The importance of social for greentech

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The summer of 2011 has (arguably) produced a bubble around social media, with valuations for social media companies soaring and a dozen massive IPOs in the works or completed. Will any of that social magic rub off on consumer-facing clean-power and energy-efficiency technologies, like electric cars, solar panels or home energy management systems?

The companies selling these green goods hope so. In recent weeks solar panel makers and installers like SunPower have touted Facebook games as a way to attract solar customers. And automakers are using social media to do research and development into how to launch electric cars and generate interest in upcoming EVs.

In a column for our subscription service GigaOM Pro, I take a look at how social media can connect with green technology — what are some of the unique things that social tools can do for green, and what are some of the gaps between the two. While social sharing tools could be useful for educating consumers on greener goods, social media could also play a crucial role in organizing people around fighting climate change, and also helping people share resources more sustainably.

Check out my article on GigaOM Pro.

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