Anyone who's been around me for a while knows that I love numbers. (If you need to know pi to 50 digits, just give me a call.) Well, this article is number 100 in the Energy Vanguard blog. Wow! Even though I prefer odd numbers, I do like the sound of that. It's taken only 2 days less than 8 months to get here, too.
Along the way, I've also learned a thing or two about social media. I've got more than 600 LinkedIn connections, 500+ Twitter followers, and 125 fans of our page on Facebook, and I use these social networks nearly every day. Here are my top 5 reasons for using them:
It's an interesting time to build a business because of the tremendous opportunity that social networking and the Internet create. And believe it or not, small businesses do have some really nice
advantages over big or medium-sized businesses here. We blog more. We tweet more. We network more. Do those things, do them consistently, and know your stuff, and you'll be seen as a leader in your field.
Which brings me to my main point: Home Energy Pros is a new social networking site for those of us in the field who want to learn more, create strategic alliances, and get involved in shaping the new reality that's evolving every day. This new network provides a home for the kind of networking that's been happening piecemeal in various places on the web.
We can create, join, and participate in groups. We can post photos, blogs, and videos. We can connect with others in the field. As I write this, the front page has a forum item in which someone has posted a free lead for a spray foam contractor in Florida. Also, I created a group called HVAC to discuss HVAC design, duct leakage, efficiency ratings, types of equipment, and all things HVAC. You should go join the HVAC group now.
So, who's behind Home Energy Pros? Two groups actually: Home Energy Saver and Home Energy magazine. The former, an online home energy audit tool, came out of the US Department of Energy and is a product of ARRA funding (the Stimulus Act). The latter, of course, is well known to those of us in the field as the main publication for the home energy rating, home performance, and weatherization communities. With strong ties to the building science group at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Home Energy Pros can definitely keep you in the know.
One thing I really like about Home Energy Pros is its versatility. Up to this point, what I've found to be one of the best places for home energy pros to discuss topics online is the RESNET BPI group on LinkedIn. It's got limitations, though. You can't post photos or videos into the site, for example. At Home Energy Pros, you can do that and more.
Don't underestimate the magnitude of the structural changes in our economic and social systems. We're going through upheavals now, and energy will be a huge issue this century. Although I believe that we have to come to grips with peak oil and the end of growth, there is still reason for optimism. The work we do for home energy conservation can have a huge impact, and that's what motivates me.
Home Energy Pros gives us a way to coordinate our efforts, learn from each other, and make a difference. If you want to be involved in the home energy field on any level, you need to be a member of Home Energy Pros - and participate!