Archive for blogs

Seeking Alpha: How To Encourage Thinking Inside the Box

Seeking Alpha (SA) has long been a good website aggregating content about stocks from around the web, and they’ve come up with some useful innovations, such as paying authors for original content (1 cent per page view). The money isn’t great, but I know of at least one seasoned writer (Dana Blankenhorn) who is actually making a decent living on it… and I was the one who told him about the opportunity.

SA has been republishing about 2/3 of my content since 2007 – a little over 300 articles so far, although I have not participated in the exclusive content program, for two reasons. First, because my other blogs (AltEnergyStocks.com and Forbes.com) pay more (although still not much) and they don’t say that I can’t republish elsewhere afterwards.

Part of the reason they pay more is because Seeking Alpha is set up to favor conventional, easy-to-categorize content: About two years ago, they changed their categorization system to only include the traditional industry groups: Utilities, Consumer Goods, Etc. In the process, they eliminated the category Alternative Energy. Now, writers who focus on one traditional sector such as IT tend to be featured more prominently on the website.

My articles, on the other hand, are about green investing, a cross-cutting theme if there ever was one. Much of the time, they do not get categorized at all.

To be fair, I’ve talked to Eli Hoffman, who owns the site, and several other employees about this several times over the last few years. They are aware of the problem, and agree that it needs to be fixed, but they certainly have not made it a priority. Which is weird, since the claim that the main purpose of their site is to help people be better investors.

Since when did promoting conventional thinking make anyone a better investor?

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Five Top 10 Lists for 2009

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Top Ten Lists: My Stock Picks for 2008 and Most Blogged Stories of 2007

I did two top Ten lists to bring in the New Year. First, I picked ten speculative plays in renewable energy and energy efficiency that I think will do well. This was a 3 part series:

Part I: LED Stocks and Ultracapacitor stocks
Part II: Batteries, Distributed Generation, combined Heat and Power, and Electricity Transmission
Part III: Geothermal, Wind and Wave Power stocks, and a Solar Short

My second Top 10 list is plain fun… we used an algorithm to see what stories cleantech bloggers were linking to in 2007, and I did a short summary of each. Here is my Ten Most Blogged Cleantech Stories of 2007

Enjoy!

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Top Five Environmental Stocks for Gifts

For the Shopping season, I’ve just publised an article on a gift that’s greener than just giving more “stuff.” Help your young ones prepare for their future (and the future of the planet) with my Top Five Stocks to Give as Gifts this Holiday Season.
Green Gift

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Socially Responsible Finance Jobs?

Live Earth seems to have had a big effect… both this (my personal blog) and Alt Energy Stocks have seen a big boost in readership this week.

So if you listened to Live Earth, and had a life-changing experience, you might be just looking for a new, socially responsible career. I can tell you one sector that does not have enough good talent: Socially Responsible Finance. The folks over at the ForEx Blog have put together a list of Four Careers in Social Finance, although they call it 13 (perhaps because there are a few tips and pointers thrown in as well.) This neatly deflates two myths about money-men:

1. Some of us do want to make the world a better place
2. Not all of us are good at math.

I do have one major gripe: They didn’t mention my job: Renewable Energy Investment Analyst/Advisor/Writer. Maybe because it’s too long… or actually three jobs… but, really, guys, there’s no real competition. C’mon in, the water’s fine!

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The fine line between ads and spam

Here’s an article by Davis Freeberg it because it confirms my thoughts about stockpicking… if you find out about a company because of an ad, you’re probably best staying away. A healthy dose of suspicion is worth it’s weight in gold.

No AltEnergyStocks column this week… I’m trying to dig myself out after coming back from vacation. But I did catch up with my Economist reading… they now have an audio version (free to subscribers) which is great for long drives.

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Fortune 500 blog project: Utilities ain’t got blogs

It’s a slow day for me, with the markets closed out of respect for President Ford, so thought I’d dust off some old to-do’s I’d written myself.  One was to help out with blog reviews for the Fortune 500 blog project.  I like to review energy companies, so I decided to pick on Atmos Energy.  Same problem as last time: no blogs.  

I’m beginning to see a pattern here.  Regulated monopolies in general, and utilities in particular tend to be laggards when it comes to change.  We not only see this in the giant boom in the building of new coal plants when we need carbon neutral generation and more energy efficiency and demand side management.  We also see it in their lethargy in adopting new types of communication, such as blogs.

 I thought I’d test my theory and see what other utilities in the Fortune 500 I could find without blogs.  Here’s the list:

Cinergy (which is now merged with Duke Energy).  No blogs for either.  

Northeast Utilities(and I didn’t find blog for any of the utilities under their umbrella, either)

I did find a blog for Chesapeake Energy , but it’s just an automated news blog, pulling headlines from other sources on the web, with no original content, nor affiliation with the company.

I think I’ll try some non-utility energy companies the next time I haul this off the back burner.

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