Are there any tools or online communities that deal with word association? I'm looking for a resource where I could poll for common associations for a particular word. If you do know of such a tool or community, please describe its positives and negatives.
Two resources that sound appropriate are:
Though I can't rule it out, I kind of doubt you'll find existed dedicated communities - I expect very few people are interested in regularly checking into a site for the sole purpose of answering word association requests. On writing forums, you might find some people happy to do you a favor by answering, but your requests will probably not be the scintillating discussions forums prefer...
What you could do is just collect the words you're interested in, and ask a handful of friends to give you some associations for each. Simple, friendly, and 100% human.