Growth and prosperity when “less” is more

Seth Godin: “I’m more and more convinced that the best hope for the eco movement is to tell a story of efficiency and growth and ingenuity. More is easy to sell. Less almost never is.”

I, too, am becoming more convinced. I think that communicators working in the environment movement are going to cop an aweful backlash in the coming 12 months unless the story changes. The story needs to be about advancement, a better, healthier life, not “have less”. That’s not going to get traction in the broader market – never has, never will. It won’t get traction in developing countries either.

While there are clearly circumstances where less must be less (i.e. eating seafood and cattle for meat), and I am very aware of the “scientific view” of the world where “technology alone can save the day”, there are many other opportunities where “more” = less – more efficient, more innovation etc. that resonate with both the business community and community at large, if the story is told well.

This seems to me to be very much at the core of the Cradle to cradle philosophy too – let’s be smarter, and have less impact as a result. Not “let’s go without” (I could be wrong there, but that certainly was one of my takeouts.)

Petition to stop SBS advertising

I wrote a little while back about changes in the way SBS handles advertising. Seems I’m not alone.

There is now a campaign site and petition called Save our SBS [thanks Priscilla]

Now – I’m not 100% convinced that SBS should stop showing advertising altogether, but the site does make a good case that removing advertising from the SBS charter will stop the rot. I just hope that, at a minimum, they get rid of the interruptions and go back to ads between programs…

Make it about “more”

Seth Godin suggests that arguing for less (emissions, food miles etc.) is the wrong approach.

Instead we should be pushing for more: bigger energy efficiency, more kilometres per litre etc.

As much as I’d prefer not to indulge this idea of “more” it makes sense as a way to achieve results based on the current mindset (which as Seth points out is not so new).

Great intro to RSS

The video below is a great, no-fuss, easy to grok description of RSS and feed readers. [via Blogging Pro]

It focuses on web-based readers – for those on Mac I can also recommend NetNewsWire – my fave for a long time, or the free Vienna.


There are two types of Internet users, those that use RSS and those that don’t. This video is for the people who could save time using RSS, but don’t know where to start.

We made this video for our friends (and yours) that haven’t yet felt the power of our friend the RSS reader. We want to convert people; if you know someone who would love RSS and hasn’t yet tried it, point them here for 3.5 minutes of RSS in Plain English.

Bring Hicks Home

Amnesty International have just launched a very clever site as part of their campaign to Bring David Hicks home.

They have a “cell” – the same as the one David Hicks has been held in for 5 years without trial – that they are touring around the country with. Visitors to the cell are presented with a “passport” explaining David’s situation, and once in the cell, they can leave a video message, which is then presented on the Bring David Hicks home website.

If you have visited the cell, you can find your video by using the search/filter options on the site.

I think the site is very good – helping to bring home the reality of Hicks’ situation and allowing people to connect in a more emotional way with what is often presented as a legal or political issue.

I also love the fact that the site uses YouTube for video hosting – a fantastic use of participant media.

The site was launched yesterday by Digital Eskimo – who also helped WWF build the Future is man made site. Nice work!

Update: GetUp have also just launched a new video as part of their campaign on the same issue.

Hugh on Blogging

It’s already been linked to death – yes I’m late to the party. But this really is a must read for anyone working in social/participant/citizen media. gapingvoid: random notes on blogging. My faves:

16. The day you can write as compellingly and consistently as say, Kathy Sierra, Jeff Jarvis, Guy Kawasaki or Michael Arrington, will be the day I start taking your complaints of low traffic seriously.

I know what he means about Kathy and Jeff – I’ve not read enough of Guy and Michael to know.

20. Blogging will never be a mainstream activity so long as being able to write [A] well, [B] often and [C] about stuff THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT remain the main barriers to entry.

23. Another way to know you’ve arrived: When you realize that every business relationship you’ve established in the last twelve months was a direct result of blogging.

Related to that latter point – I’m simply amazed at how much communication between musicians in the Sydney music scene is done via Myspace. If you don’t have a Myspace profile and you want to play, you still can, but it’s a lot easier if you’re on Myspace…

39. If a blog doesn’t allow comments, then yes, it’s still a blog. People who say otherwise are just getting in touch with their ‘Inner Idealistic Wanker’.

I so want to use that line in real life: “Inner Idealistic Wanker”. Love it!