I'm finding that despite all the Web 2.0 hullabaloo, there's a decrease in niches for people to hang out in the small. You can go to MySpace with 90 million "friends" (who you know as well as "Tom" no doubt) or jump on an IRC channel or video chat, but these are such abstract and impersonal relations I get nothing from them. You meet people and know they like waterskiing, the first season of Lost and long walks on the beach, but do you know them in any meaningful way?
So we're experimenting. The first is a simple Houston BBS to see if people in Houston are out there looking for a chance to talk and swap tips on living in Houston. The second, Technical Writing Links, is an experiment in shared knowledge with the idea that we can make manuals and documentation better by pointing to successful examples and fine craftspersonship in this area.
Most things fail, and maybe this will, but it's better to try than to be afraid of failing.