Organizing atheists has value not only through political advantages but also through increased social support. Living as an atheist in America can be lonely, especially for those living in small towns and/or in more conservative regions. Since atheists are not known for being "joiners," it can be difficult for atheists to find communities which will accept them. While I suspect that this has done much for the growth and sustained interest in the atheist blogosphere, blogs are only one way to build community. The good news is that as more atheist bloggers are starting to address community-building, some useful resources are turning up.
If you live in a larger city, odds are that there is already an atheist group near you. To find out check this list at Infidels.org or Meetup.com.
Those of us in smaller towns will generally have a harder time finding other atheists, so Everyday Atheism just started a new Google group for atheists in small towns. This is also where blogs can help. In fact, Mojoey over at Deep Thoughts reminds us about Planet Atheism, a blog-of-blogs that serves as something of a one-stop reader for folks wanting to monitor some of the top atheist blogs. There is also a new Really Selective Sources page on atheism that lists recent posts for several atheist blogs on one page for easy viewing.
But if blogs do not allow interaction with a wide enough audience to meet your needs, you can find many good atheist-oriented forums. Examples include Atheist Coalition, Atheist Network, Internet Infidels, and Secular Earth.
Have you found anything else that has been particularly beneficial? If so, I'd love to hear about it.
Tags: atheist, atheism, community, groups