I got email the other day from someone - sort of a friend, perhaps, I'm not really sure; a person I've known since childhood anyway - about the local newsgroup at the last university I went to.
It's one of those newsgroups that has a sort of community about it, where you feel that you're getting to know the regular posters. (Since it's a local newsgroup, you also have the option to meet them in the flesh, although as I'm rather shy that's not one I exercised often.)
In any case, I no longer have access to this newsgroup. Without an account on the university systems, or one other system, you can't read it. The owner of that system said at one point that he wouldn't give me an account on it, but that was some time ago in response to a statement I made on the newsgroup which I've since qualified rather a lot. ("I don't care about security." Well, it's a pretty cool soundbite.)
This was a group that interested me, that provided me with a way to relieve occasional boredom, and that formed my only contact to a number of people who are perhaps (in most cases) not quite friends, but who I like and respect. You'd think that I would at least find out whether the aforementioned system owner might change his mind and give me an account.
But I didn't try to find out. I wasn't planning to, either. Why not? I don't know. You'd think that, since this was something that provided me with a certain amount of what I guess could be called "happiness", I'd be interested in keeping it.
It's the same generally. I'm very bad at keeping in contact with people I know, even quite good friends, once I leave the appropriate context. I don't think there's a reason for it - perhaps something to do with that shyness I mentioned. (I'm shy in a rather weird way, if that wasn't obvious.)
Anyway, the email I mentioned right at the start forced the issue; the sender asked why didn't I get an account on that system. I had to make up a reasonable answer, or seem silly. (I could have written all this to him, but you know. Some people have work to do besides reading email.)
So I explained the "don't care about security" comment and asked if there was any chance the sysadmin would change his mind. (There probably isn't, but he'll find out next time they meet.)
With help, I've done the best I could to get a good result from that particular situation. Without help? Well, with a s'elf like mine, who needs enemies...
(btw, please feel free to mail me with responses / ramblings / whatever; I may well want to reply and quote portions on here, so let me know if your email address/URL should be kept private.)