Wednesday, November 08, 2006

FiveLimes: Social Networking for Green Shopping

I finished reading Chris Anderson's The Long Tail last weekend, and immediately thought of new green shopping site FiveLimes as an example of the new "Recommendation Economy" that Anderson claims is supplanting the "Information Economy." FiveLimes characterizes itself as a site that "...allows you to Find, Review & Share eco-friendly and socially responsible products and services that are making this world a better place." They've currently got the new WorldChanging book featured (and I've been horribly negligent in not mentioning it yet), as well as apparel, food and wine, toys, electronics and even a piece of real estate listed. According to site's "About" page, the products, reviews and comments are all user-generated -- think of it as something like an Angie's List for green products.

Green products and services are as popular as ever, so FiveLimes provides a great service to shoppers looking to sort out the greenwashed from the real deal. While they do sell products, it looks like the real hook here is the community: concerned consumers swapping their information and experiences. The "rate and review" model has worked well for Amazon, so I'm hoping that proves true here, also. As the site owners write, much less consumption would be ideally green, but, until we get there, let's show consumers that there are more sustainable products available... lots of them.

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