But for me there has always only ever been one answer: community.
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Because my dad worked in the tech industry I had access to one of the first online communities: The Source, when I was in middle school. After that came the Well, then AOL and listservs like H-Costume, then Live Journal and now Blogger. In some of these communities I was part of the old guard and in others I was a newbie, but in all cases the communities changed over time. Technology changed, the people changed, companies went under or got new leadership and how things started out in the beginning were not how they ended up.
And the online world has changed a lot just in the last few years with the rise of Facebook and Tumblr and, more recently, Pinterest. And I only expect this to continue. That's how technology is - constantly changing. But that means it's worth reflecting every once and a while on what your personal motivation is for being in the community you're in. Sometimes those changes may not be in allignment with your goals and you may need to switch communities or change your tactics to adapt to the new technology. For example, posting details about your personal life along with your costume stuff may feel okay with a small group but a bit uncomfortable when it's not so small. Similarly, ideas and techniques shared amongst your friends can be rather casual but when shared amongst a larger group takes on a more formal tone.
The good news is most blogs, online communities and forms of social media do have controls that allow for a lot of personalization of what others see of you online. There are often settings that allow you to control you who sees your posts, whether your images are pinnable, and how linked to other social media you are.
Because community is so important to me I'm going to try to do more to help strengthen that by posting more, commenting more and trying to share more information about other costumers to strengthen the bonds between us. If you've found some particularly interesting or fun online costuming communities or little known costume bloggers, please share. I'd love to hear about them!