I'm late to the party but I'm going to respond to some of these anyway "How has the hobby made a difference in your life?"
So many friends and experiences I wouldn't have had otherwise. Well many of us can claim that, but for me it is still the truth. I wouldn't have had a social life without you guys. Because, yes, I am a homebody that has no local friends. All of my friends are on the computer. I really don't care if that means "I have no life" because I like the friends I have.
AMVing has been both, detrimental to my health (sitting for long periods of time) and beneficial to my health, when I realized I couldn't keep up with everyone at AWA. I've been walking a lot more for the last couple years. I just might be able to keep up now. At this point I have a hard time sitting at the computer for hours anymore. Who knows maybe by 2013 I will be able to go to AWA again and be able to run around in circles!"If AMV's are a form of Communication. What do they Communicate?"
A lot of mine are meant to communicate either what I'm feeling at the time. A reaction to the world around me perhaps? but many are also meant to be what feeling I got from the show I'm making the video with. Tributes to my favorite characters, or tributes to the story itself. I am an anime fan and I like to communicate my fandom with my videos. I also make MVs to non-anime sources though.
When I got into anime, I'd often use AMVs to gauge whether or not I'd look into a show or not. I do believe that if an AMV can make me want to see a show then it's not only a good amv but the show might be interesting as well.
Of course not all AMVs are tributes. Lots of the more popular ones seem to be more about the "art" side anymore. I suppose what the videos communicate is really up to whoever is watching them. I assume lots of them are more about making something that looks cool anymore. Maybe that's part of the reason I just haven't been into watching videos as much as I used to.