It’s easy to forget the immense amount of community service that can be achieved via social networks when they’re overrun with both pictures of cats and/or lunch. Tidepools is a striking reminder of what can be done via community networks. Developed by Jonathan Baldwin with help from the Red Hook Initiative and others, Tidepools looks a lot like the Sims and Foursquare, with a friendly map interface that allows users to post community events, safety alerts, and busy notifications via a local WiFi network. It’s a great system, and it’s one that isn’t dependent on the Internet–mesh networks like Tidepools could be a wonderful way to engage communities in places or countries that aren’t plugged in to the web 24/7.