Monday, February 16, 2009

Socially Transmitted Dis-Ease

I've been putting together a How-to deck on participating in social media at the request of a client. I feel like the guy on that commercial whose wife comes downstairs in the morning to find him up all night, sitting slack-jawed and messy-haired. He tells her that he just got to the end of the internet.

Only we, of course, never do.

It's an addiction. A compulsion. A necessity. As an advisor or resource, staying one, or preferably three, steps ahead of the average guy's knowledge is like being in a constant race to a never approaching finish line.
So over the next few days or weeks, I'll try to share some of the elements I'm going to share with my client as I pull together reframe some of the basics for them.

Overarching Rules for Social Networking Participation Part 1:

  • If you don’t know anyone, but want them to know you, blog
  • If you don’t know them, don’t friend them on Facebook
  • If you don’t know them, but wish you did, try to connect with them on LinkedIn
  • If you don’t know them, but they are a good resource, do follow them on Twitter (@mossappeal )
  • If you don't know what they're saying about you and want to know (which we all need to know before diving in for business reasons), by all means, ask. And I do mean "by all means," like Google yourself, set Google alerts, Monitorr yourself, and pose some questions!
Have at it.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Madder than Bette

I read an infuriating (to my bleeding heart (see previous post) sensibilities) response to an op-ed piece co-authored by founder of the NY Restoration Project/singer/actor, Bette Midler, and Connie Roosevelt, in the Daily News. And for all the social media know-how I've acquired techno-snafus on the News's site got the better of me and I couldn't reply on that site. So, just to channel my fury, thought I'd share here:
Bette's appeal was for the stimulus package to support and encourage more green-collar jobs, particularly to the benefit of her pet project: NYC Parks. The lame response posted by "woodrose" was that that was like "redecorating a burning house."

"Really, Woodrose?", as Seth Meyers might say.

MY response to Woodrose is to consider what we're facing, pal! We have to think beyond our current paychecks (or lack thereof) and current generation.
The benefit of keeping the city green is more than for beauty's sake (though that might help soothe that savage beast!)
As the parks dept site DOES say: "NYRP's work in parks and community gardens directly contributes to achieving four of these – Goal 3: Ensure that all New Yorkers live within a ten-minute walk of a park, Goal 7: Reduce global warming emissions by more than 30%, Goal 9: Clean up all contaminated land in New York City, and Goal 10: Open 90% of our waterways for recreation by reducing water pollution and preserving our natural areas." And sorry for the reality check, but by way of reminder, some facts I saw promoting a lecture by Gus Speth, Dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, founder of Natural Resources Defense Council and World Resources Institute, former Administrator of the UN Development Programme say:
1. We need to confront the American people with how bad environmental conditions are:
“We (i.e., Americans)… are living a dream. We need to be reminded of the nightmare ahead. Here is the truth as I see it: we will never do the things that are needed unless we know the full extent of our predicament.”

2. We need to confront the public not just with climate change but with the full panoply of severe degradation of global ecosystems. “The rate of deforestation in the tropics continues at about an acre a second. About half the wetlands and a third of the mangroves are gone. An estimated 90% of the large predator fish are gone, and 75% of marine fisheries are now overfished or fished to capacity. Twenty percent of the corals are gone, and another 20% severely threatened. Species are disappearing at rates about a thousand times faster than normal. The planet has not seen such a spasm of extinction in 65 million years, since the dinosaurs disappeared. Over half the agricultural land in drier regions suffers from some degree of deterioration and desertification. Persistent toxic chemicals can now be found by the dozens in essentially each and every one of us....[There are} 200 dead zones in the oceans due to overfertilization….….Freshwater withdrawals doubled globally between 1960 and 2000, and are now over half the accessible runoff….[Major] rivers no longer reach the oceans in the dry season.”

3. Today’s environmental strategy will not succeed because: It works within today’s system of regulation and legislation. It works incrementally and accepts compromise. It allows the public to believe that problems can be solved at acceptable economic costs, without significant lifestyle changes. It tries to save global ecosystems without changing political systems. It does not organize the public. It overly depends on bureaucracies, e.g., EPA, Dept. of Interior, UNEP. "
Want to take some action? Call your senator today.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Greening My Reading?

Kindle 2 and Google Books just don't smell like Barnes & Noble or my old public library. I read most of my news online, weaning myself down to the weekend NY Times only in print, and even putting THAT on "vacation hold" pretty often to make that diet (and budget) even more strict. They make it hard to find the e-edition or the Times Reader or whatever its called, but I finally mastered how to grab the little corner of the virtual paper with my mouse and drag, vs. turn a page. But I miss holding the crossword puzzle in my hands. Of course, that means I can't berate myself for never understanding the theme clues. (If there's a question mark after the clue does that mean even Will Shortz doesn't know the answer??)

I don't miss the size of the piles of papers I can't seem to get a handle on of section I absolutely, positively have to read and never seem to. I buy most of my books all at once at the annual Goddard Riverside Book Sale, when publishers donate new releases, calendars, and books on, make that, make that DVD, and they're sold at 50% of list with proceeds to benefit the center. Having never been able to pass up a bargain, especially when tempted by that good old smell of ink and paper, I walk out with canvas totes filled with bargains. But since I read so slowly, consuming every word, I have books I absolutely, positively mean to get to this month from the sale four years ago. So now I'm on a serious book diet, too.

(Except for my step-brother's new book,
"Humpty Dumpty was Pushed" which we ALL must get when it comes out in March! Here's a sidebar note: Marc's the guy who wrote the human chain anthem "Hands Across America", and his step-daughter (yes, my "step-step niece," works for Riverkeeper that fights to keep the Hudson clean, so bleeding hearts run in the family and extended extended family! And, just to make your head spin, one of his songs was a clue in a NY Times puzzle. I didn't get THAT one either.)


So, by the time I am done with the physical books and ready for the next gen Kindle, eschewing bargains and scents for the sake of the trees, it will probably be the Kindle 17. Great...That'll be MORE tech ramp up I'll need to learn.

2/8 Postscript: Just found this JOOST link to a 48 min movie on Riverkeeper

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

CNG - Can Natural Gas Be Good?

You bet. Just took a Compressed Natural Gas car service to JFK. Granted, I have to offset the big old jet flight I took, but at least my C02 to/from the plane was basically nil. For a good overview about this alt fuel, check out .

Kudos to US Limo for working with LimoGreen and incorporating several CNG vehicles into their fleet. And what I really thought was pretty cool was that their drivers are "pumped" about it as well. One of them got out of the car to show me where the tank was and explained about the almost zero emissions. He almost went as far as to put his mouth by the tail pipe to prove it, but I held him back. (Granted, some don't want the calls for rides requesting it because the fuel stations are few and far between still. For private cars there are still only two in Manhattan.)

I'm no scientist, and I tried reading a bunch of stuff on CNG, but you're better off comparing for yourself. What I take away is that it is certainly a lesser evil (less "particulate emissions" if you must know), and a great place to start is on all city vehicles in part because the fuel tanks for these babies take up a lot of storage room in passenger car trunks and conversion kits are available but pretty costly.

BUT - I've always been of a mind that the kind of enthusiasm that driver showed is what we need (hence my blog!) to keep the word spreading. T Boone is doing a good job of evangelizing CNGs with his Pickens' Plan. We can't afford to fall down on the job right now.

Oh, and can we get a few MORE cars into car service fleets?
Start requesting them if you're going to the airport and create some demand for good.