Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Micro-geo-insta-bloggers meet Prevention

Is there a use for microblogging tools in Public Health, particularly STD and HIV prevention? What can we come up with?

There's Yellow Arrow: "...a global creative community making a new M.A.A.P. (massively authored artistic publication) of the world." In basic terms, Yellow Arrow links a physical places with a virtual messages that are accessible to anyone with mobile text capability.

IDEA: Rachel Kachur, CDC, says: "I can imagine using this for an STD awareness campaign. Anywhere there is a yellow arrow with a certain code, people call the number, enter the code and get an STD message. 'If you are sexually active, your chances of having chlamydia are 1 in 4. Get tested.' Something like that. We could do a campaign on a college campus and see if it increases testing..."

There's Twitter: a new way to answer the question " what are you doing right now?" by text or computer and then have it broadcast to the web and to others' phones in your network.

IDEA: What are you doing right now? "Downloading a syphilis test." "Asking Dr. K a question." "Sending an InSPOT card." Would people share this info?

There's Dodgeball: I blogged it before. Basically Dodgeball relays texts to as many people as you want or alerts you by text when you are physically close to a "crush" or a "friend's friend."

IDEA: Could a location notify you when you are near IT? Rather than a person setting off your text alert, could you get a message when you are near a bowl of free condoms or a test site? I guess it's possible if there were a phone sitting in the bottom of the bucket or in the pocket of a test counselor.

There's Justin.tv (not a blog per se. More like a really bright idea): Laughing Squid said it best, Metroblogging said it next.

IDEA: Justin has been living on streaming video for 8 days now. You can text in what you'ld like to see Justin do. Maybe Justin should text the word SEXINFO to 61827 and show us all what happens. ... there's a lot of people watching. I'm going to ask him. Check in to see if he does it.

There's vlogging in general:

IDEAs: ?

Let's brainstorm. Public health and STD/HIV prevention does not have to live behind the curve.


sadelson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stephan said...

I was reading about micro (mini) blogs last night but I wonder if this will really be something that will be widely used. Looking at the younger generation the majority are 160 character types – bloggers – mini and otherwise are not the rule in communication but the exception…. A vocal exception but still an exception – dollar for dollar I still think text is the best and most versatile value. I am not a great fan of blogging – micro or macro – in general bloggers are not so much the target I would want to reach. I think it (blogging) is not very popular with at risk populations in general.

I would put money on video over cellular - a phone like youtube – real viral marketing potential there!!

On another topic not mentioned before – I was approached by a company that is selling Bluetooth servers that push messages to cell phones IE: when anyone with Bluetooth enabled device walks into a store – it beeps – {{poof}} you have a coupon pushed from their server - - I did not pursue them as I saw the benefit for the advertiser but not so much for the end users…Bluetooth and push technology might be worth looking at too – walk into a clinic – it pushes the phone number and address card for the clinic to your phone – or a message - ???

Phalligator said...

Update: I asked Justin to text SEXINFO to 61827 and I haven't gotten a response yet. Who knows, maybe some of the 696watchers gave it a try. An interesting experiment.

Phalligator said...

Update on Twitter's usefullness to non-profits that I found from blogger Michael Gilbert.

Deb said...

The interesting twist of technology as regards sexual health info is privacy. According to our focus groups, using "push" technology doesn't work for sexual issues. Think about it: I walk into an STD clinic and get a text. Now, my wireless carrier, along with the vendor or service provider "pushing" the text, know that I'm sexually active, I think I need to get tested for an STD, etc.

In addition, text messages are not password protected on mobile phones. What if I've got my phone off, my mother turns it on later in the day and she gets the message with the clinic information. You can imagine the scenarios if you let yourself.

It's always a conundrum in dealing with shame, embarassment, and privacy around sex as it relates to new technologies. Really, as it relates to our lives.