I also find it a great way to feel connected and not quite so alone in the whole 'trying to get published' process. There is always someone, somewhere who has some words of wisdom or support or just writes something that makes me smile :-)
Being fairly new to Blogland and community forums I've been seriously impressed by the amount of support and advice published authors give to wannabes like me. Trish Wylie is currently offering a free writers' workshop over on her forum and Donna Alward is running a competition for aspiring writers (closes today) - the prizes being critiques and, for one person, a mentorship.
So, having decided the natives are friendly, I've made the tentative move from being a Blogland visitor to Blogland resident. Still feel a bit of a fraud though so I hope no one checks my passport!