Ecorazzi’s Rebecca Carter dishes on what it takes to run a green gossip blog. By Kiera Butler
Who says environmentalists can’t indulge in a little Hollywood gossip now and then? Certainly not Rebecca Carter and Michael D’Estries, cofounders of the green and humanitarian celebrity news blog Ecorazzi. The site has been up and running since this past August, and it currently attracts about 2,000 gossip-craving greenies every day. Plenty talked to Carter about the latest eco-buzz in Tinsel Town—and how Ecorazzi covers it.
Where did the Ecorazzi idea come from?
I originally wrote a post last year about green celebrities for my blog, Greener Miami. A little later, my cofounder Michael D’Estries came to me and said, ‘We should do a whole blog on this’. There are so many [blogs] on green building, on oil, on fashion, on pretty much anything you want, and we said, ‘Why isn’t anyone doing this?’
Even though Ecorazzi has only been around for about six months, you already have your celebrity tentacles out, and you get some good tips.
We have some regular tipsters that come to us, and we also just get out there and find the information ourselves. We see some people over and over again, but most of the time we don’t even know who our tipsters are beyond their first name. They just drop us an e-mail, and that’s basically how it works. We’re about to start a drive to try and get more correspondents in cities across the globe. We want to have people to help us report in the cities where a lot of this stuff is happening.
What kinds of stories do readers respond to the most?
Readers like the mix of feel-good stories and snarky ones. We do some slams if we catch someone doing something we don’t particularly approve of. It’s a fine balance. You have to walk the line very carefully or they’ll turn on you. You can’t slam someone unreasonably, and you don’t want to puff someone up when it’s not appropriate.
Are there particular topics that people clamor to read more about?
Recently we’ve done a lot of PETA [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals] stories, just because there are a lot of PETA stories happening right now. I did get to feel like I was on an all-PETA network. I got one comment that said ‘I love your site, but why all the animal talk?’
Who are the greenest celebs these days?
Woody Harrelson has some great things going on. He has his own website, Voice Yourself, and he’s really into the biodiesel movement. Orlando Bloom just had his home completely redone with solar panels, and it’s energy efficient. Ed Norton has his neighborhood solar energy program: For every celebrity that buys the solar panels and has them installed, a low-income family also receives solar panels.
We have to ask: Who’s greener, Leonardo DiCaprio or George Clooney?
I’m not getting involved in this one! They’re both doing great things on the environmental and humanitarian fronts. Clooney just signed up to promote a lithium-powered electric Smart Car in Italy this summer. I’d been kind of into the environment in college and then drifted away. Then I saw one of these silly Leonardo DiCaprio shows, and I saw how he was doing all these great things for the environment and I said, okay, I’m getting back into it! I don’t know why, I don’t think I’m usually influenced by those kinds of things. But he arrives at film premieres in his Prius—I think he was one of the first to really make the Prius a sex symbol. He also has his own website, which is set up as an educational resource, encouraging people to reduce energy consumption, get rid of junk mail, etc.
What does the future hold for Ecorazzi?
We’re starting to get in with some celebrities, to be able to speak with them directly. As we grow, we hope to be able to reach inside the industry a little more personally and do more live reporting. Hopefully eventually we’ll have video on our website. We’ve definitely got some big stuff going on.
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