done a good job, and I have a great deal of respect for your accomplishments. I'm not sure what my point is, but I've been in the headspace you describe, and wanted to say so.


Thanks Joe. I personally love mailing lists as community building. And yeah, community building is hard work - and more art and observation more than anything.


One of the bad things about LA is its ability to leave one with a feeling of emptiness - moreso than other cities. Perhaps the strengths of LA - its diversity, its newness, its embrace of nearly anything - is also part of the reason for the emptiness. As they used to say about my old hometown, Miami, "a native is someone who moved here yesterday."

Weather is another blessing/problem here. We don't have the usual external signs of time passing, of accomplishment, of completion. Years don't end, they just roll into each other - one after another. That can be very difficult to adjust to - particularly if one is more comfortable with clear cyclical changes.

Despite all that, there is a beauty about LA and its vastness. There is always a new neighborhood, a new community, a new group to discover. If you don't have a navigation system, buy one, and follow it into the heart of Little (Thailand, Manila, Armenia, Odessa, Bombay, China (several different regions), El Salvador, Athens, Guatemala, Cairo, Tehran, etc.) Enjoy the diversity.

One other thing about LA is the constant need to bring the diverse communities together - either through technology or without it. Your ability to do that could be really special in that area.

For me, I always have difficulty because what I do for a living is not beneficial to the world. It is a crisis for me about 4 times a year, one that I haven't gotten around. It is part of my emptiness.

No, I'm not suggesting anything in particular - just commiserating and offering the mild suggestion to reframe the perception of what is possible and what is good.

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Heather Vescent

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