In the early 2000s I was a Web Manager in New Zealand. Perhaps that job was akin to being a Social Media Manager in this era. Except back then, the companies I worked for didn't really know where to put me. Was I part of the Marketing team? Should I be in IT? Nowadays, almost every company has a separate digital team. But in 2000 when I worked for Ericsson NZ, the digital team was... just me. Because Web technology wasn't a core part of business at that time, my role wasn't held in high esteem. If I was noticed at all, I was simply "that guy who updates our website." It was the same at my next job, working for a power company.
In short, I didn't feel like I had a true community at work. So I went looking for one. Strangely enough, my community turned out to be people across the other side of the world. Blogging technology may be passé in 2016, but in the early 2000s it was my savior. I started using a blog product called Radio Userland in 2002 and was intrigued by a previously unknown (to me) world of Web enthusiasts. In 2003, I decided to start a new blog called Read/Write Web.
Almost immediately, I began connecting to other explorers of new technology. A lot of them were building new things in Silicon Valley, or trying to catch the next wave after the Dot Com boom and bust. Turns out the next wave included blogging and similar social software technologies. At long last, I'd found my community. It didn't matter that I was an unknown voice from a tiny country across the other side of the world. I had the Internet and I could publish my thoughts to the world. I read and I wrote - and my community did the same back.