I am always amazed by how active and approachable some of the big names in the Flash community are. I'm not saying you can just call them up or e-mail them out of the blue (altho some might not even mind the e-mail). But if you post a question on a blog or forum, its amazing the number of times a true pro/legend jumps into the fray and answers the question.
Ok, I need to stop for a minute and explain something since not everyone who reads this is in the Flash community or understands the Flash Community. If you asked someone in the community to name a Flash legend they could probably rattle off 5-10 names without even blinking. Flash Legend? Yes, legend. How do you become legendary?
Well I guess there are a few different routes you can take. But almost all the routes involve the following:
1. Making Flash pieces that are badass.
2. Having an active blog which explains some of your badass skills for others to learn from.
3. Actively speaking at Conferences, User Groups, or classes.
You can become a well known with just #1, but it is not until you actively pursue #2 and #3 that you gain your legendary status in my humble opinion. Giving back to the Flash Community is key. That is when you gain your following and the true support of the Flash community. Take Bit-101's lab for example. That was one of my largest inspirations and learning tools when I started messing around with Flash. I still check his blog daily. A more recent example would be the guys from Papervision. Their project is incredibly badass and they are actively helping others learn how to use it. That has quickly made Carlos, Grden, and the rest quickly rise to legendary status (altho Grden may have already been there). Lee Brimelow's gotoAndLearn is another perfect example. Experts giving back, teaching, actively participating in online forums is what it is all about.
I just mentioned a quick 4. But if you start following the blogs and the flash news it is very apparent who the real players are. They are the ones posting tutorials. They are the ones uploading their source code. They are the ones actively answering questions on the forums.
I may not ever become a Flash legend, and that is totally cool with me. However, I do want to actively pursue #2 and #3 no matter what my future career path holds in store for me. I want to be able to help others learn and give back to the community solutions to problems that made me bang my head against the wall. Insert "awwwww, thats so sweet". But seriously. Thats what I think it is all about.