Participating in any community group means interacting with not only its members but also the community's features. By features, I mean things like the community's physical setting(s), the explicit or unspoken expectations of its members, and its culture. Along with the considerations discussed in Learn: Understanding Community, the questions outlined here might help you determine whether a community seems to be a good fit for your true heart.
Physical setting(s). Where—and how often—does the community gather? Is the location convenient? Is the setting pleasant and comfortable?
Expectations. What are the expectations regarding members' participation in leadership, communication, planning or hosting responsibilities? What are the expectations around committing to or tracking any financial contributions?
Culture. One way to think of a community's culture is the soup that results from combining the community's ingredients—its values, norms, beliefs, assumptions, systems, structures, symbols, language, habits, behavior patterns, vision, perceptions and ways of interacting. (Check out this indepth description of organizational culture for more on the topic.) Overall, how does the soup taste to you? Do you like the community's flavors and textures? Do you like what it stands for and how its members interact amongst themselves and in relation to the broader community?
Think of your various communities. How do their features and flavors fit your heart? How do you feel about their settings and expectations? Which community soup fills you up and makes you feel warm inside? Do any of your communities leave a bitter taste in your mouth or leave you empty? Tell us about your community soup here on the blog or on Facebook at our community page. You can also connect with me via twitter if you like to hang out there.