Lifeboat e-card

Two new projects close to my heart

I’ve found that when I live abroad, I have more free time on my hands. I’ve never quite figured out where this free time comes from, but I assume it’s because I have fewer social demands, and I do very little getting and spending.

For the first time in a couple of years, I’ve found time for some side projects and hobbies. Two of those–both collaborations–recently came to fruition, and I wanted to share them.

Weight Watchers for Friendship

Last summer at Web of Change, my friends Tim and Alia pitched me on their idea for a new project. It was a simple, yet strangely radical idea: as adults, we are pretty bad at being friends, and we need to get better. Their idea was to launch a kind of Weight Watchers for friendship, and they called it Lifeboat. Here’s the spiel:

The average American adult reports having only one real friend.Paradoxically, in an age of Facebook and always-on connections, a growing body of science proves what we already feel deep in our gut: we’re actually lonelier and more isolated than ever before. The way many of us use the internet is only making the crisis worse.

The solution isn’t to retreat from the web. It’s to aim higher—to re-think what friendship means in adulthood. Indeed, it’s time to explore uncharted relationship territory—academic research, philosophy, expert advice and our own heads and hearts—for a better path forward.

Lifeboat is a movement of people rediscovering deep friendships. We’re not offering grand solutions or complex schemes, but instead, simple things that work. Here you’ll find our unique content on the art and science of friendship—full of inspiration, learning and practice. It’s designed to help move us beyond fast-food-friendships and become self-assured friendship pioneers!

I think their timing is perfect, and it’s got potential to be pretty huge. And I’m not just saying that because we helped them with their marketing strategy and some content pieces. I genuinely think many people feel profoundly lonely, and are hungry for better, richer friendships.

Regular readers will know that I’m leery of anything that’s remotely woo-woo or overly self-helpy. I wouldn’t have gotten behind Lifeboat if I didn’t know Tim and Alia well, and that their work would be built on a foundation of solid research.

Become a Noble Arsonist

This winter, I co-wrote a free e-book with Julie and Theo Lamb. It’s called The Noble Arsonist, and here’s its spiel:

Download our free e-book full of tips, tricks and hard-earned wisdom on web marketing for NGOs and companies that care. The book includes case studies of campaigns by Greenpeace, LeadNow, Mountain Equipment Co-op and others!

It’s got a lot of the wisdom and best practices we’ve learned and developed after working with NGOs over the past few years. We’re hosting it on a single-serving site (I’m a little obsessed with those these days) that also serves little tips for communicators.


  1. Hey Darren, thanks for the kinds words on Lifeboat. So great to be live to the world and seeing response. So grateful for your guidance.


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