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I love getting e-mail. I think it’s a feeling left over from when I was a kid, and getting mail was an event that only happened a few times a year. I remember the first time I got a credit card offer… it was a big defining moment in my life. Needless to say, my dreams were shattered when my mom pointed out that a 15-year-old couldn’t have a credit card. But thankfully, I still get lots and lots of them today.

These days, most of my e-mail consists of the kind of material on par with credit card offers. Offers like, “Save my Nigerian prince brother and I will transfer $1.5 million dollars into your bank account!” or “Enlarge you _______!” or “Lose 48 pounds in the next 3 hours!” show up on a regular basis in my Inbox. And then of course, I get a newsletter from every website I ever visited since 1998.

So, the idea of signing up for Google alerts, just so I can get MORE e-mails, seem counterproductive, but at least Google alerts are on topics I actually want to read about.

Today’s alert summary on “sustainability” brought up a blog post from Smart Planet, an interactive website sponsored by CBS. The post was about prioritizing your CSR goals for sustainability. I won’t summarize it here, because you should just go read it. But one tip stood out to me, and made me think of how it applied to what I’m usually talking about on this blog.

“You need tools that analyze in real time, not just a moment in time. Yes, I know that getting a grip on your carbon footprint is not easy. But, once you do, why would you report it just once a year?”

The tip ends with a great question: why would companies just report it once a year? Especially when powerful (and virtually free) tools, like Facebook, Twitter, e-books, websites, YouTube, etc., are easily available? And who really wants to read an annual report? I mean, seriously. I would much rather watch a cool video like the one below on a topic like corporate social responsibility. Or view a Facebook photo album about a company’s latest going green efforts. Or get a tweet when my favorite company has reached an important sustainability goal.

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I found a post on Fabian Pattberg’s blog about a recent virtual CSR conference. Pattberg has a great wrap-up list of some of the topics and speakers.

A virtual CSR conference sounds like a great idea. I’ll have to keep up with the news for 2011, because I would love to participate in something like this.

Memphis, Light, Gas & Water, the local energy company here in Memphis, is launching a very cool pilot program. Customers who applied before May 14 were selected to have a Smart Meter installed in their home. The meter will let customers monitor their energy use in real-time. My boyfriend and I applied, and were selected to participate! The meter won’t be installed until fourth quarter of 2010, but I’m looking forward to seeing how it works.

Some critics say smart meters aren’t enough to make consumers change their habits. This study published by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy says that smart meters might be more hype than help. And, they argued that because consumers are so attached to their cell phones, a smart meter that sends updates to your cell phone might just be the most effective method of reducing energy usage.

I’ll be curious to use myself as a “lab rat” and see just how effective and helpful the smart meter will be.

Cell phones the new "smart meters"?

This free webinar on July 21 explores two topics very near and dear to my heart: sustainability and social media. I have never heard of this organization or the presenters, but I just registered and plan on giving it a shot.

One of the main purposes of this blog was to share my research and thoughts about working on the Smallest User project, a neighborhood-to-neighborhood energy conservation competition here in Memphis, Tennessee.

When my graduate assistantship expired, I had to pass on all my vast knowledge and expertise to my apprentice, Ashley A., who has greatly exceeded all of my expectations and now, I must admit, surpasses me in most aspects. Especially, it turns out, in the area of blogging.

Her posts are interesting, hilarious, and just the perfect amount of sarcastic. And, of course, full of inside jokes that very few people are lucky (?) enough to get. I happen to be one of those lucky people.

So, today, I decided to share Ashley’s wisdom with anyone who might be reading my blog. I can only hope that the few loyal fans I do have won’t see her wisdom and wit and decide to move their loyalty to her.

Although, if that happens, I must admit that I will be happy. And my time will be complete on earth. And I can go to join my ancestors in the happy hunting land.

Smallest User blog. Read it. Love it.

So, every once and while (daily), I have the urge to “talk techy.” It’s kind of like talking dirty, except it doesn’t necessarily lead to, ahem, you-know-what.

Today has been a double-header for me. I’m exploring the Flock Browser, which is advertised as the “Social Web Browser.” Apparently, it makes it really easy to link your social networks, and even do searches among your friends on hot topics.

Sounds interesting. I’m not convinced enough to actually download it and try it out, but I’m spending a little time researching it to find out what the options are.

Flock Web Browser

Flock Browser, The Social Web Browser

And this article on the blog Craving Tech has useful instructions for linking a WordPress blog to a Facebook fan page. I just tried it with another Worpdress blog I manage, and it worked beautifully. (You can also link the blog to your personal page and/or your Twitter profile).

The 2010 budget for the Bureau of Labor and Statistics includes funding for the tracking of “green collar” jobs. A great move, in my opinion, because it will show, with hard statistics, just how viable an industry green is becoming.