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id-GMail: an Accidental Community

ac·ci·den·tal (āk’sĭ-děn’tl)
-adjective: happening by chance or accident; not planned; unexpected

when PakErte started id-gmail@googlegroups.com mailing list three years ago, the reason was clear and simple: to have a place to discuss GMail and all its features (especially interesting was the fact that it gives users 1 GB of space to store e-mails, which is unheard of at the time). it was also meant to be the central point to organize the distribution of GMail invitations to fellow Indonesians.

First post

started with the above message, over the next several months the id-GMail mailing list evolved into something nobody expected. GMail discussions in the list started dwindling down because there weren’t really too many to talk about. everyone have gotten their invitations, some who just came in got invited quickly and easily because there are many now who can send out invitations. so, people started to talk about… well, absolutely nothing in particular and off-topic threads become the norms. strangely enough, instead of killing the community, this situation energized the list to become even larger.

in a relatively short amount of time, the community grows larger, off-line gatherings took place and members started to get to know each other closer. and naturally, when people started to get off the virtual world and begin to know each other in real life, friendships were made, and the bond becomes stronger.

a website was then created to aggregate blog articles from members (some of the core members are avid bloggers). in the mean time, the mailing list itself is still always busy with posts, and hit the peak at more than 30 thousand posts in a month(!) during November 2005. it goes down after that and have never been close to that, but still even the lowest post counts in a month after that were around 14,000 posts. it’s quite an impressive number considering it’s maintained over the course of almost two years.

time goes on, members come and go, but most stick around and keep the list alive. over the years, unique traditions started and events were planned and carried on. starting from weekday Yahoo chats started at 4pm(‘arisan’), off-line meets (‘kopdar’) in the evenings or over the weekends which eventually becomes members’ vacation trips to several places. specific jargons were coined, and inside jokes were made. all in the name of fun.

it’s been three years, and id-GMail has evolved into a great community with great people who are good friends with each other. it’s truly an honor to be part of this great community, especially since everything happened accidentally 😀

Happy Third Birthday id-GMail!!

June 12, 2007 Posted by | id-GMail | 53 Comments