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BC Hydro's Green Gifts: harnessing Facebook gift-giving energy for conservation

When you're a company looking to make your first foray into the thickets of social media, building your own online community from scratch – and taking on everything from usability issues to platform selection to how you get that critical mass of people to sign up in the first place – can seem pretty daunting, and with good reason.

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Lights out in 15 minutes

We'll be switching off the site for five minutes at 10:55 Pacific Time today. Here's why:

There's this French initiative that has caught on well beyond the country's borders: turning off our lights for five minutes in the evening on Thursday, February 1st. (That's 10:55 am to 11:00 am our time here in B.C.)

It's meant to draw attention for the need for action on climate change:

Why February 1st? Because the next day, in Paris, the latest report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will be released. This event will take place in France; we can't pass up this opportunity to focus attention on the urgency of the global climate situation. (my translation)

The idea has taken hold, passed along on blogs and email lists around the world. The idea isn't to save the world by reducing energy consumption by a tiny amount (although, hey, every bit helps) – it's to raise awareness and signal just how broad support is for urgent, coordinated action.

At a time when even the Harper Conservatives are realizing they need to make some changes, this is an opportunity to push the powers that be all the harder. So vote with your fingers: switch off the lights, shut down your laptops, turn off the radio... and let's find out just how much power there can be in powering down.

 Update at 11:01 am: And we're back!

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