For a few years now I’ve been waiting for some kind of web social network that could inspire people to become more interested in sustainability and could lead to widespread behavior changes like reducing home energy consumption. Will a relatively young site called Snip.it, which has a growing eco-minded user base, be the one to galvanize the web around environmental issues?
Snip.it launched late last year and has been building a collection of users (tens of thousands) around people that want to socially interact with others around articles and opinions. Basically users pin (or “snip”) an article the way they would with an image on Pinterest. The snip goes into your collection of articles, attached to your profile, and other users can start following the articles you’ve snipped. As AllThingsD’s Liz Gannes explained it, the idea is pretty similar to the old-school Delicious site, but (and these are my thoughts) with the new Pinterest-style design.
Ramy Adeeb, the founder and CEO of Snip.it — an Egyptian living in the Bay Area — created the site because he wanted to share content about the Arab Spring, but he didn’t want to take the time to write a full blog post or run a website.
I’m particularly interested in the environmental possibilities of Snip.it. Adeeb told me in an interview last week, that there are only a handful of things that people are passionate enough about to lead them to share articles, and one of those is the environment. And Snip.it has brought in enough green-leaning users to its site, that it’s created an Earth Day contest to reward the users with the most interesting snipped curation portfolio.
The Earth Day contest will have a panel of judges, including green venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, which will vote on their favorite environmental-leaning Snip.it collection. The judges will make their decision by the end of this week, and the winners could get an iPad 3 (oh, sorry, the new iPad) and cash.
Will something as simple as social bookmarking be able to make a real dent in sustainability and climate change? I’m not sure, but I do know that some kind of web-based social revolution is bound to happen around environmental issues, as the web tends to organize around passions.
Adeeb is a former partner of Khosla Ventures, and the company is funded by Khosla Ventures, True Ventures, Charles River Ventures, and SV Angel. Disclosure: True Ventures also is an investor in GigaOM.