David Hayes – Social Networking for change

Posted on 13 June 2008

It’s safe to say that the use of social networking sites worldwide has exploded in the past year, with popular sites seeing total visits increase by as much as 270 percent, according to a recent study by ComScore Inc. MySpace, alone drew more than 114 million global visitors in June 2007, a 72 percent increase over the past year while Facebook, experienced a 270 percent increase in worldwide visitors over the past year.

Alongside the growth of these networks the emergence of niche networks is also growing, coupled with the increased media attention on climate change its no wonder that we are now seeing a host of green social networks emerging. Personally I welcome this for a host of reasons but primarily anything that puts climate change at the centre of the debate is both necessary and essential. While I enjoy dabbling with Facebook and other networks the communication involved seems to be rather limited and the content rather egocentric. This is not a criticism rather an observation and it’s totally natural given that we are really just beginning to explore the potentials of this form of communication.

What ever your beliefs in regard to climate change and its effects it’s hard to ignore the problems we are facing in relation to escalating fuel prices, food shortages and extreme weather conditions. Whether we believe it or not they are inextricably linked and the need to address these issues is paramount. For the first time in human history the Internet offers us the tools to communicate and collaborate on a global scale. While the net may not offer all of the solutions it does however allow each of us to partake in the discussion and therefore it is unquestionably a truly democratizing tool and one that needs to be safeguarded.

Edenbee logoAs I said earlier I welcome the proliferation of green focused networking sites and I myself am part of a new networking site www.edenbee.com that offers users a platform to tackle climate change through better personal choices (with a little encouragement from like-minded souls). It has all of the essentials of a social network — ways to build a network with friends, and groups and discussions — but on Edenbee, personal profiles get a unique spin with “Lifestyle Profiling” and “Carbon Logbooks,” and a framework for setting goals against the two.

Edenbee encourages not only information sharing, but also a way for people to cheer each other on. If you are looking for up to date news and information you can browse through the blog posts that offer a host of news and interesting articles on how to be more eco conscious and other topical green issues. We feel that we are encouraging a more meaningful conversation, one that is necessary if we are to leave any kind of lasting legacy for future generations.

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