Monday, August 06, 2007

Eco-news

Where the hell have I been?

It came to my attention today that Treehugger.com, the pioneering blog that finally infiltrated the mainstream with the notion of eco-friendly and ethical consumerism, agreed to be acquired by Discovery Communications. This jury's out on the sense of that decision.

Don't get me wrong, of all media companies for TH to be assimilated, Discovery is not the Big Bad. However, I believe that becoming part of Discovery's Planet Green initiative, which is what they plan for the site, completely undermines the ethos of Treehugger. The site grew from a little blog populated with posts on eco-friendly technologies and products into a force to be reckoned with, on the backs of a worldwide network of dedicated editors and posters. They added Treehugger TV, Green Guides and the Eco-Challenge with Slate.com. Features in various traditional media venues such as Vanity Fair's Green issue and Oprah only cemented its position as the authority on all things democratically green.

I have always been impressed with the speed with which TH developed into a little green media empire. To see it subsumed by an organization that merely means well, in my opinion, but dumbs down content to the point of uselessness (not a big fan of Living Fresh, to be honest), is alarming. I believe that founder Graham Hill has made what he thinks is the best move for the company and the movement, but I am skeptical. Fingers crossed this doesn't suck.

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