6 Aug 2012

Let’s see if THIS green social network – Ozoshare – has staying power

Written by Jim Pierobon

The web is littered with attempts to build a ‘green’ social network for allied individuals and organizations. Here comes “Ozoshare” from a couple of L.A.-based recycling pros who are taking Ozoshare out of its beta test tomorrow-Tuesday, August 7.

CREDIT: Ozoshare.com

Sharing the endangered ozone layer is what co-founders Tom Smith and Scott Peters hope will capture enough interest to draw hundreds of thousands of users in the months to come. Current count is about 3,000.

Just one death knell for many of the green social network wannabe’s likely was the failed effort by the U.S. Congress to pass a cap and trade program in 2010-2011. Momentum for so many green initiatives slowed if not evaporated, at least in the U.S. See the list at the end of this post.

That said, the core movement continues to gro at the consumer level in the U.S. and much of the world, despite weak economies.   Forward-looking corporations and professional risk managers see the value of making many of their operations sustainable with or without a carbon mandate, because of the havoc climate change could impose on various regions and their populations. Consumer product makers might want to keep an eye on this one.

Unless I’m missing something, Ozoshare has the potential to become the greenest social network by building on the Facebook model. Instead of be friending someone, Ozoshare users are asking each other to partner with one-another based on the interests they declare in their profiles.

What I find harboring some potential is the different levels of engagement users can connect at. If you’re public, anyone on Ozoshare can search and find you by the interests you choose .  You can be private but only if you invite others with specific interests to join your interest group. Or you can choose VIP where you won’t be searchable and only the administrator of an interest group can admit you, a la a locked group in LinkedIn. If you join, make sure you undertstand the difference.

Once in, you can share what you’re doing on Facebook and via Twitter.

Tom Smith has more than 11 years experience as a web application developer for several post-consumer manufacturing and retail companies. He specialized in creating online e-waste collection programs for a variety of organizations.

Scott Peters’ career in the green space began 12 years ago in the recycling industry. He has worked directly with thousands of schools, charities, organizations and non-profits to raise much needed funds through recycling materials which were typically discarded in landfills.

So far they’re the only ones making this happen. Working out of their base in the Los Angeles area, we’ll see if they can avoid the fate of many who have come before them.

About the name: sharing the ozone, as opposed to depleting it further, strikes me as a less-than-uplifting mantra with with to build a positive online community. We’ll see.

Here are several that have tried and either failed or are dormant at this writing:

Carbonrally.com: looks to be dormant. Last notable activity was in March, of 2011;

ZeroFootPrint.net: also dormant, even after some accolades;

MakeMeSustainable.com has been backed by an info-tech company but recent support appears to be lagging for this specific network.

WorldCoolers.org is no longer even on the web after bid to become a leading global warming alert service. RIP.

Care2.com is 19 million+ members strong and drawing some notable advertisers. They are on to something.

2people.org was a social network for people concerned about sustainability and global warming. It never gained traction and was shut down in 2011.

BeGreenNow.org was taken over by Green Mountain Energy; site redirects to Green Mountain’s pitch for carbon offsets and renewable energy credits, RECs.

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