Skip to content

Question of the Week: How would you use blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other Web 2.0 tools to protect the environment?

2008 June 23

Each week we ask a question related to the environment. Please let us know your thoughts as comments. Feel free to respond to earlier comments or post new ideas. Previous questions.

Wikis and widgets and blogs, oh my! “Web 2.0″ is about sharing content… your photos, opinions, links, and more. At EPA, we are trying to find ways to use Web 2.0 technologies such as wikis, blogging, news feeds, podcasts, or social networking, to improve how we reach out to and communicate with the public.

How would you use blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other Web 2.0 tools to protect the environment?

On Monday, June 23, “Ask EPA” hosted an online discussion about using Web 2.0 to protect the environment – read the transcript.


En español: Cada semana hacemos una pregunta relacionada al medio ambiente. Por favor comparta con nosotros sus pensamientos y comentarios. Siéntase en libertad de responder a comentarios anteriores o plantear nuevas ideas. Preguntas previas.

¡Wikis y widgets y blogs, Dios mío! “Web 2.0″ se trata de compartir contenido…sus fotos, opiniones, enlaces, y más. En EPA, estamos tratando de encontrar maneras de utilizar tecnologías de Web 2.0 como wikis, blogs, “feeds” noticiosos, podcasts, o reds sociales, para mejorar la manera en la cual nos comunicamos con el público.

¿Cómo utiliza blogs, wikis, podcasts, y otras herramientas de Web 2.0 para proteger el medio ambiente?

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

69 Responses leave one →
  1. Rick Koelsch permalink
    July 3, 2008

    The Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center hosts a monthly webcasts on animal manure management issues. These are attended on average by about 100 individuals of live webcast and 1200 individuals of the archived form each month. Upcoming and archived webcasts information can be viewed at

    The Learning Center also hosts a national web product on animal manure issues at . We do not maintain a blog environment but do provide visitors with the opportunity to get answers to their questions from a team of experts.

    The Learning Center is a collaborative effort involving planning team representatives from multiple land grant universities, EPA’s Ag Center, USDA NRCS and ARS, USGS, and Environmental Defense.

  2. James Jenkins permalink
    August 6, 2008

    I would broadcast green issues

  3. social network permalink
    August 9, 2008

    social network is a social structure made of nodes (which are generally individuals or organizations) that are tied by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as values, visions, ideas, financial exchange, friendship, kinship, dislike, conflict or trade. The resulting structures are often very complex.

    Social network analysis views social relationships in terms of nodes and ties. Nodes are the individual actors within the networks, and ties are the relationships between the actors. There can be many kinds of ties between the nodes. Research in a number of academic fields has shown that social networks operate on many levels, from families up to the level of nations, and play a critical role in determining the way problems are solved, organizations are run, and the degree to which individuals succeed in achieving their goals.

    In its simplest form, a social network is a map of all of the relevant ties between the nodes being studied. The network can also be used to determine the social capital of individual actors. These concepts are often displayed in a social network diagram, where nodes are the points and ties are the lines.

  4. social network permalink
    August 9, 2008

    social network
    Social network analysis (related to network theory) has emerged as a key technique in modern sociology, anthropology, sociolinguistics, geography, social psychology, communication studies, information science, organizational studies, economics, and biology as well as a popular topic of speculation and study.

    People have used the social network metaphor for over a century to connote complex sets of relationships between members of social systems at all scales, from interpersonal to international. In 1954, J. A. Barnes started using the term systematically to denote patterns of ties that cut across the concepts traditionally used by the public and social scientists: bounded groups (e.g., tribes, families) and social categories (e.g., gender, ethnicity). Scholars such as S.D. Berkowitz, Stephen Borgatti, Ronald Burt, Kathleen Carley, Katherine Faust, Linton Freeman, Mark Granovetter, David Knoke, Peter Marsden, Nicholas Mullins, Anatol Rapoport, Stanley Wasserman, Barry Wellman, Douglas R. White, and Harrison White expanded the use of social networks.[1]

    Social network analysis has now moved from being a suggestive metaphor to an analytic approach to a paradigm, with its own theoretical statements, methods, social network analysis software, and researchers. Analysts reason from whole to part; from structure to relation to individual; from behavior to attitude. They either study whole networks (also known as complete networks), all of the ties containing specified relations in a defined population, or personal networks, (also known as egocentric networks) the ties that specified people have, such as their “personal communities”.[2]

    Several analytic tendencies distinguish social network analysis:[3]

    There is no assumption that groups are the building blocks of society: the approach is open to studying less-bounded social systems, from nonlocal communities to links among Web sites.

    Rather than treating individuals (persons, organizations, states) as discrete units of analysis, it focuses on how the structure of ties affects individuals and their relationships.

    In contrast to analyses that assume that socialization into norms determines behavior, network analysis looks to see the extent to which the structure and composition of ties affect norms.

    The shape of a social network helps determine a network’s usefulness to its individuals. Smaller, tighter networks can be less useful to their members than networks with lots of loose connections (weak ties) to individuals outside the main network. More open networks, with many weak ties and social connections, are more likely to introduce new ideas and opportunities to their members than closed networks with many redundant ties. In other words, a group of friends who only do things with each other already share the same knowledge and opportunities. A group of individuals with connections to other social worlds is likely to have access to a wider range of information. It is better for individual success to have connections to a variety of networks rather than many connections within a single network. Similarly, individuals can exercise influence or act as brokers within their social networks by bridging two networks that are not directly linked (called filling structural holes).[4]

    The power of social network analysis stems from its difference from traditional social scientific studies, which assume that it is the attributes of individual actors—whether they are friendly or unfriendly, smart or dumb, etc.—that matter. Social network analysis produces an alternate view, where the attributes of individuals are less important than their relationships and ties with other actors within the network. This approach has turned out to be useful for explaining many real-world phenomena, but leaves less room for individual agency, the ability for individuals to influence their success, because so much of it rests within the structure of their network.

    Social networks have also been used to examine how organizations interact with each other, characterizing the many informal connections that link executives together, as well as associations and connections between individual employees at different organizations. For example, power within organizations often comes more from the degree to which an individual within a network is at the center of many relationships than actual job title. Social networks also play a key role in hiring, in business success, and in job performance. Networks provide ways for companies to gather information, deter competition, and collude in setting prices or policies.

  5. Ginger Ferrer permalink
    August 12, 2008

    Are celebrities any different then any other member of the world and this country’s community? They are firstly a fellow human being.

    Using their voices to bring attention to some of the worst environmental or inhumane conditions happening on this planet need to expose these urgent conditions. And as we all know, the press will jump at any opportunity to cover what a celebrity has to say or does. So why not utilize this tool to bring attention to some concerns which have not been covered by the press because the victims are not celebrities?

    Angelina Jolie comes to mind. Bono. Brad Pitt. From the past few decades rock musicians fundraising to help starving people in Africa and other places on this planet.

    To suggest that because an individual or group of individuals may influence and bring attention to the needs of those going hungry and or suffering from illness/diesase I think is a great tool for good.

    Too much suffering goes on we the people of this world do not always get to know about unless it is spoken to by a well known celebrity.

    Nelso Mandala comes to mind as well. His celebrity was after the fact while incarcerated for speaking out against cruel and unusual punishments of his people.

    Yes, we need celebrity’s to make us more aware and try to help quench the fire of pain and sufferings.

    Most respectfully,
    Ginger Ferrer

  6. Mike Nickolaus permalink
    August 13, 2008

    I do not listen to the ranting of celebrities as I have found that, on the whole, they are often the most ill informed and biased sector of humanity. Celebrities apparently do not take the time to become conversant in the topics related to the positions they are taking on issues. The use of celebrity as a means of influencing people is not only counter productive it is morally wrong since it causes changes in attitudes that are based not on facts and good science but on the popularity of the person. Mostly, I wish celebrities would just keep their opinions to themselves or at least amongst themselves.

  7. James Tarin permalink
    October 17, 2008

    We have recently launched a new Web2.0 Green Business Network – and are having great success with it. We are now pushing 1000 members of incredible quality drawn from large corporations such as Cisco, Sun, RBS, along with technology companies and alternative energy suppliers. Essentially we are providing a meeting place and content exchange to help companies implement their sustainability strategies.

  8. John Stark permalink
    December 7, 2008

    May I suggest that government use more e-billing, e-bulletin, e-filling for tax, bills, community organizations etc.? Everyday we receive too much paper media in our mailbox and it is very bad that too many trees are killed. We should stop doing this.

  9. Ordis permalink
    October 8, 2009

    Good Job

  10. themoversreview permalink
    November 26, 2009

    Have the moving industry do more online, tons of paper and resources are wasted each year with hand writen quotes, inventories, and more. There are programs that could bring all the paperwork involved with the moving process online.

  11. somaie permalink
    December 28, 2009

    Experts have talked about this before. How many times have you read about the importance of ‘adding value’ for your audience? How many times have you read about ‘building trust’ with your readers/prospects?
    Many, many times. You know it well. Every marketing guru has spoken about this topic. I’m sick of hearing it. But it STILL bears repeating.

  12. Joe permalink
    January 23, 2010

    Agree. There are a lot of buzz over the use of Web 2.0 for whatever purpose. The question is whether they will help to achieve your objective.

    If you intention is to reach as many readers as possible, why not consider this, combining articles and podcast. I write content and use Odiogo to convert my content automatically into podcast. You can see how it works at Internet Savings Accounts

  13. Johnny permalink
    May 16, 2010

    Promote products that help rather than hurt. This will not happen as it would be too “commercial”.

  14. mosquito control marietta ga permalink
    June 21, 2010

    What is the difference between living healthy and not living healthy? More importantly, in business, what is the difference between a healthy, productive company and an unhealthy, unproductive company? There actually isn’t a very drastic difference in action. There IS a very drastic difference in results. The difference is goals. Small steps in action make a big difference in results.

  15. Precle permalink
    March 14, 2012

    I would broadcast green issues

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Jack
  2. Bryan
  3. James Raymond
  4. Jerry

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS