Diminishing Dead-Tree Media and 3 More Ways Bloggers Can Help Save The Planet

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Diminishing Dead-Tree Media and 3 More Ways Bloggers Can Help Save The Planet


Back in August, I was contacted by Collis Ta'eed, a longtime reader of OnStartups.com. Collis was kicking off an initiative called "Blog Action Day" to get bloggers around the world to post on a single day, on a specific, and important issue -- the environment. The idea was to raise awareness by focusing thousands of blog articles on the topic of the environment and get people thinking about it.

I'm honored to have been one of the first few bloggers that agreed to support the Blog Action Day initiative. How OnStartups.com wound up in the company of blockbuster bloggers like LifeHacker, SEOmoz and GigaOm, I'm not sure. But I'm honored. Since August 14th, there have been 14,984 bloggers that have offered their support and agreed to post a related article.

Since I'm a startup guy and not much of an environmental guy, I struggled with this content a bit. But, here goes:

How Bloggers Can Help Save The Planet

1. Monetizing With Meaning: I've generally been reluctant to monetize this blog. For one, I don't get millions of visitors a month (please hold back your gasp of surprise). So, I figured the magnitude of monetization would be negligible. So today, I decided to donate all the direct cash proceeds from this blog this year (2007) to a worthy environmental cause (in my case, The Sierra Club). To do this, I had to figure out how much money I made. To my amazement, this was $605.23 (primarily through Amazon and FeedBurner). This is without really trying. My eyes are now open to the opportunity. Imagine if the thousands of bloggers like me that don't monetize because they're too lazy or think it's not worth it would start really monetizing and donating proceeds. We'd be a force! [Note: Great bloggers like Fred Wilson have already figured this out and have been doing it for a while.]

2. Diminishing Dead-Tree Media: This is the obvious one. One of the great things about blogging is that it doesn't rely on dead-tree media (i.e. print media) to communicate. Even if a million of you curiously committed readers show up to read this article, the marginal cost to the environment is negligible.

3. Linking With Love: I'm pretty big on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as an important part of modern marketing. Those that have studied SEO know that a lot of it is based on the quantity and quality of your inbound links (or backlinks). If you're a blogger, you can help your favorite environmental site get more traffic by linking to it from one or more pages. In the age of internet marketing, good links are like gold.

4. Going Global: Since we all share the planet, I think one of the key ways blogging helps is to propagate the message far and wide. Instead of writing opinion pieces for your local newspaper you can now -- literally -- reach people around the planet. In order to give our shared resources the importance they deserve, we need to ensure that there are as many voices as possible. Of course, blogging is by no means universal, but it is *much* more accessible and has a much broader reach than most other vehicles of communication available to the individual.

So, if you're a blogger, please participate today in Blog Action Day and post an article -- even if it's nothing more than stating your support and linking to your favorite environmental site. If you're a reader not a writer, help spread the word. One easy way to do this is to promote this article on your favorite social site (like digg or reddit). For the skeptics amongst you that think this is self-serving and I'm just looking to feed my fragile ego (I am, and it is), my apologies. But, have I mentioned that I'm publicly commiting to donating any and all cash proceeds from this site at least through the rest of this year to a not-for-profit environemtal cause?

Do your part (however small).

Posted by Dharmesh Shah on Mon, Oct 15, 2007


Thank you Dharmesh, I'm so excited to see OnStartups participating, this has been one of my favourite blogs for a very long time!! And that's fantastic news about the donation!

posted on Sunday, October 14, 2007 at 11:46 PM by Collis

One of the BEST REASONS TO BLOG it to provide uncensored information to the public. The American Press is so shallow, lazy and biased that it can no longer be counted on for consistent effective reporting of news events. In many cases, lacking appropriate research, initiative or a basic understanding of the importance of unbiased reporting, we get scream and yell debating (in which the winner is the person who yells the loudes) talk radio (where the order of the day is to whine, complain and blame people who can't voice an opinion) and an avalanche of details on Paris Hilton, rather than a logical, rational review of the facts. Bloggers can change the world by telling me WHAT IS GOING ON from the ground level, the facts good and bad- without having to sell commericials, drive a political agenda or filter the information. Blogging is so much better than network TV, radio and national press. It is democratic, it is real time, (much of it) is unfilitered and it certainly highlights the evolution of a news media that is self-absorbed and out of touch.

posted on Monday, October 15, 2007 at 9:57 AM by Dan Tyre

I agree that we all can do a whole lot for the environment. I started on it with a blog. Recruiting more guest authors now.

posted on Monday, October 15, 2007 at 10:54 AM by Subraya Mallya

Missed putting the URL


posted on Monday, October 15, 2007 at 10:55 AM by Subraya Mallya

Great post Dharmesh. Donating proceeds can make a huge impact, considering how many in the community got on board for Blog Action Day. I would also encourage an additional step most bloggers can make. That is, using Carbon Neutral hosting to host your blog or offsetting the carbon emissions produced by your own energy consumption to sustain your blog. Or, purchase Carbon Credits yourself, to offset the carbon footprint you leave behind. Ecobusinesslinks.com conducted a very useful survey on for profit and nonprofit organizations who seel carbon credits.

posted on Monday, October 15, 2007 at 12:48 PM by Jeremy

great article! I think the awakening has began but we all have a long way to go. http://www.binashah.org/blog/tabid/2799/bid/2496/Joining-the-Blog-Action-Day.aspx

posted on Monday, October 15, 2007 at 1:19 PM by Bina

I just posted for Blog Action Day too! And my idea had to do with a startup that is working on diminishing dead tree media - check it out at http://cafelulu.blogspot.com/2007/10/blogging-world-greener-place.html
The company does mobile coupons to eliminate paper coupons and paper waste! eurekamobile.com

posted on Monday, October 15, 2007 at 7:22 PM by lulu

Hi Guys, Got here via Linkedin membership, just launched in beta http://www.adhsyteria.com website for free online classifieds. Please go thru and review the site and let me have your feedbacks. If liked please go ahead and post. Regards Rajiv Unnikrishnan Adhysteria

posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2007 at 3:00 AM by

I don't believe that bloggers are that strong and powerful to save the world! Some day computers and all the network will fail and they will be able to do Nothing!

posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2007 at 7:31 AM by Patricia

I work for Cox Enterprises and saw that you participated in Blog Action Day. I thought you might be interested in visitingwww.CoxConserves.com. The site details Cox’s commitment to the environment and offers tips on how anyone can become eco-friendly.


posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2007 at 4:16 PM by elizabeth

Don't want to sound contrarian but most paper is made from farmed wood. Stop using paper and these farms disappear - and so do the trees. That is a step backwards, not forwards. But the sentiment is worthwhile and if everyone does their small part such as turn down heating, using their car less, turning off their computer when not in use - then it will make a difference.

posted on Saturday, October 20, 2007 at 4:50 AM by Dominic

I think bloggers are a huge force and can make a big difference. regardless of how paper is made either via farmed trees or not, it is still wasteing resources, water, land and time.

posted on Sunday, April 20, 2008 at 11:50 PM by OCMOM

trova il mio sito per favore

posted on Friday, August 01, 2008 at 8:15 AM by nuvola228

Are you making millions yet? Keep on trying! Enjoyed reading your post, 

posted on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 at 5:56 AM by Chris Banners

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