In Ikariam, you are on an island. That island has some shared resources (like a lumber yard) that the island communities collectively contribute to so that it can level up and more workers can work there and produce more lumber for your town.
I was catching some grief from some guy on the island because I was enjoying their efforts... keep in mind this was my SECOND day playing and I had no idea what he was talking about... but he was going to raid me (so he said) and take the lumber if I didn't donate.
Well, a nice chap, SeanBoy, who was in the same alliance as this fellow gave me 1000 units of lumber so I could donate 500 to the cause... and keep people off my back. I have to say... that was a really nice thing to do and keeps me involved in the game.
Speaking of, here is my city as of right now.
Still a long ways to go... short on practically everything. But it is pretty easy to play... so I will keep at it when I think about it.