09 February 2009

Alternative Energy: A Discovery of the Web's Resources

As a new participant in the blogosphere, and as a scholar interested in environmental issues, I hope to create a blog that will contain information relevant to the field of alternative energy. With this in mind and as a responsible blogger, I felt it necessary to provide a set of links for visitors to explore so they may conduct further research in this field. To facilitate my search for these resources, I used web directories like USA.gov and the Internet Public Library as well as blog search engines like the one at Technorati. The results may be perused via the linkroll (see right), which lists a number of sites that I feel are valuable when considering the environment and/or alternative energy. Some of the links, like the BBC's Green Room, are news sites that publish articles about the environment and alternative energy in general, while others point to particular environmental NGOs or specific alternative energy programs. There are also a few blogs in the linkroll, such as TreeHugger (see below) - a popular green blog that offers advice on "how to go green" in everyday life as well as a plethora of green topics to browse through. To ensure the quality of these links, I followed the guidelines provided by the Webby Awards and the IMSA for websites and blogs, respectively. Thus, the websites I selected meet or exceed the Webby Awards' standards for content, structure and navigation, visual design, functionality, interactivity, authority, and overall experience. The World Energy Council, for example, is an informative website for those wishing to research international efforts to promote sustainable energy. Its effective organization and provision of official WEC documents give it a functional and helpful interface; it even provides documents in three additional languages. An examination of TreeHugger will show that the blogs in the linkroll follow the IMSA guidelines. TreeHugger's affiliation with Discovery Communications makes its authors credible, while its addition of "over 30 posts each day" ensures that it is current and active. Its visual design alone is stunning, and the ability to jump to the next post so that it fits the user's screen perfectly makes TreeHugger all the more enjoyable to read. The IMSA guidelines' concern about a blog's influence is also satiated by the fact that TreeHugger has over 60,000 subscribers and undoubtedly many more casual viewers. Additionally, the blog covers a wide range of topics in its postings, from green artwork to garbage-powered garbage trucks. In sum, I have applied the standards referenced in this post to each item in the linkroll, and though I hope that visitors to The Windmill will find my postings informative and interesting, I also feel that the links I have included will provide additional helpful resources for those wishing to look further into alternative energy.

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