Speaking of “love of the hobby”, I think my motivations and ideals have changed a bit in that respect, too.
I started out as a GW fanboy. I genuinely used to speak of “the GW hobby” as the GW publications had indoctrinated me to (this was around WHFB 5th ed and 40K 3rd ed, so GW had already turned quite corporate and hardsell-oriented by that point). Seriously, it got so bad that I outright scorned non-GW miniatures and publications for a while. “Community participation” for me consisted of reading White Dwarf (“the Lawgiver!”), only frequenting forums that were almost completely focused on WHFB or 40K, and trying to proselytise any other hobbyist I came across that happened to like non-GW games. Yes, I was obnoxious.
These days, a big part of what I love about the hobby is following the “indie” miniatures gaming scene. I don’t only love to actively participate in the hobby by gaming and painting/modelling, I also love to just stand in the current and take in the steady, pleasant flow of developments. Every new product, company or trend is something fun to consume and absorb in my mind. The hubbub of the online community is a pleasure as well. It pains me that I live in a part of the world where there are no shows or conventions. Someday in the future, when I have more poise and confidence, I’d like to contribute to one or several of the magazines or webzines, or even run a modest little webzine of my own.