Green Business in Orange County

I’ve just added a few posts to this blog about Green Business. I’m espcially interested in seeing it grow in Orange County, North Carolina. (That includes Chapel Hill and Carrboro.) So you’ll see on the top right of this blog a link to all the posts in the Green Business category. I hope this becomes a resource for others.

I define Green Business as socially and environmentally sustainable economic activity. Wikipedia defines Sustainable Business as:

A business is sustainable if it has adapted its practices for the use of renewable resources and holds itself accountable for the environmental and human rights impacts of its activities. This includes businesses that operate in a socially responsible manner and protect the environment.

I’m really just learning about this and trying to fit my business into this mold as much as I can.

Create Green-Collar Jobs in Orange County

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of seeing Van Jones speak. He co-founded the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and is founder and president of Green For All. He spoke convincingly of a future of increased equality and how one of the roads to this future is green jobs. Green-collar jobs are employment in the environmental or agricultural sectors of the economy. [Source: Wikipedia] But they also include any work that will help transform our society into a more environmentally sustainable one.

One way our local government leaders could participate in this national movement is to sign the Green Jobs Pledge. Its goal is to "rebuild American competitiveness and environmental leadership by growing a green economy that fights global warming, pollution and poverty at the same time." Here are the five steps this pledge asks our leaders to agree to:

  1. Commit to Action
  2. Create a Green-collar Jobs Taskforce
  3. Identify Goals and Assess Opportunities
  4. Create a Local Action Plan
  5. Evaluate, Leverage and Grow

So far the the U.S. Conference of Mayors has agreed with Green For All that this pledge is good idea. Mayor Martin Chávez of Albuquerque, New Mexico and County Executive Ron Sims of King County, Washington have put there name on it. You can download the Green Jobs Pledge Packet here. [PDF]

Let’s discuss ways we can build a green economy from the ground up, and see if we can get our elected officials to take the pledge.

This post was first published on OrangePolitics.org.

Its about Conversation

Great blog post here about the ever changing read/write web aka web2.0, social graph, social media, etc. Jus READ THIS –> Ladies and Gentlemen, The Conversation Has Left The Building Here’s a good quote:

As Social Media evolves, the value of online conversations is becoming distributed and decentralized. As the host of any given conversation, it is almost impossible to expect your community to discover or congregate around your content in any one given place, especially the point of origin. It’s both the challenge and the promise of micromedia and social networks. The comments section of your blog, for example may not truly represent the community response or reaction because it may thrive across other disparate networks and communities, whether you’re aware of it or not.

Also another gem ..

The reward for participating and adding value to these conversations is Social Capital. The penalty for self-promotion, one-sided conversations, or lack of genuine participation is evident in the lack of apparent ROI as well as the lack of respect you’re granted.

I’m not sure how the web will change. But one thing is for sure… it will happen and quickly. Thinking about the tempo of change is good for staying nimble. HUGELY important for business, NGO, government, activists, and heck just about everyone.

Our mantra must be: Learn to listen and talk WITH others

New Short Survey for Carrboro Coworking

Carrboro Creative CoworkingWould you please take my new survey? It’s short. Go to this url to complete. http://ccc.sp1.sgizmo.com

Carrboro Coworking is moving steadily forward. I’m about to make some big decisions and could really use your help.

If you haven’t taken the first Carrboro Coworking survey I’d really appreciate it if you did. Might be good if you took this one first.
http://ccc.survey.sgizmo.com

Here is a short discription of the business in case you’re wondering.

Carrboro Creative Coworking is a professional shared working space with a cafe-like atmosphere. It is designed to be a welcoming environment for freelance professionals, home-office workers, entrepreneurs, startup business owners, tech workers, graduate students, writers, and others. Subscribers of the Carrboro Creative Coworking space will receive access to a reliable office space inside a unique modern community.

To keep up to date with the latest news about Carrboro Coworking please join the Google Group. Thank you for taking the time to complete this. 🙂

New Press about Carrboro Coworking

There is a good article up at the Carrboro Commons called Carrboro’s Creative Coworking in the works. It covers pretty well what Carrboro Coworking will be all about and where I’m at right now in the process. Its been a amazing trip to get this far. So much more todo. But we’re close to making this biz a reality. Very close.

Thanks to Katie Spencer for writing this. I enjoyed talking with her. She acuratly reported what I said and did a good job of explaining the coworking concept. I find it interesting that the two reporters who have approached me to do stories about Carrboro Coworking have been students. There was another story September 2007 in the Daily Tar Heel called Resident plans shared space for creative work. I think younger people inherently understand the future of mobile work. I don’t think cubicals and big office parks are in their futures.

I have a Carrboro Coworking website with a survey up. Please go take it. If you want to keep up with what’s going on please join the Carrboro Coworking Google Group.

Evaluating Product Ideas

Evan Williams of Blogger, Odeo, and Twitter fame has a great blog post up called Will it fly? How to Evaluate a New Product Idea. Its actually helping me evaluate my ideas. Especially my business ideas. Check out his Ten Rules for Web Startups too.

Tractability
Question: How difficult will it be to launch a worthwhile version 1.0?

Obviousness
Question: Is it clear why people should use it?

Deepness
Question: How much value can you ultimately deliver?

Wideness
Question: How many people may ultimately use it?

Discoverability
Question: How will people learn about your product?

Monetizability
Question: How hard will it be to extract the money?

Personally Compelling
Question: Do you really want it to exist in the world?

I recommend you take this bit of advice too, “Be Wary Overgeneralized lists of business “rules” are not to be taken too literally. There are exceptions to everything.”

Best Biz Blog

Last Wednesday I went to a Social Media Club event at Ignite’s offices in Cary. We talked about a ton of things. But the one part I’ve can’t stop thinking about is what businesses blog well.

My favorite example of business blogging is the Twitter blog. They promote good uses of their service, new applications built upon their service, and important customer info about their business. All with humor and fun. This is a great example I wish all folks who are thinking about blogging at their company would emulate. Don’t look at business blogging as customer relations chore. Look at it as fun.

Thanks to Wayne for telling me about this event. Big thanks Jim, Lisa, and Gene for hosting and the PIZZA!

Chapel Hill Startup Weekend

Last night I met Gwen Bell. She told me about an event she’s organizing called Startup Weekend. She was part of the group that first pulled it off it Denver. Now its coming to Chapel Hill on November 2-4.

http://chapelhill.startupweekend.com

Startup Weekend is an idea, an experiment, a chance gather the tech community and create a company over one jam packed weekend.

We held a session about this at the last RDUBar Camp. It sounds like super geek fun!

Update: Here is some more info from Gwen Bell describing just what Startup Weekend is.
Continue reading “Chapel Hill Startup Weekend”

7 Principles of Community Building

The social media for business blog Now is Gone has a damn cool post by Geoff Livingston called The Seven Principles of Community Building. Nice to see this codified. Bloggers live much of this by instinct. This is GREAT advice.

1) Do not try to control the message

2) Honesty, ethics and transparencies are musts

3) Participation within the community is marketing (Heuer)

4) Communication to audiences is an out-dated 20th century concept (Rosen)

5) Build value for the community

6) Inspire your community with real, exciting information, not corporate propaganda

7) Intelligently manage your media forms (RSS, frequency, etc.) to build a stronger, loyal community

Thanks to Jim Tobin at Ignite Social Media for sharing this URL.