My pet project, MeetAmeriCorps.com has finally passed that development milestone that marks a “social network”: Buddylists. To be a little more haute, we’ve decided to call them “contact lists”, but the concept is the same: you can demarcate people who you like/know/want-to-be-on-your-contact-list.
|[ ![BenSheldon||Meet AmeriCorps (20061211).png](http://static.flickr.com/143/320123089_15562e2e04.jpg) ](http://www.flickr.com/photos/bensheldon/320123089/ “Photo Sharing”)|
Since I haven’t really been advertising it too heavily, Meet AmeriCorps was a directory–now it’s a “social network”–of AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteers who are either currently serving or alumni. It’s pretty neat stuff, doesn’t look to shabby and, disclosing I am the lead developer on the project, actually kind’ve useful.
|[ ![Home||Meet AmeriCorps (20061211).png](http://static.flickr.com/130/320123303_4045ad5747.jpg) ](http://www.flickr.com/photos/bensheldon/320123303/ “Photo Sharing”)|
We put together MeetAmeriCorps.com to fill what I see as a sorely lacking need. AmeriCorps and VISTA are essentially-governmental, national-service programs that mostly places full-time, stipended volunteers with community organizations. AmeriCorps speaks of itself as a “network” that is creating a “national service movement”. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the capacity to truly achieve this because, in my opinion and experience, AmeriCorps and VISTA members generally do not:
communicate with other members serving with other organizations (even organizations inside a single community)
self-identify as AmeriCorps volunteers
collaborate on developing resources and capacity
AmeriCorps and VISTA currently provide some tools and resources to achieve #3, but I believe that #3 cannot be achieved with volunteers being able to effectively communicate and identify themselves as AmeriCorps both to each other and the outside world.
|[ ![Favorite games||Meet AmeriCorps (20061211).png](http://static.flickr.com/126/320123173_872639ae76_m.jpg) ](http://www.flickr.com/photos/bensheldon/320123173/ “Photo Sharing”)|
Meet AmeriCorps seeks to provide an easy-to-use tool for AmeriCorps members to meaningfully interact with one another both within service, and outside of it. I hope this will improve the experience of being an AmeriCorps or VISTA volunteer and contribute towards creating a true network and movement.
|[ ![Alaska||Meet AmeriCorps (20061211).png](http://static.flickr.com/137/320123529_8cc1d8a275.jpg) ](http://www.flickr.com/photos/bensheldon/320123529/ “Photo Sharing”)|
These screenshots were made with the OSX app Paparazzi!