While searching for information on Design Patterns, I stumbled onto WikiWikiWeb. At first I dismissed it, but it was only a matter of time before I found the next online community to suck me in wholesale. It was an amazing conception: the web with write permissions, just like Tim Berners-Lee always wanted. It was stable. It was high signal. It was great.
For awhile. As usual, I found Wiki just before the downswing. As readership/contributors went up, quality went down. Flame wars ensued. Meta-wiki discussions about the nature of Wiki itself consumed the community. I did what I thought was natural: with the help of Clifford Adams, I precipitated the formation of a separate wiki, MeatballWiki, precisely to talk about meta issues of online community. And I did it not just for the sake of abating the flame war. I realized that online communities have been the one constant interest in my last ten years of computing.
That's it, I figured. I'm going to build a community. Not only that, a community that builds communities. And damn us if we don't change the world.