While on Twitter today I see this post by Grant Friedman (Colorburned.com) "How many designers out there don't know the design blog community actually exists?" I had to think about this a bit and realized "Hey, he's talking about me"! I just recently just really got into following blogs/news feeds and completely throwing myself into the community head first. The only problem with doing that is you can get very overwhelmed with all there is out there and it can make your head explode just trying to keep up with them all.
When I finally got into the design field 7 years ago, I had no idea where to begin even looking for the design community on the web. I was left to my own devices at a small ad agency with really no one to ask or no where to go when I had questions (a really bad idea with my twisted little brain). Later on when I began working for the newspaper, I began looking for resources online and found a lot...but nothing the was relevant to what I was doing with the exception of photo formatting.
This was about the time I first got my membership to NAPP (photoshopuser.com), this was probably the best thing I did for my career at the time. A lot of tutorials didn't totally apply because of the out dated version of Photoshop (6) I was using, but it gave me a great base to start from. Some where in this time frame I broke down and bought myself a copy of CS3 and began to play with all the updated and new programs and it was like a whole new world opened up to me with all the tutorials/blogs/feeds for all these programs. I also thought my brain was going to implode with all the new information flooding into my cerebrum. Then came the descions as to what do I need to be watching and what can I cut lose of far as the blogs and such. I need a break, I was starting to spent more time reading and watching tutorials/blogs/feeds then I was actually designing.
Now I'm spending time looking for photography blogs/feeds since that is my next big challenge in my career and in the process teaching myself how to write (which is no easy task as you can tell). The best thing I can tell you in my experience with finding your place in the design community, start small, there is information out there for whatever stage and design discipline you are working with.