By Christina VanGinkel
Hobbies are as varied as the people who walk the planet, and with the Internet becoming such a central part of so many people's daily existence, it is no wonder that it is also opening doorways to hobbies both old and new.
Just about any hobby someone might be interested in, be it a craft such as crochet, bead work, cross stitch, painting, wire work, or something along the lines of model building, or setting up a two way radio, you can almost always find a group online that is interested in same thing that you are.
An advantage of this facet of the Internet, over the days before the Internet existed, is that you no longer need to be limited in your choices because you live in some out of the way place, where there is no one else interested in the same things you are. While many hobbies are the sort that they require no one else for you to actually participate in them, it can be a huge advantage to find others with similar interests to talk to and share the hobby with in various forms. Maybe you have a question that you cannot seem to find the answer to anywhere else, or you need supplies and are having difficulty with that aspect of the hobby. Sometimes it is just nice to share patterns, photos, and talk about the hobby that you enjoy with someone else that has the same interests as you do.
In a search for hobby and craft related groups at Yahoo Groups for example, I turned up the following sampling of groups that someone with a related interest could potentially join and meet other like-minded individuals:
Collecting, Hobbies, Crafts, Models, Home Repair and Remodeling, and Others. From here, by clicking on the heading of Hobbies, I found the following:
Amateur and Ham Radio
Second Hand Shopping
Snail Mail Pen Pals
Rocks, Gems, and Minerals
Keep in mind this is only a partial list of the groups that Yahoo had listed the day I browsed through the hobby section. Under Crafts, I discovered groups on the flowing subjects:
Spinning and Weaving
Some of the most fascinating groups I discovered were under the heading of Other. One group was for those who loved their Cadillac, one for rock collectors, another was for those who collected computer games, and yet another for rocket engine enthusiasts. With literally thousands of groups listed under Other, chances of finding a group for your specific Hobby if it was not under one of the more general headings is good.
Many of the group listings were further separated with descriptions of what the focus of that particular group in question is. Some of the groups require you to only join, while some may require you to ask for membership by relating why you are interested in joining the group, what you might have to offer other members, such as years of experience or the opposite, being what is referred to as a 'newbie' and looking for guidance from other, more experienced members.
The best part of all of this though, is that if you have an interest that you cannot seem to find a group for, or the groups that you do find do not seem to focus on the aspect of the hobby that you would have hoped to discover, you can create and become manager of you own group, via Yahoo Groups.
If you have a hobby that you enjoy participating in, or are considering taking up a new hobby, and would like to network with other like-minded individuals, then be sure to check out Yahoo Groups or other online venues that offer similar areas for hobbyists to meet and share information on their hobbies. They are often excellent sources of information and a great way to interact with others with the same interests as your self.