Full disclosure: Green Options is not a client, but I've pitched them a few times on behalf of big corporate and non-profit clients with varying levels of success. I appreciate the fact that the writers and editors at GO are very good at responding to emails. And since I covered energy and trade issues for a US Senator for a number of years, I have a personal interest in the issues covered by the writers there.
I think they're still tinkering with design issues and may not yet be satisfied with the look and feel of the site. It's changed a few times over the past several weeks. But I'm hooked on GO because I think they're the next generation of news network that Richard Stacy approximated when he commented here way back when:
...the really big thing that has changed is that it now costs virtually nothing to distribute content whereas previously it cost a huge amount of money. The old media model therefore had to be a mass model. Now you don't need to be mass to be media - and this has turned the whole economics of the media on its head. There still will be a demand for mass content - but there is now a huge new competing media space which is based around the needs of, and produced by, the individual. This is a fundamental, game changing shift.
While individuals will certainly drive most of the content, I think the news network of the future will be specialized and feature globally dispersed groups of talented freelance contributors. Content will be community-focused, and it will take many forms. Overhead will be almost zero. To learn about the future of media, just look at Green Options today.
Green Options maintains a large stable of independent contributors who often write their own blogs and cover their own beats. Maria Surma Manka covers "alternate" energy such as solar power. Philip Proefrock is an architect who writes about green design and construction for Green Design for EcoGeek and GO. Brady Swenson and Alica Erickson write about global trade issues and have their own fair trade business. These writers obviously add value to the group blog, but they also use GO to promote their own writing and financial endeavors.
GO isn't just an "online magazine." They offer an "e-course" to help people adopt a sustainable lifestyle without feeling like your entire life is made of 80% post-consumer content recycled cardboard. Podcasts? Yup, they got'em, thanks to GO's senior statesman, Max Lindberg. (and let's be honest, a green-podcasting septuagenarian is reason enough to be named Best Blog EVAH. Go MAX!) They've got a forum for readers to express opinions and ask questions, and they're busy building a community. It looks like they're developing an agreement with EcoGeek to maybe start a little cross-polination as well.
It looks like GO is building sustainably for the long term.