I like this post from Seth which asks, If no one reads your post, does it exist? It's a good question and Seth basically suggests that the act of writing a blog changes us - we approach the message, our notions about power and control, and our thoughts differently. I agree - blogging has certainly changed me.
And there is something wonderfully mysterious about blogging, too. Sure, when I push this "publish" button, I know that some number of subscribers will have access to this post - and some might read it if I can capture their attention and trust. Then it lives on in Google land and all the other wanna be lands. Someone two years from now might read a post that impacts his or her life. That's cool and it also makes my blog posts very important to me.
When we put stuff out there - it's out there and that changes us and the world in some small way. And you know what I think about small things.... POW! big result.
And I think this same concept applies to many things. The act of getting out there and engaging in a meaningful way with a new community changes you and the community. Volunteering for an organization, working with your professional organization. Volunteering to work the Iditarod dog sled race. Going back to school.
We engage in communities and things happen. Online communities, local communities, international communities. One time event based communities, long term membership communities.
We enter a new context and POW!
We can also experience changes by deepening our involvement in a community. For example, going from casual volunteer to board member, from blog lurker to blogger, from commenter to author.
Are you a player or a spectator? If you play, it's a way different experience. Things happen - some right away, and some things might not happen for a while.
Connections become connections becomes connections.
One thing leads to another and then !!POW!!