In the time it takes to update your Facebook page, you could be making the world a slightly better place. That’s the idea behind The Extraordinaries, a Web-based platform for microvolunteering that’s been generating plenty of buzz since its launch last year.

The goal is to harness thousands of currently untapped hours by making volunteering fast, convenient, and bite-sized. While waiting for a bus or cooling your heels at the dentist’s office, you could be using your smart phone to tag photos...

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