There’s an excellent roundup of community-building and participation tips over on Chris Garrett’s New Media blog. Online community is an incredible resource—not because it will make you lots of money and get you lots of clicks (although it can), but because community is valuable to us as human beings.
I first got online about a million years ago on The Well, when most people thought that an online community was an oxymoron at best and a pathetic (or dangerous) delusion at worst. I made enduring connections and friendships there that are among my most treasured relationships.
Community is about what you contribute, not what you take away. Garrett gets it just right with a genuinely valuable collection of tips and links for follow-up.