It's a good week to be joining eco community sites in the UK
The nag is giving away free electricity if you take their switching to green energy pledge. It's a great story: "International Buddhist Poker Champion Andrew Black is currently in first place in a tournament where the prize money is half a million Euros."
"Black will give 10% of his winnings to The Nag, and The Nag will share the bounty with members by picking up the tab for members Green Energy bills for a whole year. As of this morning, Andrew was up to €350,000 in a competition to win half a million euros. That's free green energy for a lot of Nagsters! Play resumes at 1pm today and finishes on Saturday 3rd."
Meanwhile the Guardian's new tread lightly community/site is giving away a G-Wiz, as a prize draw for those who sign up and take on at least one of their weekly pledges. Alan Rushbridger the editor there famously drives a G-Wiz, so again its a nice fit.
The questions are:
- are giveaways the best ways to grow green communities?
i. when i've researched 'win a mini' type promotions no-one ever enters because they dont believe they can win
(NB the odds here are actually REALLY good; there's only about 3000 people on each site community)
ii. is winning something valuable for doing the right thing slightly dissonant?
iii. but does it matter - treehugger reported the G-wiz car and hence publicised their new site
- is there a reason why no pledge site has tipped yet? (one of the best still, to my mind, is pledgebank where the pledges are suggested by individuals & its very utilitarian/localised/craiglisty)
- is there somnething missing still; eg self-help and diet success stories have relied on group meetings as well as pledge-type commitments - do these pledge sites need to have a 'meetup' component?
- and if you think the idea of pledges as the 'hook' is sound, who do you think could have the makings of a million-plus user pledge site? (the freecycle of personal commitments) Green thing? iCount? other?
- if someone were launching one of these 'do your bit by signing up' sites what free marketing advice would you give them?
If you ask anybody in web 2.0 they would say
- 'go viral'. It worked for gmail (with thjeir 6 invites per google blogger). and it also works for brand/community/enthusiasm type things (eg run London with their recruit-a-friend)
- finding watering holes; eg icount and MySpace started at 60,000 each in their communities, ie critical mass, because they could tap into their own or others' active membership
I imagine most readers have already dashed off to file their winning registration... but if anyone's still reading it would be an interesting area to debate. I know that some of those involved in the sites mentioned do occasionally read this blog so please i. be constructive and ii. anything you say may actually be useful input to their plans.
I'd also love to know what people think of Tread Lightly specifically as its so shiny and new.