i just saw this pop in my inbox as a note (not to me) to one of the local user groups i belong to:
I have been a member of this group now for some time, and while I am not yet
at the level of many in here, I have greatly benefited from the help I have
received. I just wanted to say, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, thanks to
all those who have answered my numerous questions, and made my programming
experiences all the better. Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!
this is great, this is exactly the type of feedback that validates all the hard work from the leaders in community in gathering like-minded people together. if you aren't involved in your local community...do it now. look at www.codezone.com to see if there is a .net community near you or reach out to your local microsoft office to find out who the community evangelist is in your area.
it isn't just for softies as well...interested in learning new technologies or broadening your network of talent? find a ruby user group, find a php user group...bottom line: get involved. even the silent ones involved benefit. this note above came from a list that has grown over the past 9 years from about 20 to hanging steadily at about 1800. it is one of the groups i'm most proud to be a member.