I began to be active on line only about 6 years ago. Once I discovered ebay, I began searching about for other things, saving money being a big one. As a mom of 2 young sons, that was always a challenge!
I began discovering online communities. Places where like minded people met to share tips and ideas. It was so fun for me then to speak to folks from all across the world! I discovered aim, yahoo, icq and msn, though now I only use aim.
The first online community I ever joined was GenForum. The chat room is lively; there are so many helpful folks there ready to answer even silly questions! I spent hours there; they are a wonderful genealogy site.
Then I discovered http://www.mycoupons.com and began learning about coupons, rebates and reward programs. OH! Those were the glory days! I got so many free items, and our dog chowed down on Alpo brought, for free by a UPS truck! I even showed the UPS guy how to do what I did.
We added it up one year; we got in total, $800 worth of free gifts, and groceries that year, mostly around the holidays, which always helped! I miss those days; there are not really good reward programs left now, and very few good freebies.
Next I discovered FrugalMoms site run by Kim Tilley. I LOVED that site, like minded moms, working to better our lives together. Kim became overwhelmed by it all and closed the site, I still miss her, she was such a lovely lady.
I traveled the web and found many wonderful places, among my favorites are:
http://www.otwa.com, they deal not only with people in general but online auctions.
http://www.aimoo.com/forum/freeboard.cfm?id=446984, a small Christian women’s community, they teach self sufficiency and frugality, along with sharing and caring.
http://www.seedsofknowledge.com/forums/index.php, Brenda is the owner of this site, a very talented writer and a wonderful supportive friend can be found in her!
One place I check often to find up to date deals is: http://www.fishingfordeals.com/index.html
There are many online communities, for all different things. Personally I looked for a community where Faith was first, and the rest followed. I am; with the help of my friends building such a site at Prairie Homemaker. I have had mostly positive experiences online in my search for an online community; I have briefly stopped at many places, and some I was at for years.
I have found it is important to “lurk”, or read with out joining, as much as possible when deciding if I choose to join in or not. AT PH I have made this possible, and even taken a further step, though some areas are closed to guests, in the general areas guests can post, and interact with members.
Some think that just because we are online friends and not “real” ones that the feelings are not there. I KNOW from personal experience that my online friends are as important to me as my “real life” ones. Though separated by many miles, some hundreds or thousands, my online friends, the true ones are there for me when I need them. They care what goes on in my life and sometimes they can offer a perspective that my closer friends can not. They are from all walks of life, and even from different countries.
Running an online community has been a unique experience. I have learned what I wanted and didn’t want from the communities I have been a part of. It seems there is a fine line between keeping a place safe for your members and being, invasive and dictatorial. I have made one rule at PH, respect it and its members. I find that respect for each other stops most of the tiresome bickering I have seen on sites. While PH is a Christian site, not all our members are Christians. Though Non-Christians are welcome it is clear that the Christian viewpoint is prevalent and is a big part of who we are.
I like places where the whole family is welcome, and I think we are achieving that at PH. Our guys have a private room for their own use, and our kids have a room just for them too. Most of our members are helpful and happy to offer advice or caring when it appears needed.
There have been a few tussles, but most are resolved peaceably. On thing I find for me, a mostly hermit type person, is I have found my best friends on line. Though some live in the same state as I do, in all of cyber space I have yet to meet one of these ladies from my home town!
Though recently my time has become limited online, I am usually on each day for a bit, and I enjoy reading what is going on in the lives of my site’s members. I look forward to emails from friends and family.
Well speaking of my world buzzing, the dishes are calling me, and the quilt blocks I need to mail off are calling as well!
Ya’ll have a lovely week!
am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things in life which
are the real ones after all"
Phil. 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
Always tell the truth. That way you don't need to remember anything!
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