Thursday, September 27, 2007

Deb rocks on Real Life Real Talk radio

Deb Levine, ISIS Executive Director and founder, joined Real Life Real Talk yesterday for a radio interview. Check out Deb as she talks about ISIS' growth, inSPOT expansion, issues with verifying sex information online, and about the upcoming Sex::Tech conference and Fresh Focus Video Contest.

Check it out here. Go Deb!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fresh Focus: Sex Ed Video Contest has launched!

Internet Sexuality Information Services and RH Reality Check in conjunction with present the Fresh Focus: Sex Ed Video Contest. You could win a $3500 scholarship or cash equivalent just for making a video about sex! Videos -3 minutes tops- should be submitted to by December 31st, 2007 and should follow one of two contest themes:

Theme 1: Share your sex ed experience so far. Show us how and why it sucked or rocked.

Theme 2: Redesign how sex ed could be delivered. Imagine that anything is possible.

Voting will begin on January 4th. The winning videos will premier at the Sex::Tech Conference: Focus on Youth, taking place January 22-23, 2008 at SFSU's Institute for Next Generation Internet in San Francisco to an audience of health professionals, youth activists, educators and tech wizards!

First place wins a $3500 scholarship to the educational institution of your choice (or cash equivalent) and a free trip to San Francisco to attend the conference; second place wins $1000 cash; and third prize is your choice of a Nikon P5000, a Nintendo Wii or an iPhone. Content and creative vision will be weighed more heavily than production quality. Film makers must be between the ages of 15-30. See the official rules for more details.

Check out our contest partners:
Advocates For Youth
RH Reality Check

Snag the press release HERE.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Free (and informative) geek rags - from the CDC

A little known fact is that MMWR (CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report) is free and you can sign up and have it sent to your inbox every week!

It sounds morbid, yes, but it is a great resource, with links to full length articles, podcasts and delicious statistics. So it doesn't always have sexual health related articles. An sample of what came this week:
"QuickStats: Death rates from poisoning, By State, United States 2004"
"Ocular and Respiratory Illnesses Associated with an Indoor Swimming Pool, Nebraska 2006"

But several weeks back was this gem:
"QuickStats: Percentage of Adults aged >18 Years Who Reported Ever Being Tested for Human Immuno Deficiency Virus..."

To sign up for your free subscription, just name and email needed, go here.

Now, if you're really into infectious diseases (like me), you might want to read Emerging Infectious Diseases. This is also a free CDC publication and you can have it sent to your house in full glossy glory. Sign up here.

I look forward to it every month.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

OKcupid - quiz mania

So I randomly took an OKCupid quiz the other day. And after that I took another and another -- very addicting. The cool part is that after you take one, you can see other people who have taken them as well, their profiles on OKCupid, etc. So here it is in all it's glory, The Dating Personality Test.

The result you ask? I'm The Bachelor. The Deliberate Gentle Sex Master (DGSM). My exact dating opposite is appropriately "The Manchild," of the Random Brutal Love Dreamer (RBLD).

Some sample questions include:
"Would you rather get caught masturbating by your mother or your father?"
"You're in a serious, loving relationship, and your mate asks for a threesome. You are more...

There is also a "The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test." I'm a pure nerd. See isn't this fun?

Online Dating Insider provides a closer look at the quiz algorithm and question asking philosophy, which yes you guessed it, is much different from eHarmony's. OkCupid is also developing a new app for Facebook which will no doubt multiply their marketing potential.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Safe Sex Fridays - Your own baby unicorn

So, first I will thank Boingboing and the Second Life Herald for handing me the perfect Safe Sex Fridays tidbit of silliness. In Safe Sex Fridays I like to give a little example of something sex related, that you may not have seen/wanted to see before, and that's safe. One time I shared some videos of people dry humping couches and another time I told you about the Masturbate-a-thon.

Now you can have your very own baby unicorn in Second Life, BUT you have to have sex with an adult unicorn (which is really not safe in real life, and actually might not even be fun virtually).

But aren't they cute? For the birds and the bees diagrams go here. The comment thread on the Herald article reeks of disapproval, which is interesting to see given that Second Life is one of the only places available to have sex with a unicorn (if you so choose).

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Manhunt places official badges on health profiles, the longtime hookup site darling of public health STD control departments, has launched a new idea. I think I like this one. In an email sent out to "Health and Outreach Partner[s]," health liaison Shaun Lord says,

"In an effort to both promote and certify that our site's health related profiles are legitimate, we are excited to inform you that we have created a standardized 'Manhunt Cares' logo that will be used for all health and outreach profiles. No action is required on your part. We will be uploading this logo onto the primary picture space of each profile over the next couple of weeks..."

A touch of background: health departments and community organizations have been allowed to have outreach and partner notification (PN) profiles on Manhunt. These have had various degrees of success as the rules for online PN are still somewhat hazy, outreach volunteers are not always properly trained, and users approached by health profiles do not readily trust that they are legit. However, when used professionally, folks who may need to test are nudged to do so, etc.

So here's why I like this:
1. Standardized health profiles may be easier to trust. Users already have at least some trust for Manhunt itself.
2. Outreach and partner notification profiles will be separated (at least I hope so). This is important since the two tasks have very different goals that are not always clear to the person being approached, and they also have different laws they must abide by.
3. May help outreach worker conduct stay within the lines of legit work. There have been problems in the past with outreach workers soliciting members they are hired to 'help.' The more official they look, the more official they will (hopefully) act.

Here are some of my questions/hopes:
1. In placing these new logos on outreach and PN, will each profile's parent organization be verified? Are they doing what they are there to do?
2. Can this verification help weed out the overlap so that Manhunt isn't overly saturated with health profiles that aren't being used, but rather are just sitting there?
3. Can these two activities be defined somewhere so that users can have some standardized information about what the goals of health dept. online activities are?

Regardless, I'm interested to see how this impacts online partner notification success on Manhunt. Nice work!

Update: Thanks to Mark Brooks for sharing this interesting interview with Manhunt's chairman of the board.