“The Man” Online: China Shuts down Foursquare, BP’s SEM

The U.K.’s Telegraph paper is reporting that “according to some sources” access to Foursquare has been shut down in mainland China. The reasons behind the censorship haven’t been explained, but it’s pretty typical behavior from a government that has regularly closed access to online services when they permit users to behave in unapproved manners–Twitter and Facebook have been targets, and the recent spat over Google‘s censorship is now the stuff of media legend.


BP buying “oil spill” and other terms on Google
As consumers turn online for information regarding the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, BP is looking to do some damage control by buying search ads on relevant keywords, and by broadcasting its cleanup initiatives on a dedicated YouTube channel. BP is said to be putting between $600,000 and $1 million into its paid search ad effort and $50 million more on TV ads.

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Eco Friendly is the New Luxury

‘Eco-Friendly’ Replacing Luxury as New Status Symbol
More than twice as many global consumers say they would rather drive an eco-friendly car (67%) than a luxury car (33%), and an even larger percentage would prefer to live in an eco-friendly house (70%) vs. merely a big house (30%), according to results from this year’s goodpurpose study, conducted by PR firm Edelman.These results, Edelman said, indicate that the global tide of conspicuous consumption is turning away from traditional status symbols of the past and moving toward products and brands that support sustainability. Protecting the environment, improving healthcare and reducing poverty are the causes that global consumers care about most:

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Right Wing: Petro Companies Stage Fake Events, Brand Exodus from Glenn Beck

American Petroleum Institute Demonstrates How to Screw Up a Grassroots Event
It’s no secret that oil and gas companies don’t like the Waxman-Markey climate change bill. After all, Exxon and its ilk stand to lose a lot of cash if they have to buy emission permits for all the greenhouse gases they let loose. But instead of letting legitimate anti-Waxman-Markey grassroots effort form, a group called Energy Citizens–an alliance of over 60 energy companies led by the American Petroleum Institute–have decided to take matters into their own hands by organizing so-called astroturfing protest rallies.

About a dozen companies have withdrawn their commercials from “Glenn Beck,” the Fox News Channel program, after Glenn Beck, the person, said late last month that President Obama was a racist with a “deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.”
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Help John Grant Edit His New Book

Help John Grant Edit His New Book “Co-Opportunity”
My old planning-pal John Grant’s new book Co-opportunity is contracted for publication with John Wiley & Sons, scheduled for January 2010.

john grant co-opportunity

Says John:

My new book, Co-opportunity is based on the growing realization that sustainability is going to require nothing less than a wholesale shift to more co-operative social systems. It’s not just about shaving off energy, waste or carbon emissions – nor about ‘band aid’ approaches to poverty. It’s about a new way of organizing society for the common good. Many people have described this shift. Prince Charles in a recent speech described it as a move to a joined up society. Bill Drayton describes it as a shift to an equitable model of parallel co-operation. These ideas will be as familiar to those working with web 2.0 and social production as in the ‘eco’ field. And numerous examples in the book are using social media for social good. Some but not all – there are just as many grounded in local community… My publisher, Wiley, has been quite broad-minded in allowing me to share the near completed draft in this public way, for free. I’d ask you to please be respectful of that and for instance don’t circulate all or part of the manuscript. Also by Wiley’s request only one section of the book with be available for download at any one time. If you or a colleague has missed an earlier section, you can always email me at thejohngrant@btinternet.com.

You can read John Grant’s blog here, and download the introduction [pdf] here.

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Carbon War Room

One Planet Seven Theatres … Carbon War Room
The Carbon War Room is a global philanthropic initiative, founded to harness the resource and skills of the Planet’s entrepreneurs and institutions to urgently deliver solutions that enable humanity to prosper beyond the carbon economy. Our Founders include some of the world’s leading entrepreneurs and institutions who are passionate about solving this problem.

carbon

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The Environmental Impact Of Googling

Revealed: the environmental impact of Google searches
Performing two Google searches from a desktop computer can generate about the same amount of carbon dioxide as boiling a kettle for a cup of tea, according to new research. While millions of people tap into Google without considering the environment, a typical search generates about 7g of CO2 Boiling a kettle generates about 15g. “Google operates huge data centres around the world that consume a great deal of power,” said Alex Wissner-Gross, a Harvard University physicist whose research on the environmental impact of computing is due out soon. “A Google search has a definite environmental impact.”

google-green

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Packaging: Newton Running

Newton Running
Newton Running based in Boulder, Colorado is striving to produce shoes that have a very low impact on the environment. The company wanted to also look at the way the shoes were packaged and see if there was an alternative to the conventional printed cardboard boxes. Newton worked with TDA Advertising and Design to develop a new package that is less box and more carton. The new package is a molded design that uses 100% post consumer recycled material. The shape of the carton fits the shoe eliminating the need to pack it with tissue paper. Instead of stuffing the shoes with even more paper, the company includes a pair of socks in one and a reusable shoe bag in the other.

newton_package

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Experiential: Wired Pop Up Store, HSBC Global Warming

NYC’s Wired store opened last Thursday, a dizzying mesh of gadgets, gawkers and gregarious guests enjoying an all-too open bar. PSFK were curious to see how different the pop-up store would be from last year’s – but apparently weren’t very surprised that it wasn’t. Again, Wired filled the room with what felt like hundreds of gizmos, many of which were ostensibly supplied by one of the event’s 30-plus sponsors. While some of the sponsored content was interesting, the rest was, by and large, pretty lackluster. Some of the stuff even felt a tad anachronistic.
wired-store-party
HSBC Bank hired advertising agency Oglivy & Mather in Mumbai to create a campaign for their website, http://www.globalwarmingsolutions.co.in, designed to call the public’s attention to the reality of global warming. The campaign entailed placing a bird’s eye view of New York City’s skyline at the bottom of a pool located in India’s financial capital, Mumbai. Aimed to capture the attention of unsuspecting swimmers, the stunt is an elegantly simple idea of what climate change could mean for some of the world’s coastal cities.
oglivymather_hsbc_climate1
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Links for 2008-02-18 : Absolut Bottles Out, Frog Wins Car, Rainbow Remixed, Air Car, USB Music, The States, Big Bottoms,

Chris Jordan’s “Running The Numbers”

“Jordan’s large-scale color photographs portray the detritus of American consumption. Gaining access to some of the country’s largest industrial waste facilities, Jordan photographs the refuse of consumer culture (e.g., diodes, cell phone chargers, cigarette butts, circuit boards) on an immense scale. Spanning up to ten feet wide, Jordan’s prints are at once abstract and detailed.

The frequent use of distorted perspective, repeating forms, and disorienting scale help create the illusion of abstract landscapes. A pile of sawdust appears to be a massive mountain; an endless expanse of circuit boards looks like an aerial view of a dark city. In some instances, Jordan has located specific discarded objects at waste facilities and photographed them on location. In other instances, the artist has created elaborate sets, which are then photographed in his studio. Some images are constructed from multiple 8×10-inch negatives that the artist has digitally interlaced into a single image”.

Chris Jordan has exhibited in galleries across the US and even in Second Life.