As a freelancer, in theory, I can live anywhere I want to. I don’t have to commute, and my clients can get a hold of me via phone, fax, IM and email.
My friends to, get a hold of me this way. People that I only know online, as well as those I used to work with, when I did work in an office.
One email group I have been on for nearly 12 years. I have met some of the women on the group, but others, not. Still we share many things, and we consider each other good friends. For the longest time, I was only aware of the community that an email list could bring.
But recently, I have stumbled across other communities, those who read blogs and comment on them. I first noticed this on the Dykes to Watch Out For blog. People weren’t only commenting on what Alison had written, but on what other people had written, on recipes, on events that they had been to. Things would go off on tangents. Then, Alison mentioned the Comic Curmudgeon site (as the author had written about her), and so I discovered an even larger community of people that went off on wild, wild tangents. At first, I wouldn’t bother to read the comments, but then found myself getting drawn into the world of SecretMargo and Uncle Lumpy, wondering what bon mots they were going to spout.
It is different then lists, as the community is larger, and only the class clowns really stand out, but people apparently meet in real life there too.
Technology is wonderful, but on the other hand, I find that I get a little obsessed to the point of wanting to read the comments, rather than sit and talk to real people in my house. After all they are the best community there is.