I finished reading "The Startup of You" yesterday, written by Reid Hoffman, co-founder of Linkedin. If you go past the self-advertisement parts, it's an interesting read.
It makes me think a lot about how I nurture my own network. I especially liked the idea behind the Junto ("together" in Spanish), a club for mutual improvement established by Benjamin Franklin: close friends gathering together to discuss important ideas and work together on finding solutions in a relaxed atmosphere.
By definition, such group is not meant to scale to infinity (even though its impact upon society does). It's all about developing powerful bonds, and humans have limited social capabilities - you can't regularly keep up with more than a hundred people or so. A restrained circle is necessary to keep it healthy.
Modern social networks (including LinkedIn ironically) fail in this aspect. It's all about numbers. The quality of those social connections is over-looked.
That's where smaller communities like 200 Words a Day can shine. The hard part is attracting members sharing a proactive and pay-it-forward attitude.
I've been talking several times about making a personal newsletter to review my weekly work and share what I learn with others. If more people were talking more openly about their hardships, maybe we could use our respective networks to find solutions together.