Sunday, February 27, 2011

No Impact Man Blog

Today I've spent a considerable amount of time reading a blog, No Impact Man, about a small family in Manhattan, NYC, NY, conducting a year-long experiment to lessen their environmental impact. The experiment was in 2007, but I'd never heard about it and was curious. They decided on areas to reduce their impact; these included: 1. making no trash, 2. eating locally within a 250-mile radius, 3. cutting electrical consumption, 4. changing transportation methods, 5. not buying anything new for a year, and I forget the last, perhaps it was equalizing whatever impact they did have with good works.

I enjoyed the concept, it was a personal experiment and not meant to change the world. So the author said. Sorry to say, I ended up feeling that the blog author, who is actually a book author, used the blog to entice people to buy his book about the experiment, to advertise his participation in a documentary, and to advance environmentalism.

I've got no problem with authors selling books, nor with people making documentaries, or environmentalists. I do have a problem with people starting a blog about something they're doing and turning said blog into mostly a vehicle for them to advertise their book, documentary, or broader concerns. 

There were few posts about the actual steps they took, the dates of each implementation of their stages, the problems they encountered, the effect on their lives or any of the things one expects from a blog started for a specific purpose. I'm not saying there were none; I'm saying there were few. By the end of the experiment the blog devolved to reposts of previous posts and posts about a plethora of environmental issues.

After four years, the blog is still going. I probably won't be going back. I can get my daily dose of environmentalism at The Grist or other sites and find another blog that might actually be pertinent to my own curiosities. I also don't intend to buy the book. That's not because it wouldn't be interesting; it's because I hate being lured on purpose, and that's the way I felt after reading through the year's worth of blog entries.

I wish that the author had kept that particular blog for that particular experiment and started another blog for his other environmental concerns and activities. I wish that the blog hadn't actually been an advertising vehicle for a book. But that's just me and my own personal opinion, which actually matters to no one but me. 

No comments: