Is Green the old Black?
One of the biggest networks of green blogs is dropping the word "green" from its name. Green Options Media, the former home of Sustainablog, Gas 2.0 and Cleantechnica, and current home to ten blogs, has been renamed Important Media. Now, GreenOptions.com is a full fledged community, running on Huddler’s innovative forum/wiki/product platform.
I recently spoke with David Anderson, the founder and publisher of Important Media about what was behind the change and what we can expect from them in the future. And the reason for the rebrand was interesting.
Anderson saw the word 'green' as a limiting factor on their ability to reach their target audience. "If you're trying to reach people who like cars, it's easier to talk about the cars of the future rather than trying to convert them to be interested in green cars," Anderson said. "You don’t have to fight as hard to overcome people’s previous misconceptions with the word green."
But it wasn't just about the current audience. "We also felt that having the word 'green' in our name was a limitation if you want to expand the topics you are talking about," Anderson said. "This is a way for us to start talking about topics beyond just environmentalism. Things like social justice."
Furthermore, Anderson said that people who encounter green for the first time typically aren't setting out to look for it. "It generally happens one small step at a time. People have a kid and decide they want to remove toxics from their home. Or, they are getting interested in cars and want to find out if electric vehicles are an option. People start with things that are important to them."
That sets Important Media on a different track from the other green sites. He doesn't think that "centralized "end-all-be-all" sites in the green space" are the way to go. Anderson wants to compete more with the likes of Gawker.
It's ambitious goals for the recently re-branded network, but their ten blogs didn't change and Anderson expects them to provide the launching pad for additional titles. "Green and environmentalism are still important aspects of sustainability, so the Important Media brand can still include them. But if we only kept those ten blogs, there would not have been the impetus to change. We will be launching new titles in specific niches that expand the breadth of the network."
I'll be watching for those. BTW, I'll be doing a little writing for The Inspired Economist. And no plans to change the name of this blog as of yet.
Nathan Schock's personal blog, Greenway Communique, is the primary hub for communicating sustainability and bringing people together who do the same.