When I first joined this ning network there were only a few hundred of us. It was so exciting to get feedback on my blog entries, and contribute to and start discussions. I remember those early heady days here. I would check my e-mail constantly to see if anyone had responded to anything I had written. I got to "know" some people. I learned so much from everyone. I experienced a little "fame;" more people started reading my blog and Steve Hargadon even interviewed me about one of my projects.
As my life got busier, I found less time to contribute and participate here. Next thing I knew, there were 3.362 members. That seemed intimidating to me. I felt like my experience here wouldn't be the same given all of the growth. I stepped away.
Recently I've returned. It does seem more overwhelming here than it used to. It is much harder to keep up with all of the conversations. Things move much more quickly. But there are also many more people who can respond to an idea and provide feedback in a discussion.
You get out of ning what you put into it. The more you contribute by starting or responding to discussions, the more interaction you will have with others. The beauty of this network is that we are all here because we are excited about technology. I had forgotten how nice it is to come to a place where people share similar goals and values. It is great to be back!