Getting viral with it…

[Post author: Scott Butner]

Had an interesting experience in the phenomena known as viral media the other day, which I think might have some relevance to the world of P2.

I had taken a series of photos of a rare eastern Washington lightning storm — we don’t get them very often — which I’d posted to my Flickr site. It was sort of a dramatic shot, and not too surprisingly it soon became one of my most visited photos — racking up about 700 views in the first week.

Then, one day last week, someone posted it to the social recommendation site,

In the next 5 hours, it was downloaded 18,000 times. In the next 3 days, it was downloaded nearly 39,000 times — 3 times as often as ALL of my 2,500 other photos combined.

We live in an age where attention spans are short, but once you capture the (internet) public’s attention, you can get a huge amount of focus almost immediately. Problem is, making this happen is almost like lightning — hard to control, hard to predict.

Figuring out how to get the P2 message out on the viral media — places like YouTube, Flickr, and Digg — ought to be the focus of some real attention. Perhaps a workshop session at the next NPPR meeting?

The Olympics and the Environment

Today marks the beginning of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In celebration, here are some sites that explore how the Olympics are going green:

UNEP and the International Olympic Committee
UNEP and the IOC have been working together since 1994 when they signed an Agreement of Cooperation to incorporate environmental issues in Olympic Games.

International Olympic Committee Sport & Environment Commission
The role of the committee is to advise the IOC Executive Board on what policy the IOC and Olympic Movement should adopt in terms of environmental protection and support for sustainable development and, through its members, supports the IOC programmes and activities in this field. See in particular the section on Environmental Protection and the Olympic Games.

Beijing 2008 > Environment
Links to press releases and information from the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad.

Recent news stories on the Olympics and the Environment from Google News.

August 2008 Site of the Month: INFORM, Inc.

INFORM, Inc. is “dedicated to educating the public about the effects of human activity on the environment and public health.” Its goal is to “empower citizens, businesses and government to adopt practices and policies that will sustain our planet for future generations.”

The ININFORM logoFORM web site provides information on current projects, including Waste Prevention: Extended Producer Responsibility, Cleaning for Health, and INFORM Media, the organization’s effort to spread environmental literacy by “making strategic use of video and the web to reach a greatly expanded audience with critically important information about how to preserve the environment and protect human health.” Thus far, INFORM has produced “The Secret Life of Cell Phones” as part of its media project, with future videos planned to focus on paper, jeans, antibacterial soaps and single-use plastic bottles.

The INFORM site also provides publications and topical RSS feeds. New site features reportedly “coming soon” will include blogs and a “tools and calculators” section.