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The Big Wild: a community for sharing wilderness experiences... and ensuring there are more of them

Glacier Lake (credit Laurie Edward,

Some of my fondest memories involve wilderness - whether it's a campfire with my parents, a hike with Alex to a glacial lake, or watching my children gape in awe at a sunflower sea star in a Cortes Island tidal pool.

Now wonder, then, that one of our favourite projects in quite a while is The Big Wild: an online community where people can share stories, photos and video of their wilderness experiences, connect with others who share their passion for Canada's big wild spaces, and take action to preserve those places for future generations.

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Engagement planning to bring your social media project to life

Once you've built the online community or social media application of your dreams, how do you actually get people to visit, use and contribute to it? The question of how to bring a community to life is at the center of our work, and recently we've been able to share more of our approach in a variety of forums: at NetSquared, in bed at Drupal Camp, and as of this week, in the services section of our own web site.

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Raising community-minded kids: Not just for people in Morningside Heights?

How can we instill social values in our kids? That's a question Rob and I struggle with constantly. In its least subtle form, the inculcation can begin as early as eighteenth months, as we've learned this election season ("No, sweetie, we don't clap forthat man.") At three or four we can toss in a little more complexity ("We don't say Indian, we say First Nations") though no greater nuance ("That kind of car makes the trees cry.")

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Five ways to shape the soul of the Internet

Does YouTube make people into exhibitionists? Does Facebook stunt teenagers' social skills? Does 43Things help people realize their dreams?

Journalists, academics and web surfers have been arguing over whether the Internet is Ultimate Good or Ultimate Evil long before the social web (a.k.a. "web 2.0") came along. But blogs, social networks and other kinds of online communities have raised the stakes and intensified the debate. Social web sites are more intensively interactive, and more socially connected, so they offer users an experience that is potentially more compelling (or in the view of Internet skeptics, distracting/disengaging) and (in the view of Internet boosters) more elevating, because they realize the Internet's potential for forging and deepening interpersonal and community connectedness.

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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.