A passion for social systems – clues to my next short-term step?

Each day brings an opportunity for me to reaffirm my decision that connecting with people is important to me and that I want to learn how to be really good at building and maintaining relationships. I've been spending a fair bit of time thinking about the tools for doing so, from my extensive customizations of the Emacs Big Brother Database to why I like OpenBC.

Every time I use Emacs+Gnus+Planner+BBDB, LinkedIn, OpenBC or even my little black Moleskine notebook and fountain pen, I always find little things to improve. I'm in that zone again, and I'm having *so* much fun. Emacs and my Moleskine are nearly infinitely hackable within the constraints of computer and paper, respectively. As for LinkedIn and OpenBC—that *itch* is making me want to write code for someone else.

The last time I felt like this was when I was in the thick of Planner development, working with a fantastic community of enthusiastic users around the world. It was *amazing* being able to make all these little differences in people's lives. I stayed with the project until I found myself too content, and then I turned it over to someone else because it was something that deserved passion.

Maybe I've found my coding passion again, something wider in scope than the little ways I customize my blog or my e-mail client or my contact database.

The more I think about it, the more attractive it is. How strange that low-key services like LinkedIn and OpenBC appeal to me more than the big names in the industry! I have the feeling that I'll be able to make more of a difference there (at least for now) than in companies like IBM, Google, or Yahoo - although those three are certainly exciting in terms of the other cool geeks I'd get to work with...

... but oooh, imagine the opportunity to work directly with really cool users? I could so totally rock. I'd *love* to be able to bring my technical *and* social passions to the table. That feels like a good short-term next step.

Figuring out my options...

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