Every week, 30 million people tune in to at least a couple hours of American Idol. Whether this show has truly "jumped the shark" this year or not remains to be seen, but I submit that if a portion of these folks would join the ranks of the American Idealists instead, we’d all be in for a more interesting Wednesday night.

Idealist.org‘s brand new connections platform is already linking up 28,000+ people who are meeting up to build community in their towns and cities. It’s worth a visit just to read the myriad of quirky personal profiles, and hey, you just might find a gathering to join on a Wednesday …

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