No disrespect to Mr. Lincoln, but I don't carry around a pocket of change like my grandfather or dad. Any change I get either goes into the car's center console or into a container at home that gets Coinstarred for an Amazon gift card every couple of years (it adds up!).
I think if you go into any convenience store, you'll probably find a little "Take A Penny" display at the register for those times where a penny is the difference between breaking a dollar bill and getting 99 cents back.
That penny isn't technically "free", since another customer put a penny or three in the container for someone in need to take later. It's a Pay It Forward action, and I can't think that I've ever seen an empty Take A Penny container.
Welcome to ActiveRain, real estate's version of Take A Penny! (okay, maybe I'm pushing the analogy just a wee bit!).
The culture in this community is basically self-sustaining and established by many people that are (for the most part) no longer here, or no longer active. They built something that served an essential purpose at the time, the ability to utilize that wild wild Web to create an Internet presence.
Is ActiveRain the same as it was back in 2006 when it was founded? Yes and No. The core beliefs are still here and there's been enough continuity that the community still follows the established guidelines (mmmm...a story about monkeys, ladders and bananas comes to mind).
The community is by and far very supportive of each other. That doesn't mean 100% blind allegiance though. If someone is out of line, there's a good chance someone will call them on the behavior.
Ask a question in the community "water cooler" section and you'll get answers. Some will be useful, some will be solely for points, some will be just to say "hello", and some may just let you know you're trying to go down a bad path. You've got the option of "taking the penny" that others are offering you. It might turn out to be a Canadian penny, so check your local rules for how well the answers apply :)
What I've found over the years is a community willing to help. There are posts written for the sole purpose of giving back to others here. When I've had questions, someone has always been willing to help. There's some super smart people in this community that we can rely on, whether it's just something routine, or a personal emergency (been there and tapped that resource when I needed it).
For the culture to continue, we also need to be willing to leave a penny. Answer questions, help another member when they need it, and know that when you need a penny, someone will leave one for you to take.
Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need a penny!
Bill of Bill & Liz aka BLiz