A look back at Canary’s first year on social media

What do DOE Secretary Granholm and Sir Richard Branson have in common? They’ve both tweeted about Canary Media.

An illustration showing the words Friday Social in neon surrounded by social media avatars and emojis

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Canary Media’s Friday Social column explores the intersection of energy, climate and social media. Canary thanks Silverline Communications for its support of the column.

A year ago this week, a joyful shout was heard by energy nerds around the world: Oh yeah, baby, Canary Media!” Canary General Manager Nicholas Rinaldi couldn’t contain his glee while filming Canary’s advertisement running on the 120-foot-tall Nasdaq billboard in New York City’s Times Square, and it makes for a delightful audio clip.

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It was my double rainbow’ moment,” joked Rinaldi when I told him I’d be including the video in this piece.

It wasn’t just Canary staff members that were excited. Some prominent names from across the industry weighed in on the launch too:

A LinkedIn post from DOE Loan Programs Office Director Jigar Shah announcing Canary Media's launch.

Since then, Canary Media has been covering the latest developments in the clean energy transition — and making our mark in the social media sphere while we’re at it. 

By the way, did you catch when Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm shared one of Maria Virginia Olano’s charts of the week earlier this year?

In honor of Canary’s one-year anniversary (Canary-versary?), I thought it’d be fun to revisit some other social media highlights from the past year.

The Friday Social origin story

Canary readers are among the smartest minds in climatetech (give yourself a pat on the back) and are super willing to engage in knowledge shares. Instead of using this brain trust to change the world for the better, I harnessed this power back in August to crowdsource energy- and climate-themed playlists on Spotify.

After writing a piece in which I solicited recommendations for the first playlist and then penning an ode to #energytwitter, both of which were published on Fridays, I proposed the idea of authoring a column covering the intersection of energy, climate and the internet. Fortunately, my supportive Canary colleagues were into it, so long as it was relegated to Fridays (when most people are only half working). Thus, Friday Social was born.

I admit it’s a goofy column, covering hard-hitting topics like heat pumps that look like George Clooney and Ford’s electric-vehicle memes. But it’s also a space to highlight boundary-pushing climate creatives such as Nicole Kelner and Sarah Lazarovic, Alaina The Garbage Queen” Wood and Doria Brown, Rollie Williams, Pique Action, Flourish Fiction, The Sunion and more.

Other internet happenings

Canary has hosted a number of live virtual events in our first year, including several on Clubhouse (back when it was the shiny new thing) — this one on cleantech investing was particularly popular. More recently, we’ve dabbled with Twitter Spaces, such as when we announced the launch of Stephen Lacey’s The Carbon Copy podcast and Catalyst with Shayle Kann.

However, our biggest event to date was when thousands of climate and energy professionals signed up to watch Canary’s live debate between Ahmad Faruqui and Severin Borenstein, two top experts on California’s hotly contested solar net-metering proposal.

And while we’re on the topic of debates, I’d be remiss not to mention all of the robust discussions about Canary Media content that occur on news aggregation sites. On Reddit (where we hosted an AMA around the time of our launch), you can join the sometimes thousands of commenters who are discussing Canary stories on the inevitably of renewables or a subscription-based electric school bus fleet. Or you can head over to Y Combinator’s Hacker News, where, for example, the topic of nuclear startup Oklo garnered hundreds of comments.

Meanwhile, Canary Media’s Julian Spector is well on his way to becoming a famous YouTube personality with video stories on Hawaii’s transition away from coal, a solar- and hydrogen-powered boat, and perhaps most impressively, a video profile of a company that connected used EV batteries to the grid that has been watched nearly 150,000 times.

A few more things

If you’ve made it this far into the article, I assume you already follow Canary on social media. But if not, you can find us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube.

A fun fact: The Canary team is divided on the topic of bird puns. I’m not. Join the flock by donating to this nonprofit’s nest egg during our first-anniversary pledge drive. If you’re a fan of Friday Social, be sure to mention that in your donation comment!

Thank you to our readers, to the entire Canary team (with a special shoutout to Stephanie Primavera, who leads Canary’s presence on social media), and to RMI for making this whole Canary Media thing happen.

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Silverline Communications, the supporter of this column, is a climatetech and ESG communications firm with deep experience in all facets of the clean economy. Learn more about how Silverline connects clients with stakeholders on social channels and beyond.

Mike Munsell is director of growth at Canary Media.