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The Planet

Sierra Club

Web Widens Club Reach

Electronic resources are increasingly important to the Sierra Club

The Planet, May 1997, Volume 4, number 4

By Sarah Fallon

Whether it be quick composting tips or a complete home course on ichthyology, a search for "environment" using Digital's AltaVista search engine yields more than 2,700,000 links, some useful (the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency site) and some mundane (the corrugated cardboard products site).

If you want your search to be more than an overwhelming meander through cyberspace, click to the Sierra Club Web site, a goldmine of information and resources for members and the general public alike. Sierra magazine and The Planet are archived here; there are also links to chapter and group homepages, newsletters, environmental education resources and other useful sites. Members and activists will be most interested in the Sierra Club action updates, conservation updates and regional news. You can also search through the outings page for trips in your area of interest, print out book order forms, flip through congressional voter-charts and research candidate positions. You can do a keyword search of the site by going to The site receives approximately 4,400 visits per day, and this number is only expected to increase.

The Sierra Club ListServ system, which allows us to build a grassroots organization of "digital activists," is a more interactive tool. The largest list, Sierra Club action alerts, has nearly 4,000 subscribers. A ListServ is an e-mail system that allows subscribers to participate in discussions on topics of mutual interest and receive relevant mailings. While a particularly active list can fill up your mailbox pretty quickly (imagine being in a room full of people and getting an e-mail every time someone said anything) the lists are a good way to stay abreast of issues and share ideas and resources with others interested in the same topic. To receive a complete list of Sierra Club lists, send an e-mail with the command LISTS in the body (not the subject line) of the message to <>. The message you get back will give you the addresses of lists like action alerts, the newsfeed, a discussion group on hormone mimickers, and hiking and climbing groups. For a handy list of ListServ commands, send the message
to the ListServ address above.

These technological resources are increasingly important in developing quick-response grassroots communication. The Club was one of the first environmental organizations to establish a presence on the Internet and our approach to Web design and content has made us a significant player and oft-consulted resource for people looking for information on environmental issues.

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