What’s Next? That’s the question The Social Innovation Summit asked us last week. Following the event’s hashtag #SIS12, I connected with Katie Ferrari, who’s passionate about storytelling for social innovation. I invited her to share her top observations from the conference. She asked if she could touch on storytelling in her recap, to which I replied: even better. Enjoy!
Do you have 3 seconds? Please vote.
Truth is: This year, I debated whether or not to keep blogging. <gasp!> Blogging, to many, had become a business. Bloggers churned out posts to meet quotas and game search engines to increase rankings, chase money or achieve fame. That’s not me.
To me, blogging is about learning. It’s a way to learn about how to use all our tools to do good–with all the other kids in the sandbox. So I’ve decided to power on–but not without a few changes…
Live. Learn. Fly.
Given its been three years since SocialButterfly had a facelift, her time is due. Using the responsive Portfolio WordPress theme as a base, the amazing team at ArrowRoot Media (hat tip to founder Jaki Levy and designer Brielle Maxwell) has been working on a design refresh for SocialButterfly.
Inspired by the concept of a “portfolio career,” the theme seemed a perfect match given my new role at RTI International and as I enter my second year teaching at American University and continue to help grow the Rampy MS Research Foundation. Refresh goals include making the site faster and compatible across mobile devices while also giving it a more customized design.
A Word of Thanks
2012 has been quite a year of discovery for me–especially in examining the role of leadership in my life and what it means to truly be, act and serve as a leader. I’ll spare you the diatribe and instead offer you encouragement:
No matter the dark forces working to bring you down, hold you back or separate you from your true self, hold on to your values, dreams, integrity, curiosity and love for learning, people and this world. We need you and the people you’ll help inspire.
Thank you readers and friends who have stood by SocialButterfly, even when I haven’t been actively writing or responsive. May we continue to live, learn, and fly–together.
What are you thankful for?
This is what Facebook asked its members Nov. 22 in a rare switch from its usual “What’s on your mind?” prompt. Little did it know (perhaps), that a number of Facebook users were already sharing what they were thankful for–once a day, everyday–throughout the month of November. To my knowledge, this was no organized effort, just an organic effort that snowballed.
30 Days of Thanksgiving
My friend (and one of the best designers I know) Katie Keys, participated and shares: “I saw others posting things they were thankful for, and thought it would be a great way to reflect on my own blessings in my life each day. It inspired me and I decided to join in.”
Katie wasn’t alone. I also saw posts from other friends, family and colleagues all sharing what they were thankful for each day. Surely, this couldn’t have been a coincidence. Did you participate or notice your friends doing the same? Please share in the comments!
Can online, social networks really help people stop smoking?
This is what 100 experts came together to discuss in a 2-day workshop in Washington, D.C. The result was a proposed research agenda on online social networks and smoking cessation. The group proposes 34 questions they deem most pressing in four categories: advancing theory, understanding fundamental mechanisms, intervention approaches, and evaluation.
This was 2010.
There is A Need
We are on the edge of 2013. And while the Web is ubiquitous–making qualms between offline and online approaches somewhat void when we should be looking at the overall customer experience…We’re still working to better understand many of the questions proposed:
- How well do theoretical models of social influence translate between offline and online contexts?
- How does information spread through an online social network? Are there identifiable patterns of information spread that can be leveraged in intervention research?
- Can key participants in a network be identified and targeted to foster information diffusion or make it more efficient?
- What are the drivers of the viral spread of an application, concept, or innovation through online networks?
- What predicts engagement in an online social network?
All 34 questions themselves are invigorating. I encourage you to take them back to your team to fodder discussion and brainstorming. We need to be asking these questions. We need to test our ideas, explore what’s working and share it with our colleagues. But there’s a greater need.
You Can Help Solve It
As a practitioner, one item stood out among the research agenda. It’s worth filing in your back pocket and pulling out as evidence when you’re in one of those meetings:
“While there are ways in which offline and online behaviors overlap and can reciprocally inform models, mechanisms, implementation, and evaluation, there are also important differences that require critical thinking about online networks. There is a need to challenge and test the assumptions inherent in traditional models when developing, implementing, and evaluating online interventions.”
You are called to challenge traditional models–even tested ones. Rather, find inspirational models. Study them. Find what’s working. Lean on your training, work to better understand people and unwind the assumptions you bring to even the tiniest of tasks. If you’re a graphic designer for example, maybe you look into the psychology of color and how that impacts design and behavior. This is the art behind the science, so go grab your paintbrush.
What do you think about the proposed research agenda? What questions would you add?
What is the main source of health information for Gen Y American Indian and Alaskan Natives? Wikipedia–and they aren’t alone.
In a study published this month in the Journal of Health Communication, researchers examined the use of online health information resources used by American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIAN). The study is key as it helps fill a gap as often the AIAN population, about 4.9 million in population, is grouped under “other” in most research studies, including those conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
In Search of Insight
The study focused on American Indians in the Central Plains region of the United States specifically and provides insight for those working with members in this community. The study aimed to answer the following research questions:
- How do AIAN access the Internet?
- How important is the Internet as a health information resource for AIAN?
- Where online do AIAN go for health information?
- Does gender influence AIAN health Internet usage?
- Does age influence AIAN health Internet usage?
- How much do AIAN trust online health information?
998 Great Plains AIAN participated in the study. Some of the insights gathered include:
- Home being the primary place participants accessed the Internet.
- Email, social networking and school activities dominated Internet-use.
- 59% reported using the Internet to look for health information with 23% stated that retrieval of health information was their most important online activity. Looking closer, researchers discuss that once the Internet is perceived as useful, it is used intensively for health-related activities.
- General health and weight control information were the two main health-related uses of the Internet.
- Generation Y participants relied more heavily on collective health knowledge with 31% sharing that Wikipedia is their main source for health information. Generation X tended to frequent sites containing information from expert sources such as WebMD (37%).
- Overwhelmingly, more women used the Internet for health-related activities compared to men. Researchers suggest that health communication campaigns employing the Internet may be more effective in reaching AIAN women.
- A need for accurate gender and age tailoring for programs that use Internet resources or that address health knowledge and education among these groups.
Call to Attention
The majority of AIAN members live in metropolitan areas while 40% live on reservations or tribal land. With a median age of 29 years, AIAN represent a younger population than does the rest of the nation with about 26% living in poverty. Given my own family heritage has faint traces of Cherokee heritage (rumor has it a great, great grandpa down the line was a Cherokee Indian chief), stats like these pull on the heart strings.
The researchers note that there were “very few” Native-specific health sites and those that existed were not widely publicized. Given preliminary analysis, they share that if there were more Native-specific health sites and people know about them (don’t over look this second part), AIAN would be far more likely to use and trust those sites. Researchers also shared that while the Internet is the proper channel to reach younger audiences, when it comes to health campaigns, they stress that interpersonal communication or using peer networks may be more effective.
Are any of these findings surprising to you? What insights can you share based on your work with AIAN communities?
Citation. Mugur V. Geana, Christine Makosky Daley, Niaman Nazir, Lance Cully, Jesse
Etheridge, Caroline Bledowski, Won S. Choi & K. Allen Greiner (2012): Use of Online Health
Information Resources by American Indians. Journal of Health Communication, 17(7), 820-835. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2011.650831
“Today, Coca-Cola is taking its digital communications to a new level,” said Clyde Tuggle, Senior Vice President and Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer, The Coca-Cola Company. “Coca-Cola Journey is the most ambitious digital project Coca-Cola has ever undertaken, and we are doubling-down on our commitment to be a quality publisher of compelling content.“
It is a wow experience.
In his book Platform, Michael Hyatt says that the essence of WOW is exceeding the customer’s current expectations. Coca-Cola achieves that with Coca-Cola Journey largely thanks to its smart packaging and display of quality content.
With Coca-Cola Journey, you experience the Coca-Cola brand, its story and vision within a context that invites you to participate. Rather than provide a standard corporate website, you’re offered a dynamic, digital magazine that features original and curated content designed to invite conversation in a creative, welcoming way with a side of intrigue and delight.
Learning from Coca-Cola, here are just four items to consider as you continue to evolve your own digital presence:
1. Prioritize the user-experience. “More than anything, we prioritized what creates a great user experience over the latest design trends,” explains Ashley Brown, Coca-Cola’s Director of Digital Communications and Social Media. Yet–the site still has appealing design. Think wow, not just what’s hot now.
2. Speak visually. As Laura Kisailus of Forum One recently posted, “Visual media reigns supreme…consider the packaging of your content across the social web.” Coca-Cola takes this to heart by pulling some of its key data points and shaping them into a visual format.
3. Leverage inbound marketing. One of the biggest shifts in Coca-Cola’s web strategy is the strategic decision to be a quality publisher of compelling content. Many marketers see value in this type of shift but only a fraction of organizations have put resources behind it.
4. Create liquid content. Coca-Cola isn’t stopping with inbound marketing. They have bet the farm on content marketing with a “Content 2020″ strategy. It’s mantra: “move from creative excellence to content excellence.” Content excellence equals liquid content, creating ideas that are contagious. As evidence, according to Marketing Week, Coca Cola’s new approach to creativity and advertising saw it create more than 120 pieces of content as part of its London 2012 Olympic sponsorship activity, compared with just three TV ad executions and six outdoor ad executions for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Watch the videos below on Coca-Cola’s full “Content 2020″ strategy, especially time stamp 3:04 in the second video to learn more about Coca-Cola’s 70/20/10 principle to liquid content. In the comments, share how are you’re evolving your content efforts so we can also learn from each other. What barriers are working against you?
What if you could plan for 100s, 1000s of people to all share your message at the same time?
Now, you can. With Thunderclap.
Thunderclap is a tool that lets you and others share the same message together, spreading an idea or call to action across Facebook and Twitter at the same time. With a click of a button, Thunderclap makes it easier for your communities to participate in your cause’s online advocacy efforts.
The concept of the Thunderclap is similiar to the “tweet bomb” tactic that was recently used for the #hungertohope World Food Day social fundraising campaign. Currently, there is no charge to use Thunderclap. However, if you create your own clap, you do have to go through a painless approval process as a way to cut down on message spam.
Bringing the Hammer
Thunderclap has already been used by a number of causes and is being called upon for the upcoming #GivingTuesday campaign, an effort encouraging people to give back the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday organizers are looking for 500 fellow clappers to help jump start the social campaign. Right now, they currently have 61 including myself. Will you consider joining?
Already, too many people and organizations treat social media as a broadcast mechanism rather than putting emphasis on content, people and relationships. Don’t be one of them. Instead, use your Thunderclap as an integrated part of your campaign. Include a call to action in your message along with a link. Optimize your landing pages. Measure your success. Go beyond one and done.
The Netherlands are about to launch a “smart road” system that uses infrastrure to support behavior change through a design solution–glow-in-the-dark paint! Nancy Lee, the godmother of social marketing, shared this innovative approach to behavior change on today’s social marketing listserv saying:
“[It'll] be interesting to see if a) it is effective and b) whether there are any unintended consequences such as an environmental impact from any toxics related to the materials. Hopefully [they] checked for that already.”
Innovative solutions often have at least one element in common–the creator’s ability to first identify a problem. (Side note: How do you train yourself to identify problems–large and small–that you can help solve? And yes, it takes training.) The designer behind the new Netherlands road system shares:
“One day I was sitting in my car in the Netherlands, and I was amazed by these roads we spend millions on but no one seems to care what they look like and how they behave,” the designer behind the concept, Daan Roosegaarde, told Wired.co.uk. “I started imagining this Route 66 of the future where technology jumps out of the computer screen and becomes part of us.”
How It Works
The “smart road” uses a photo-luminising powder that will replace road markings and special paint that will be used to paint markers along the road. The paint will charge in the sunlight, giving up to ten hours of glow-in-the-dark power come night time. For example, when temperatures fall to a certain point, images like snowflakes will become visible, indicating that the surface will likely be slippery.
Read the full story in Wired.co.uk to learn how the system works and how its creators say this is just the beginning to rethinking road and traffic safety through design. I also appreciate how this New York Times article, Dignifying Design, also emphasizes the art of “radical listening” to help us adjust our tool belts in how we approach creating a better world through design.
How are you applying design in your work?
How do you think about your content?
A new comScore report reminds us that audiences are not audiences and that content can be discovered as much as broadcasted. According to the report, Instagram tops Twitter in mobile engagement achieving an average of 7.3 million daily active users compared with Twitter’s 6.9 million. This means 7.3 million people access and use Instagram on any given day. What’s more, the study also found that the average Instagram user spends more time accessing the app, 257 minutes compared to 169.9 minutes spent on Twitter.
Does anyone else feel like Twitter has become a broadcast mechanism? I’m guilty of this myself. But Instagram, now that takes true imagineering. Just look at Sharpie for inspiration. Rather than trying to configure Instagram into a promotional tool, Sharpie uses it for storytelling with its images receiving an average of 1300 likes and over 21 comments.
For those unfamiliar, Instagram is a photo-sharing application that can be downloaded for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. You know–that app Facebook bought for a billion dollars? You snap a photo and can apply a variety of filters to it to make it look weathered, faded, vintage, or enhanced. While you follow friends like you might on Twitter, the use of hashtags become all the more important as people tag photos as a main way to find content. Oh, and there’s a number of third-party apps to play with as well.
What makes Instagram unique is that is can capture moments, visually, from one person or from a crowds–while on the go. As Geoff Livingston shares, “People are sharing real experiences [on Instagram].” Another descriptor: “The revolution won’t be televised, it will be instagrammed.”
7 Unique Examples of Using Instagram for Good
With over 40% of the top brands on Instagram, I’ve rounded up some examples of using Instagram for good that go beyond Mashable’s list of 10 inspiring nonprofits using Instagram. If you know of others, please add them in the comments below!
- Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) InstaWalk: East Bay Instgrammers, are one of three large Instagram groups in the Bay Area that organize photo-walks. This past January, their photo walk was amongst the BART system. If you want to address commuter health or promote walking, biking or taking the rail to work, this could be up your ally. Note: There are InstaWalks and then there’s InstaMarketing.
- Green NYC: The New York City Government is using Instagram in its Green NYC initiative by having their Mascot, Birdie, snap and share photos of his New York adventures. Green NYC looks to reduce greenhouse gas emission by encouraging New Yorkers to reduce their energy use, choose a more sustainable lifestyle, and take small actions that will help shrink the citywide carbon footprint and improve environmental quality.
- The #Kenya365 Instagram Project: A grassroots group of friends are starting a photo-a-day hashtag #Kenya365 to highlight life and community in Kenya. How can you expand perceptions of a geographic location or use the picture-a-day concept for your mission?
- Capturing moments: This may be taking things too far but Instagram was recently used to livestream a toddler’s open heart surgery. How can you provide access to big events or give view to the inbe-details of your work?
- U.S. Forestry Service’s Digital Leaf Press: Using Instagram, the service is taking conservation education digital! How else could you use Instagram for education?
- From Instagram to Inspired Media: This link actually shares five brillinatly creative uses of Instagram. While not necessarily social good specific examples, the creative concepts could be easily adaptable–an instagrammed music video? menu? mosaic art? Say no more.
- Advocating Through Visual Storytelling: Jana Baldwin, activist and blogger is a graduate of The George Washington School of Public Health who observed how many students never left campus to understand how different life is from NW to SW to NE to SE in Washington D.C. Thus, NW to SE was born where Jana sheds light on differences in life and culture within DC’s own city limits focusing on public health and safety issues. Instagram has become her latest tool of choice, sharing compelling images that capture life from NW to SE.
Try it out: Visual content shouldn’t be an afterthought. See how your organization or content area is viewed on Instagram. Use tools like Pinstagram, Webstagram and Statigram to search hashtags like #climatechange, #empowerment or #medicare. Are you inspired?
We are all patients. Yet only 10% of adults have the knowledge and skills needed to understand important information about their health (yikes!).
This edition of the HCSM Review celebrates October’s Health Literacy Month by exploring how this issue impacts online health information and the use of health care social media.
Health Literacy Coming of Age
What’s in a name? Social marketing isn’t the only one experiencing teenage angst in defining itself. Scholars recently conducted a recent review of 17 definitions of health literacy and developed a new definition that “captures the essence” of these definitions found in the literature. Can you believe there were 17 different definitions to begin with?
Taking steps forward. Building upon this review, my RTI colleagues published the “Health Literacy Skills Framework” which includes “information seeking & eHealth” as a critical skill set needed to navigate today’s health information. They also share that ”the absence of a common definition and understanding of health literacy may have slowed the field’s progress in developing measures and conducting solid methodological research.”
Recommended reading. Andre Blackman shared this wonderful gem: the recently published eHEALS Health Literacy Scale. The eHEALS is an 8-item measure of eHealth literacy developed to measure consumers’ combined knowledge, comfort, and perceived skills at finding, evaluating, and applying electronic health information to health problems. Also shared was the recommended read of the book Understanding Digital Literacies: A Practical Introduction.
Patient demands. A recent Harris Interactive study found that patients want more access to Web-based health services. Emily Zeigenfuse expands on this in her post “The Disconnect Between Patient Expectations and Physician Actions.” She discusses the role of communication and how social technologies can help providers more easily transition from acute care to preventative care.
The belle of the ball. Healthcare-related tweets have increased by 51% in 2012! Kristi Eells highlights this and other factoids shared at the recent Health 2.0 conference. From her review of findings, you can’t help but see 1) the increased value and demand for health care social media 2) and the need to address health and digital literacy in our use of these tools.
The Fun Stuff
Hacking for health. Over the weekend, Communicate Health hosted their first Health Literacy Hackathon. They highlight the results on their blog. You can even use the winner’s end product, Carrots/Stick. Carrot/Stick is a phone-based service that utilizes family and social support to empower smokers to quit. Nice work!
Everyone loves a good inforgraphic. Also of note is Communicate Health’s health literacy infographic, We are the 90%! A sneak peak is provided below. Speaking of infographics, Trish Broome explores how infographics can be a health education tool sharing her experience in developing an infographic to communicate flu prevention messages.
Let’s get chatty. healthfinder.gov is hosting its 3rd annual Health Literacy Twitter chat. Using the hashtag #healthlit, join @healthfinder, @HHS_DrKoh, @AHRQNews, @HealthLitMo and others to discuss IOM’s recent paper on the 10 Attributes of Health Literate Health Care Organizations. Explore the question: How can organizations help people navigate health services more easily?
Imagineering the future library. With Pew’s recent presentation on The Rise of eReading, I couldn’t help but note Lucy Bernholz’ post on the evolving role of the community library. Knowing the role of libraries in health education, innovative models can and are being developed.
Thank you for all of your contributions to this edition. HealthCare SocialMedia Review has information about the next edition’s host and instructions on how to submit your posts for review in future editions.