I feel like this is where we are with our online community of math teachers, affectionately known as the mathtwitterblogosphere (or MTBos). We're the rising indie band who is a couple steps away from having Sony call to offer us a contract. It's a little bit of a scary place.
Many of the things that define this community are directly related to the smallish size and "grass-roots" popularity that we enjoy. Will we "sell out" if our little group grows too big?
On the one hand, we want our ideas and the group itself to be open to anyone and everyone who feels moved to join. After all, what we do is for the kids.
I was trying to tell my wife about my confliction with my vision of the future of this group. Sarah asked if I wanted TMC to just be a little get together of my friends. It hurt when she said it, because it sounds bad and exclusive, but I'll admit that I selfishly kind of do want that. I have found some people that I would consider friends for life through this community and I am continuing to find more here and there, so I guess I shouldn't be worried about that part. Whatever happens to the community at large, I can hope that people I really want/need to interact with will still be there for/with me.
Sam posted about the close-knit community we have. How can we maintain that while growing much larger? Will we split into groups (#geomchat, #algchat, #statschat, Northeast, West, Central, early adopters, newcomers, etc.)? What happens when we're bigger than physical space will allow us to get together during the summer? Would corporate sponsors at meetings help or hurt?
I guess what I'm saying is that change is hard.