There's a million & two places that you can make as your primary residence on the Neb.
For me blogs are still the best. Here's a list of how I see all the potential homes (and their living arrangements) from smallest to biggest.
- THE COMMUNE - Groups/Forums
Yeah, some people live in forums. Great if you're lonely and want constant contact with the same people (usually with the same interests). But can get friggin' claustrophobic, especially if one or 2 rooms are occupied with A-holes (which invariably they are). Plenty house rules to abide by too.
- THE GATED SECURITY COMPLEX - Facebook et. al
GrowingExploding by the day, most people opt for this living arrangement, especially teens and tweens. OK, so there is a HUGE community inside the walls, but there are quite a few rules about what you can and can't do. And anyone that wants to visit you inside your actual abode, has to first go to the security entrance and get a pass. Also, (and I speak from personal experience here) these housing complexes are optimised for your real meatspace ID and real meatspace friends. So you can't really have the freedom of anonymity offered by other housing schemes.
- THE LOCAL COFFEE SHOP - Twitter, Pownce etc.
People don't generally take up permanent residence in these locales, but merely pop in for small talk from time to time. Long, deep conversations are not possible. People that frequent coffee shoppes often have their own houses down the street. (see below)
- THE HOUSE DOWN THE STREET - Blogs
Your own blog gives you way more freedom to make personal decisions, like what to plant in your garden etc. Some houses can be built from scratch (wordpress etc.) whereas many people opt for neighbourhoods where the the basic structure of the house is already in place (eg. Blogger). Essentially you are the master of your own property, visitors from anywhere can pop in and out, and if they get too rowdy you can lock them out. You'll end up making close friends with people from your neighbourood, visiting each other fairly regularly. If you just wanna hibernate for a week, that's cool too. If you want, you can have really long conversations. And, of course, there is nothing stopping you from visiting your friends at the local coffee shop, or even popping into one of the gated security complexes from time to time.
- THE ISLAND - your own website
I've had my own island since 1997 (actually I've had a few). Here you get TOTAL freedom. You can elect your own government, plant whatever dang crops you want, and build nuclear reactors if you so wish (just watch out for Google Earth though). Cool for totally creative types, but a lot more work than the other housing arrangements. Plus, you have ZERO neighbourhood, unless you get people to visit your island. And to do that you need to set up quite a few incoming telecommunication channels (aka hyperlinks) from the mainland, and other islands. If you don't build at least a few ties to other land masses, you may never see another soul.
So for me, I'll stick with BiPolar Etcetera. It works best for me. But you must decide what works for you.
PS: the other living arrangement that's becoming more popular these days are virtual worlds such as Second Life. Some dudes seem to have moved out of there brick & mortar homes and moved permanently into Second Life. But I can't, for the life of me, think of a suitable analogy for that one. Can you?