10.13.2008

Exploring the Blogosphere: Environmental Information is Bountiful

This week I extensively explored the Web in search of engaging and reputable sites that pertain to the multifaceted world of marketing, as well as will complement the subject matter presented in my entries. Using criteria determined by the Webby Awards and IMSA, I have created a linkroll of twenty sites as a compilation of blogs, associations, organizations, newspapers, magazines and news sites. I have evaluated each site based on content, depth of information, interactivity, functionality, visual appeal, and overall experience. My goal is to provide my readers with a comprehensive list of sites that acknowledge and critically analyze the constantly developing field of marketing as well as those which tackle emerging social issues resulting from these developments. I have added each site to my linkroll (right) and will provide my own critiques in this entry.

Within my compilation of Internet sites, the first grouping of links I will address can be categorized as resources for marketing strategies and trends across the market. The American Marketing Association (AMA) website is a primary tool for research, every day marketing information, and a venue for professional networking. This site offers rich, in-depth information on every facet in the field of marketing organized in a professional and sleek visual design. MediaPost is also a fundamental marketing site which provides a creatively crafted overview of the world of media. The site is frequently updated, provides insight to professional knowledge, and promotes interactivity through community membership. The next two sites I have found useful for specifically eco-friendly marketing updates and trends. GreenBiz provides updates for the intersection of marketing and the concept of going green. With features section, news, blog, GreenBiz is comprehensive, interactive, and geared towards those who are highly motivated to engage in complex information. Sustainable Life Media is not as professionally designed, and gives the reader a cautious vibe they are trying to be sold something. Though useful in the immediacy of updates and broad range of information, there seems to be a bias or alternate agenda behind the organization. Yankelovich is a site dedicated to sustainable brand equity. It is professional, has extensive research, visually appealing, and easy to navigate. Though similarly, the site is trying to sell you the techniques and knowledge of the author (Yankelovich), thus distracting the reader and losing some credibility.

The next cluster of sites I have collected deal with the social responsibility of going green by joining organizations and participating in green movements. GreenPeace is not only an ample resource for updated green news, it prompts activism through membership and donation. The Environmental Defense Fund site finds unity between updated green news, lifestyle choices, and green marketing. These are all framed within an active charitable context prompting readers to explore and confirm the credibility of the fund. It's Getting Hot in Here is a youth driven movement to aid the improvement of the environment. It effectively appeals to the target reader through interactive tools such as videos, voting, links, and shopping.

The next cluster of sites comprise what I spend most of my on when delving into my green marketing topic. One of my personal favorite go-to resources is TreeHugger. User-friendly, approachable, interactive, with a broad scope of content, TreeHugger (above right) is an acclaimed venue in the blogosphere with information on anything related to the environment-loving community. The Daily Green is more of a consumer-oriented junction for how the everyday consumer can go green, as well as remain updated on how going green is influencing our society. These two sites offer extensive and specific information geared toward the green community both nationally and globally. Similar in content, though more blog focused, Grist is nonprofit environmentally driven journalism resource. Gris is confusing because the user must scroll to the bottom of the page to access articles and blogs. This site is deprived of a cohesive feel to what the focus is, other than being green, and could benefit through using clear organization and formatting. Conversely, The Green Guide is a subcategory for the National Geographic website. The Green Guide effectively produces a lifestyle-oriented everyday guide for consumers. It engages users by offering fun quizzes, interactive videos, "smart shopper cards", and tips of the week to successfully enhance user awareness of how to be green. Planet Green is also a green lifestyle site, yet is uniquely effective in that it uses user-generated votes on various articles to guide reader navigation. This is a different approach than most sites I have visited, yet lacks some credibility when the highest voted articles lack any commentary from their voters. Ecorazzi takes on the format of a celebrity gossip blog. It uses updated information about what is trendy in the green world, as well as posts entries featuring celebrities and their green contribution. This site is creative in design, yet there is little interactivity with the pictures and links, and the content provided lacks incentive for the user to fully engage, comment, and remain interested. Nonetheless, at face value this is an innovative and interesting site I plan on returning to. Ecofabulous is similar to Ecorazzi. This site has a more sophisticated feel, yet lacks in current information, as well as depth of content and scholarly value.

Finally, I will conclude with online newspapers and scholarly driven resources dedicated to academic value. The Environmentalist is a web magazine dedicated to the history and impact and geopolitical effects of climate change. Many of the articles featured in the Environmentalist are published in The Huffington Post, an online newspaper that includes a green section. This site is visually appealing and offers several links to amazing photographs. These two sites are easy to navigate, very interactive, and offer in-depth content. EcoGeek and Marketing Green are similar in nature, content, structure and format. Both are scholarly driven blogs which prompt discussion on current issues. They both offer valuable opinion based on extensive knowledge and research in the author's field: Ecogeek is dedicated to environmental preservation, while Marketing Green is dedicated to effective and ethical green marketing. I will conclude my linkroll analysis with my personal favorite, the Ecologist (above left). Claiming the title of the world's leading environmental magazine, this site does not fall short of that statement. The Ecologist offers insightful and interesting articles, relevant videos, is clear in organization and structure, is visually sophisticated.

1 comment:

Veena Senra said...

First, I especially liked how you organized your post thematically by the content of the websites. This organization will make it easier for readers to follow your train of thought and will make it easier for viewers to refer back to for web resources. Furthermore, your use of transitional phrases created a great flow within the article. Overall, this post provides a good overview of the world of green marketing and consumerism.

There are a few aspects of your post upon which you might improve. Smaller issues such as inconsistence verb tense within the same sentence take away from the professionalism of your blog. Phrases like “cautious vibe” are approachable and descriptive, but consider whether this is perhaps too casual for this blog. Also, I feel that you’ve mastered other elements of your blog, so I will bring up one last nit picky issue: when composing your posts, try avoiding the verb “to be” it can be repetitive to read again and again. More descriptive action words would help to bring more liveliness to your blog. In addition, I feel that you often have very descriptive analysis of the blogs and websites you reviewed, but sometimes you slip into generic phrases. For example, instead of simply saying “visually appealing,” describe the site design colors, lines, etc, to give reader a clearer picture. Try to more consistently achieve this depth of analysis.

Lastly, try placing your graphics closer to the text in which you refer to them and try to incorporate them more into your post. For example, the “Tree Hugger” logo can be another fact that supports your analysis about the site’s visual design, etc. Similarly, “The Ecologist” magazine cover can serve as a proof of good visual design, depth of content and more, but try incorporating this into your commentary.

 
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