Social networking has truly become a part of our everyday life.  Shiftboard, for example, acts not only as scheduling software, but as a means of social networking as well.   If you want to work for a certain cause simply go to their Shiftboard site and register.  Then there are the usual suspects.  Need a job? Post it on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkdIn, Buzz, RSS feed, etc.   You’re bound to get some sort of reply.  Need a good deal? A date?  Good beer?  Same story.  But the more social networking grows and gains popularity, so do the number of ways to use it.

Two of the best uses of social networking that I’ve come across aid in the effort to take control of the situation along the Louisiana Coast as a result of a massive oil spill in late April.  The Louisiana Bucket Brigade recently launched an Oil Spill Crises Map.   The map lets Gulf Coast residents log in and report any damage they see, from oil slicks to fishermen who no longer have jobs.  In my opinion this will be one of the best ways to gauge just how badly the BP oil spill in the Gulf will affect those actually surrounded by it.  The site has only been up for a few days, but it will be interesting to see how it will shape up in the coming weeks.

Check it out at:

Here at Shiftboard we’ve launched a mobile scheduling app and have been hard at work with our friends at Barokas PR on an iPhone case study, piquing my curiosity into the world of apps.  To my surprise I found yet another amazing opportunity for Gulf Coast residents to get involved with the cleanup effort.  On May 12th The Clean Wildlife Project was launched.  It’s an iPhone app that people can use to snap photos of oiled wildlife, and have it sent directly to  Although these efforts can’t reverse the damage, they’ll help pinpoint and asses just how bad the damage really is as people just like you and me really see it.

So tonight, as you’re scrolling through status updates, recent Tweets, or freshly posted photos, take a look at either of these recent efforts.  You might learn something new,  gain a different perspective, or even contribute to the effort yourself.