Welcome to the Conserving the Future social network.   If you are familiar with social networks like Facebook many of the features will be similar, although some will have different names.

Generally speaking our social network strives to be transparent.  This means that even if you don’t want to sign up and become a member you can see the implementation team documents and the discussions around them.  However, if you want to leave a comment or otherwise participate you must become a member of the network.

People  (Community Members)

When you register with our site you become a member of our social network.   Once a member you can add other members as “friends” and you can join the various groups that have been established.  Adding friends and joining groups gives you access to their respective activity streams (see below).  In some cases you may also get access to additional features that makes working with the people or groups easier.

Activity Streams

Each community member and each group has an activity stream (in Facebook terms it would be called a “wall”).  The activity streams are meant for you to write short updates that contribute to an ongoing conversation, announce news, or suggest ideas.  Some of the updates you will see in the activity streams are generated automatically through actions of others (e.g., joining a group or creating a forum topic) – so you’re always kept up-to-date with the latest activity of the groups and friends you are interested in.

If you visit a friend or a group you’ll just see their specific activity. The Community Activity feature is like a “water cooler on steroids: it allows you see all the activity happening across the entire community, all of your friends or all of the groups you have joined.

Refuge field trip; kids bird watching. Modoc NWR (© Laura VanAcker)Groups

Groups are where the action is!  Conserving the Future is being implemented by nine implementation teams.  Each of these teams has a social network group.  When you join the group you’ll be able to see news and comments about the implementation team as a whole, view the latest documents the group is reviewing or discussing, and you’ll see a set of forum topics where you can provide feedback.

The Community Blog

In addition to all of the activity in the groups and members we are also publishing a Community Blog.  The blog will contain more in-depth articles on activities and news surrounding the Conserving the Future process and our sponsoring organizations (USFWS and NWRA).  Our primary goal with the Community Blog is to provide you with current information across all of the groups so you can concentrate on the ones you are most interested in and not be overwhelmed with everything that is going on.

Your Profile and Other Good Stuff

Right now our profile information is pretty simple, but we may add to it as we get feedback from fellow members.  If you didn’t add your Affiliation during the registration process, please edit your profile and let us know what organization you are a part of.

Your account settings also allow for fine-tuning email notifications that you can receive.   If you plan on visiting here a lot you might want to turn some of  these notifications off.