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What are the best examples of great online conversations and communities?

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One of the challenges in social media is finding great, relevant examples -- and really understanding what makes them great. We often use this site to give shout-outs to our favourite social media discoveries: the online conversations that have engaged our interest or made us see the world in a different way. We also share behind-the-scenes glimpses and insights from the projects we've worked on ourselves.

For more case studies specific to the nonprofit sector, check out the collection of case studies we helped set up on NetSquared.

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Announcing Vancity's Change Everything: an online community conversation on change

Vancity's Webby-nominated Change Everything won kudos as soon as we helped it launch. The blog OpenSourceCU called it "the best example of any financial institution successfully using the social web (blogging, user-generated content, building a true online community).

BC Hydro's Green Gifts: harnessing Facebook gift-giving energy for conservation

For their first social media foray, BC Hydro headed to where people are already participating in droves: Facebook. We helped Hydro launch Green Gifts, a Facebook application that lets you send a free virtual gift that comes with a practical tip for conserving energy and reducing your environmental footprint.

Credit unions and online community

An article in Credit Union Management digs deeper into the story of Change Everything, and why credit unions are a natural fit with the Web 2.0 world.

DeSmogBlog: social media at work to clear the air around climate change

PR exec Jim Hoggan decided to tackle the campaign of doubt and deliberate misinformation that surrounds so much of the discussion around climate change by launching DeSmogBlog. What started as a pretty simple blog has since blossomed into a team of top-flight writers, media channels (including a fledgling speakers bureau) and campaigns.

Labour and social media: resources and cases from the CALM workshop

Our workshop for the Canadian Association of Labour Media featured a round-up of great cases and useful web tools.

NetSquared: Online tools changing offline politics

Online activism has many faces, but two of the giants in the field are Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! and Joan Blades of MoveOn. Read this account of a panel with these two online leaders, facilitated by Micah Sifry, at the 2006 NetSquared conference.

Online communities with causes at their core show promise for persisting

Usually, when an online community shuts down, it's an admission of failure. But Omidyar.net created a forum to discuss the transition process to a new home or homes. They held elections that wrapped up earlier today, selecting a board to guide the process.

The Elders harness online campaign tools for social change

Today there's a whole new set of tools that give regular citizens a role in advocating for human rights. Citizens don't have to wait to be invited into that role, nor do they have to find their way into a courtroom. They just have to pick up a cell phone, a camera, or a keyboard, and they can hold human rights violations accountable in the court of global public opinion.

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Work Smarter with Evernote

Get more out of Evernote with Alexandra Samuel's great new ebook, the first in the Harvard Business Press Work Smarter with Social Media series!

Available on Amazon, iTunes and HBR.

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