I think this just might be my 20th live blog. I’m heading over to Workspace in a bit to take in An Evening of “Green” Web 2.0:
Social change makers and web innovators come together at NetTuesdays to mix, swap stories, and collaborate on new ideas. Whether you’re working in the nonprofit/social change sector or in Vancouver ‘s technology hub (or somewhere in between!) â€“ you’re invited to join us for great conversations, networking, and community building! [Upcoming]
This is a part of the NetTuesday / NetSquared group of events and is sponsored by Communicopia, Workspace, and Write Image. More to come from Workspace in about an hour then I’ll have some quick writeups from the speakers’ talks.
Update – 17:38: I just took the elevator up to Workspace with Darren Barefoot and Nancy and walked into my first NetTuesday event. I talked a little shop with Nancy before finally meeting Cinci and her colleague Phoebe, and had a brief chat with Narvey who is sponsoring this evening’s snacks. I’ve also just been handed my first bit of swag (ChalkWork stickers) from James.
Update – 18:03: Raul just popped on by toting a cup made of corn, a paper plate, and I’m sure if what he was eating warranted it, he’d have one of those utensils made of potato as well. Chilling out with Karen Parker, and Colleen Coplick, it looks like things will be getting underway shortly with an intro first by Joe.
Update – 18:08: First up is Owen who is speaking on behalf of Earth Hour, an event I was invited to attend on Facebook a few months ago but was unsure of the premise until today. The idea is to “unplug” for an hour and disconnect all non-essential lights. This will be taking place at 8:00pm on March 29, 2008 and reminds me of “Turn it Off” that I blogged about last year, it was quite the sight to see a very dark Lions Gate Bridge.
Owen’s company will also be helping companies and organizations (like UBC) reduce their energy emissions and green house gases.
Update – 18:14: “Locally based sustainability projects are the most important,” states Ron who is the founder and mastermind behind happyfrog. Ron speaks to communities, cities, countries etc. and their footprints on the earth. With happyfrog Ron wanted to step forward with an independent media project that could harness web 2.0 and social media tools to accelerate and nurture green, local, and alternative resources within a single database. “Think of happyfrog as the economic 100 mile diet.”
Lastly, Ron promotes the EPIC expo (April 18-21) where happyfrog will have their own media team blogging and pondcasting.
Update – 18:25: Rex from TheGreenPages.ca is up next, “sharing your stories about the environment,” since 1996. It’s aimed to be more than a ‘yellow pages’ of environmentally conscious listings, it’s to share your stories, news and events as well. Rex’s presentation focuses a lot on the story of the website, even since its creation with Netscape Communicator back in the day. It’s taken a lot of maintenance, administration, live chat moderation etc. but with today’s web tools the site’s management has become a breeze – at least I hope as this guy’s paid his dues, even by creating his own CMS in 2001.
Note, Rex is using a travel mug for his beverage.
He’s gone from cataloging a hundred links, to several thousand, even inspiring Environment Canada to update their systems using his directories as templates. Rex added book reviews, commenting capabilities and creating user accounts for contributors, realizing that the way to go was with blogging and blogging tools.
Update – 18:51: Darren is speaking on behalf of his company, Capulet Communications who developed DeSmogBlog. He’s got a nicely laminated piece of cardboard that features a tag cloud. The audience gets to pick the tag of their choice so he’ll speak to “widgets” first. “DeSmogBlog said hey why don’t we create a counter widget that counts up based on humans’ environmental footprint on the planet,” Darren pauses, “I thought my, how incredibly depressing.” Along with DeSmogBlog, they were able to create the first climate change website widget (per Apple’s widget database).
Moving on to another tag in the cloud, Darren explains how they are using digg to “clear the PR smog,” by appealing to its users that who controversy and climate change. This also ties into the blogger outreach cloud, which uses community (link love and shared digg traffic) to get messages out. As for YouTube videos, they’re not always the best way to go when you compare the amount of work involved, compared to views and links back to your website. FYI, Facebook ad click-throughs are pretty close to horrible. However, creating a flash web game that sorted celebrities based on their “green-ness” proved to be an interactive way to engage a broad audience and people could even embed it on their website.
David Drucker just asked a question, remind me to go say hi to him after this.
Darren speaks to measuring the success rates of these applications, widgets and campaigns by simply using Google Analytics and Technorati although, “it kind of sucks now and there’s not really a better replacement yet.”
The objective this evening was to find ways to use the tools of the internet to get an environmentally sound message out to the widest audience possible. Whether you’re an activist, a green-thumb, a PR professional or a website developer, these are some of the mediums you can use that all encompass different aspects of social media. Why is social media important? It’s a cheap, often free way to branch out to millions of users around the globe, informing and encouraging participation in these movements.
With that, we’re done for the evening. Some folks are heading to Steamworks to catch the rest of the Canucks game but I have a man at home who is hopefully keeping a spot warm for me on the couch.