Late this evening while catching up on my feeds, I saw for the first time that this year's Blog Action Day is on the topic of Climate Change. This event is sponsored yearly by Change.org. I wish I had known earlier as this would have been a great exercise for my sustainable MBA students at BGI.edu, as they are all creating their blogs this week for my class "Using the Social Web for Social Change".
This is now the second time this week that a significant event on this topic has slipped by me. Apparently on Monday the 19th there will be a Social Media for Sustainability Conference in San Francisco, that seems to have a really good list of speakers. But I only heard about it yesterday.
Part of the problem is that as a blogger I'm not hooked in tight with the sustainability community — clearly because of my BGIedu connections I am sympathetic, but I mainly for the last I've have been writing about the social web or the iPhone. My disconnect demonstrates the challenge of communicating outside your own social circles, both for those trying to create change, and to those that might benefit from the message.
Which brings me to a point that I need to make to my students – we have to figure out how to get ourselves out of info ruts. I teach a technique of Scan Focus Act that is really good at letting you manage your time to read and connect to a larger number of people via blogs, however, if you are too insular, you still may not get the information you need on time. It is through the weak links that we often get our useful information from, and we have to take time to maintain those weak links as well as the strong links to our community that are more easy to maintain as they are more satisfying.
Other then the fact that I learned about it late, I'm reasonably pleased by the example that the Blog Action Day website serves for my students. It satisfies the basic principles of identification and connection, and has a number of good calls for action, the first being to register your blog. The links featuring blog posts with whitehouse.gov, UK prime minister Gordon Brown, and a number of major websites, including the third on the list being in spanish, give the site a credibility. The most recents tab gave the site authenticity. I think I probably would have made the signup process shorter, and had users fill out information later, but it wasn't bad.
There are a lot of things at this website which will be a good jumping off point for my students to think about as they work on their on blogs on sustainability, and their future Social Change media projects.