One of the happy corollaries of starting to do more running has been the other runners that I have connected with online. Thinking back, it wasn't as a result of a deliberate effort , it just kinda happened. I'm not a serious runner, nor a running blogger, so I guess I'm somewhere in the fringes of this community, in the same way that I touch on other communities of interest to varying degrees (art, architecture, design, psychology, journalism etc) . The bulk of my reading, interaction and conversation still happen around advertising and media but, like most of us I suspect, I don't only read ad blogs. I never have.
Several points about this.
ONE is not to think about online communities as fixed, defined groups but instead as fluid, overlapping, ever-changing. People have multiple areas and degrees of interest, so why do we expect their online connections to be any different?
TWO is about the benefit of being open to what Kristine Lowe (a journalist) calls the "grand serendipitous adventure" of the whole thing: "Sometimes you miss out on vital things and opportunities by being too obsessed about where you're going".
THREE is the opportunity of a unique combination – of connected networks and the kind of passive data that flows around those networks every day – to augment discovery. I agree with Bud Cadell – no-one has quite cracked this yet and it has opportunity written all over it: