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Off on a tangent, as usual: In search of environmental management buzz phrases



Title: Off on a tangent, as usual: In search of environmental management buzz phrases

P2TECHies -

I am mentoring a group of Washington State University computer science students, who are developing what amounts to a "buzz index" to keep track of the rising (and waning) popularity of various environmental concepts or phrases.  This work is being done as their "capstone" design course and I hope to take the finished product and make it available at ChemAlliance sometime later this summer, but more about that later.

if you are not familiar with the idea of a "buzz index," you can visit Yahoo's version:  http://buzz.yahoo.com/overall/.  Basically, the idea is to leverage the millions of users of the internet (and some nifty little features built into the popular search engines) to determine what new concepts or phrases are swimming around in the collective brain pool of the P2 community.

In order to do this, I need to provide my students with a list of phrases/concepts (collectively referred to as "memes," borrowing the term from the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, who used it to refer to the elemental pieces of ideas that continually combine, split, and recombine to form our culture) that they can use as seeds for this index.

I am hoping, via this e-mail, to solicit submissions of a set of such memes, along with a short definition, and a web link which does a good job of providing additional information.

For example,  in the Chemical industry, one such buzz phrase might be "Responsible Care Management System (RCMS)" which is, in essence, a marriage between the Responsible Care program and Environmental Management Systems.  A good link is the one provided by SOCMA (http://www.socma.com/ResponsibleCare/rcms.htm).

You get the idea, I hope.

Being largely immersed in information technology research problems these days, I do not have my ear to the ground as much as I once did, at least when it comes to environmental concepts.  I am hoping that my friends on P2TECH can once again come to the rescue and provide me with a few (or a few dozen) candidate phrases that you'd like to see monitored for popularity.  I won't mention any names (Bob, Cam) but I know that there are SOME denizens of this list who are ALWAYS prepared with the latest and greatest in buzz phrases, and we love them for it. 

You can submit the suggestions to me in response to this note.  I will inform the list when the buzz index is online (expected early June 2005).

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Scott Butner
Director, ChemAlliance
c/o Pacific NW National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA  99352
Voice: (509)-372-4946/Fax: (509) 375-2443
Website: http://www.chemalliance.org/
E-mail: scott.butner@pnl.gov
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