I would certainly join one of the online communities in the future.
During the project process and trying to handle the problems and the difficulties that came from the aims we’ve faced, we been forced to join one or other online platform and test it by ourselves. Our team focuses on the online working platforms… and even thou we might not been involved into every single group researching online platforms for different purposes(funding , marketing etc), I hope that after all groups’ presentations we will gain certain knowledge and our point of view about how to use online platforms and communities wisely will be widened and we will clearly know what steps to take , to whom ask for a help confronting and solving our possible future design challenges. Joining and participating in all the online communities might be too much , but depending on your aims joining a certain community (for example your design project is been stuck because you cant find potential investors or enough fund , so you search for a fund raising online community) might lead into successfully finished project.
So joining and participating in these kind of communities (or at least knowing how they work) is essential for the 21st century open innovator.