Big Tent

Big Tent Online Community


is the new home for the BFC’s online community!


What is BigTent? is a website that provides free online technology which makes it easy for everyone to participate in and organize real-world communities. BigTent allows us to keep our members involved and updated, enables volunteers and committee members do their jobs more effectively, as well as makes it easier for you to connect with other BFC members, form playgroups, ask questions, etc.

How do we sign up?

Visit and click on “sign up” in the login box. If you were a BFC member last year, you have already received an invitation to join BigTent. While it was not necessary to be registered with BigTent in the past, it is now required in order to belong to the BFC. All of the newsletters as well as event notifications and reminders will be sent out using the BigTent mailing address list.

What are BigTent’s features & benefits?

To begin, security is everyone’s greatest concern regarding the Internet, and never more so than when our children are in any way involved. BigTent’s Privacy Policy can be viewed at

Your BigTent home page is customized for you with all your Big Tent groups. If you already belong to BigTent through another group, then you could simply search for and add the Bedford Family Connection to your list of groups. For navigating the BFC’s BigTent site, there are 10 tabs featuring the following functions:

Buzz – This is your summary page of what’s going on with the BFC. It features an at-a-glance calendar (highlighted dates have scheduled events), up to 3 Featured News items, and a list of recent Forum topics.

Forums – Similar to Yahoo Groups, this is a place where members can post questions exclusively to the BFC community, make comments, or share information about topics that relate to the BFC and those issues that affect our demographic. Essentially like the BedfordKids Yahoo Group, but just for us.

News – Any BFC news items of importance will be announced here, including special events, reminders, and such fun topics as new births and members’ special achievements.

Events – BigTent has an amazing calendar function which will allow each committee to post their own events, viewable by all members, with a filter/sort capacity. Want to see only Children’s Activities? Filter it! Best of all, the Events function has RSVP capabilities that work similar to Evite. Now it’s easy to see who else is planning to attend an event; no more wondering if you or your kids will know someone else who’s going!

Members – An alphabetical listing of all BFC members who’ve joined BigTent, with the same detailed information we previously published in our annual Membership Directory. It is searchable, allows use of a personal avatar (e.g., a photo), and lists your contact information, spouse, and children with their birthdates.

Photos – A location where members can upload and share photos taken at any BFC events & activities.

Files – Committee members can share planning files here and general members can see the most current committee roster, playroom schedule, and other BFC-related materials.

Reviews – Members can create reviews about local businesses. Want to recommend a pediatric dentist or your favorite stylist? Add them here! Tell others which labor services (electrician, plumber, landscaper) you like best.

Classifieds – Sponsored by eBay Classifieds, this section allows members to list anything they have for sale or services they want to offer.

About – Includes an overview of the Bedford Family Connection with contact information and also where members can set up/respond to Polls (surveys) or invite a friend to join. We’ll be using the Poll feature to help members to set up their own playgroups this year, since finding a common date/time is always a challenge.

Once you are registered, one of your first steps should be to use the MyBigTent link to customize your profile, privacy settings, email settings, etc. Choose how you’ll receive information from BigTent: do you want individual emails or a daily digest? Should the digest include just topic headers or the full conversation? There’s a great deal of flexibility, so tweak it to your satisfaction-changes can be made anytime and take effect instantaneously.