November 04, 2008


Introduction to Mashups: 1 + 1 = Mashups?

AIDSportal HIV Jobs Mashup

AIDSportal “HIV Jobs” Mashup

Mashups Exit Disclaimer -- what are they? Are they being used by the HIV/AIDS community? To learn more, we spoke with Rob Worthington from AIDSportal Exit Disclaimer and advisor, David Galiel Exit Disclaimer.

What is a mashup?

Rob told us, “A mashup is a way of combining data, content, or a function from different websites in a new or innovative way. This can create extra value or utility.”

Many mashups incorporate maps. New York City Coalition Against Hunger Exit Disclaimer created a mashup that uses Google Maps Exit Disclaimer, geographical information, and their own data to help those who have access to the Internet to find help. David said, “The Coalition links data from food providers, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters that allow people to quickly find free meals, farmer’s markets, or soup kitchens.”

Other public health mashups include Who is Sick? Exit Disclaimer, a mashup combining consumer driven (“user-generated”) health information, social networking, and Google maps. Health Care That Works Exit Disclaimer uses Google Maps and data from state and federal government agencies to highlight the impact of hospital closures on low-income communities and communities of color. Healthmaps Exit Disclaimer also uses Google Maps and integrates outbreak data from sources such as Google News Exit Disclaimer, ProMED Exit Disclaimer, and the World Health Organization Exit Disclaimer.

Not all mashups involve maps, and many combine multiple information sources and display information in multiple formats. An example of this is HubMed Exit Disclaimer, a mashup that uses information from PubMed’s database to produce a search interface to browse, organize and gather information from the biomedical literature.

How can AIDS Service Organizations use mashups?

Rob told us how AIDS Portal is taking advantage of mashups: “Our first mashup used an RSS feed to display job vacancies from AIDSPortal and Facebook Exit Disclaimer to create an AIDS Job application Exit Disclaimer.” He explained, “As new job vacancies are posted on AIDSPortal, they automatically appear in Facebook.”  Read more about this at the AIDS Portal blog Exit Disclaimer.

Global Health Council’s International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Mashup

Global Health Council’s International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Mashup

Another example of an HIV-specific mashup is the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial of the Global Health Council’s mashup Exit Disclaimer of Google Maps with their list of local coordinators.

Rob suggests, “Think about the problems your stakeholders or users face that a mashup could address. For instance, they might want to know where they can access a particular type of AIDS-related service, such as voluntary counseling and testing. A mashup could help you display a list of services on a map, enabling people to see which services are closest to them.”

Getting Started

David told us that “it’s important to note that mashups do require a certain level of comfort with software technology, yet there are several online tools for building mashups that do not require deep technical expertise.” “Plug and play” tools like ZeeMaps Exit Disclaimer and Dapper Exit Disclaimer can help you get started.

The mashup portal Exit Disclaimer is a comprehensive resource with introductory tutorials, a directory of mashups, and news. ProgrammableWeb also helps connect mashup coders with organizations that need their services.

“Once you have an idea that you think will help your users,” said Rob, “you need to look at where you can get the data you need.  Do you have a database of your own, or is this data already published somewhere on the Web?”

Mashups depend on organizations using open formats and sharing data. They also depend on software developers to develop programs that can talk to each other. So, as you look at ways to use mashups to help your mission, we encourage you to think about ways that you can, in turn, provide mashup content for others to use.

And be sure to come back and post a comment here to let us know what you are doing!

October 28, 2008


Highlights from Health 2.0: User-Generated Healthcare 2008

Podcast of this blog post

Health 2.0 door

Last week, over 1,000 healthcare and technology industry leaders met in San Francisco for Health 2.0: User-Generated Healthcare 2008 Exit Disclaimer. The conference co-founders, Matthew Holt, author of The Health Care Blog Exit Disclaimer, and Indu Subaiya, MD, packed the two-day event with many presenters and panel discussions on “Web 2.0 technologies, healthcare, and all points between.” This post will share just a few of the many highlights from the event which we found particularly relevant to HIV/AIDS service providers.

Patients Want to Guide Their Care

Matthew opened the conference by talking about the key features of Health 2.0: “personalized search; community; tools for content delivery; and better integration of data and content,” along with “patients guiding their care.” Throughout the conference there were discussions and demonstrations of tools to help patients manage their health, such as WebMD Exit Disclaimer, Microsoft’s HealthVault Exit Disclaimer, Google Health Exit Disclaimer, Aetna Exit Disclaimer, and Yahoo! Health Exit Disclaimer.

Health 2.0 Continues to Grow Domestically and Abroad

A new documentary, The Great American Motorcycle Health 2.0 Tour Exit Disclaimer, premiered at the conference. For the film, David Kibbe, MD, MBA, and advisor to the Center for Health Information Technology Exit Disclaimer at the American Academy of Family Physicians Exit Disclaimer interviewed experts on the latest Health 2.0 innovations going on around the country. Most of the experts in the film also presented at the conference. They represented sites like American Well Exit Disclaimer, PatientsLikeMe Exit Disclaimer, the NYTimes “Well Exit Disclaimer” blog, Hello Health Exit Disclaimer, CVS Minute Clinic Exit Disclaimer, Change Healthcare Exit Disclaimer, MedHelp Exit Disclaimer, and Kosmix Exit Disclaimer.

Mobile research and applications were among the tools highlighted at the conference. Deb Levine of ISIS Exit Disclaimer showed us a tool that allows mobile users to text “HIVinfo” to “61827” and receive HIV-prevention information in return. Kevin Noland, CEO of ADAM Exit Disclaimer, showcased an iPhone application that searches health information and uses the phone’s GPS capacity to locate a doctor who can treat particular conditions. Dr. Jay Bernhardt of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention commented that, of all the new media tools, “mobile has the greatest potential public-health impact -- giving the ability to reach across all groups.”

Conference Photo

“Gaming in Health Care” Session at Health 2.0

Meeting the Needs of Patients and Providers

Conference speakers also gave important reminders and advice. Doug Solomon of IDEO Exit Disclaimer focused on the need to understand end users: “We can’t do it from the office with the door closed, looking at a computer--we need to be a part of their lives.” James Matthews of Sage Software Exit Disclaimer emphasized the importance of starting with “the passion to deliver healthcare and then find the right technology.” Bill Crounse, from Microsoft Exit Disclaimer, discussed the need to find a way to reimburse providers for delivering information to patients “how, when, and where people need it.”

Looking Ahead

The growing number of new media tools and Health 2.0 initiatives offer endless possibilities for linking and engaging people with HIV/AIDS prevention, testing, treatment, and support information. But first, we need to learn what our users want (and continue to check in with them along the way). And we need to continue to share our “lessons learned” with each other. As Robert Kolodner from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology stated in the closing session: “We have the tools and are beginning to learn how to use them, but we need to continue to have a ‘network of networks’ where knowledge is shared.”

At we are working to create a “network of networks” by developing an HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Cross-Promotion Group that consists of government and community partners. We use this group to share information, tools, and the new media lessons we have learned. As Michael Ruppal from The AIDS Institute Exit Disclaimer (which coordinates National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day Exit Disclaimer) told us: “The AIDS Institute is proud to be part of a national network that is committed to promoting comprehensive HIV/AIDS awareness. Since HIV/AIDS impacts so many lives on a daily basis--not just one or two days a year--it is important that we have promotional events, activities, announcements, and educational materials that keep these highly complex health issues at the forefront of everyone’s agenda throughout the year.”

Michael continued by saying, “This network has helped educate the community and media and is a trusted source of information about the impact of HIV/AIDS on the populations that are most affected. The AIDS Institute will continue to use our resources to work closely with the network partners to promote and educate everyone, until there is no more need for us to do so.”

Want to Learn More about Health 2.0?

Intrigued by the examples and tools we’ve listed here? Check out the Health 2.0 Blog Exit Disclaimer, Icyou Health 2.0 video channel Exit Disclaimer and the Health 2.0 Facebook group Exit Disclaimer to learn more and continue the dialogue. And save the date for the next Health 2.0 Conference on April 22-23rd, 2009 in Boston!

Did you attend Health 2.0? If so, how do you plan to apply what you learned at the conference to your work?

October 21, 2008


Podcast Promotion Tips from Apple

Podcast of this blog post

Admiral Joxel Garcia

Admiral Joxel Garcia, Assistant Secretary for Health

Pete Alcorn

Pete Alcorn, Podcast Manager at iTunes. Photo courtesy of Personal Life Media on Flickr

Last week, Miguel Gomez, Director of, sat down with Admiral Joxel Garcia, the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to record a podcast about health and the Latino community in the U.S. As we mentioned in a past blog post, and in our “New Media Toolkit,” podcasts can be a simple way to gather and provide audio and/or video information to your target audience. But once you have created them, how can you help people find and subscribe to your podcasts?

To help us answer this question, we turned to Pete Alcorn, Manager of Podcasts at Apple’s iTunes, Exit Disclaimer the largest podcast directory and the most common venue for people to subscribe to podcasts (Note: there are many other directories, including Zune, Exit Disclaimer Odeo,Exit Disclaimer and Podcast Alley Exit Disclaimer). Miguel and our colleague Fred Smith from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention met Pete at the New Media Expo in Las Vegas last summer.

Pete recently gave a presentation to our HHS Podcast Subcommittee, which consists of representatives from many Federal agencies. He shared several techniques that may help people discover, listen to, and subscribe to podcasts.

Three Key Ingredients to Helping People Find Your Podcasts

  1. Good and Regularly Updated Metadata

    Most people find podcasts by searching the iTunes directory, so Pete told us if your podcast isn’t on iTunes, you’re missing out on a large audience. In order to submit your podcast to iTunes (or any podcast directory or subscription service), you need to create an RSS feed as an XML file Exit Disclaimer (Apple provides detailed information about how to create and submit a podcast Exit Disclaimer). He emphasized the importance of good “metadataExit Disclaimer -- information (e.g., title, author, description, and keywords) that is embedded in the XML file. This is the information that helps people find and determine if they want to listen or subscribe to your podcast. Pete told us that the most important thing you can do to help people find your podcast is to have good metadata and to update it regularly, especially if your podcast includes a notable speaker or timely topic.

  2. Clean and Simple Podcast Artwork

    Pete also underscored the importance of having good podcast artwork (the image that appears on your podcast’s iTunes page). There are more than 100,000 podcasts indexed on iTunes, so people scan the graphics in the search results to determine if they want to listen to or view a podcast. Pete told us, “You need a very clean, simple piece of art that includes your logo and a short, recognizable title.”

  3. Podcasts iTunes artwork

    Podcast Promotion Beyond iTunes

    For your target audience, finding your podcast on iTunes is one important piece of the puzzle -- but being able to find it on your website is also critical. Pete pointed out a common mistake for podcasters: having the attitude that “if you build it, they will come.” With so much competition out there, podcast producers must take a proactive approach to promoting their podcasts. Pete mentioned that the podcast for This American Life Exit Disclaimer is always on iTune’s Top Podcasts chart because the show’s producers relentlessly remind their audience that they can subscribe to the show as a free podcast, take it with them, and listen to it whenever they want.

podcast iconAt, we have tried to make our podcasts easy to find by having a direct link to our podcast page from every page on the site. We also use the podcast icon to help people quickly navigate to our podcast page where they can then subscribe to our podcast RSS feed. In addition, we promote our podcasts at meetings and conferences, and now on our blog (we started creating audio versions of our blog last month).

Fred Smith told us that the CDC promotes its podcasts by having links to a podcast directory on the CDC home page and second-tier pages of the CDC website. Specific podcast episodes are linked to and referenced from relevant content pages. CDC also lists podcasts with iTunes, Zune, and other podcast directories, as well as on the main HHS website. In the future, Fred told us, the CDC hopes to do a great deal more cross-promotion of their podcasts on other governmental websites.

The Future of Podcasting

We asked Pete what’s next for iTunes? “Bigger, better, faster,” was his response. He told us that iTunes’ philosophy is to help people discover podcasts and “then we get out of the way and you serve the content straight to them.” He continued, “Gradually, more and more people will figure out that podcasting is a highly efficient way to deliver audio and video of new information and to educate their audiences.”

Are you podcasting in response to HIV/AIDS or other public health topics? Have you embraced iTunes or other podcast directories? We’d love to hear about your experiences.

October 14, 2008


Reaching Latinos with New Media for National Latino AIDS Awareness Day

Podcast of this blog post  |  In Espanol

NLAAD logo

Tomorrow is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day Exit Disclaimer (NLAAD). According to a recently released CDC fact sheet, Latinos represent only 15% of the total U.S. population, but make up 18% of new HIV infections. Among Latinos, men make up the vast majority of new HIV infections (76%), but Latino women are also at disproportionate risk for HIV. They are infected with HIV at a rate four times greater than white women.

In recognition of this important day, we’re continuing our conversation from last week by highlighting additional examples of using new media tools to reach the Latino community with HIV information.

Social Network Sites and Online Tools to Promote NLAAD

We first spoke with Liliana Rañón, Director of NLAAD at the Latino Commission on AIDS Exit Disclaimer (LCOA), the lead organization for NLAAD, who told us how LCOA is using new media to promote and organize NLAAD this year, including:

  1. To get the word out. NLAAD maintains a presence on several social network sites like Myspace Exit Disclaimer, Facebook Exit Disclaimer, and MTV Think Exit Disclaimer (a networking site run by MTV that allows organizations to have profiles focused on a particular issue). They use these social network sites to promote NLAAD events and to share information about HIV in the Latino community. NLAAD also uses televised and online public service announcements (PSAs) to get the word out.
  2. To stay connected. Liliana told us, “[social networking] allowed us to connect with lots of other AIDS organizations. The NLAAD website focuses on the U.S. while MySpace and Facebook have a more international perspective. It takes you out of the realm of what you already know and who you already know.”
NLAAD registration screenshot
  1. To put tools in the hands of the local organizations. Liliana reminded us that some of the simplest new media tools are the most meaningful to local community organizations. Online registration forms on the NLAAD website enable local agencies to promote their work, maintain and update their contact information, and keep the general public, news media, and other community partners up-to-date about their NLAAD activities. It was a reminder that it is not always about using the most high-tech new media tools, but about using a variety of appropriate tools to meet your audiences’ and partners’ needs!

New Media in Español

We next spoke with Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr. Exit Disclaimer, Deputy Editor of POZ Exit Disclaimer, who shared some thoughts and resources on using new media to reach Latinos with HIV information. Oriol recently disclosed being HIV-positive in a feature article he wrote for the October issue Exit Disclaimer of POZ (the article is available in English Exit Disclaimer and Spanish Exit Disclaimer), and also began a blog Exit Disclaimer to continue the conversation on disclosure and stigma. Oriol told us that, “new media is an important component of any outreach strategy to any community. For younger people, new media increases from important to necessary. In particular, younger Latinos in the U.S. are just as Web savvy as any other young people.”

Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr.

Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr., Deputy Editor of POZ

Oriol highlighted the importance of providing audiences with information in the languages they are most comfortable using. A few of POZ’s Spanish-language new media resources include a blog Exit Disclaimer and podcast Exit Disclaimer. In addition, POZ has online Spanish-language information Exit Disclaimer including an AIDS service directory Exit Disclaimer, and TuSalud Exit Disclaimer, a wellness magazine for Latinos put out by Smart + Strong Exit Disclaimer.

When it comes to reaching Latinos online, Oriol recommends having, “as much Spanish-language content as possible. Even if the Latinos visiting your site are English-dominant, having the Spanish-language content indicates a welcoming environment. Also, the Spanish-language content should be easily accessible from the homepage. Promote your online content for Latinos in Spanish-language media if possible.” In keeping with Oriol’s suggestion, this week’s post is also available in Spanish.

Are you using new media to reach your audiences for NLAAD and beyond? If so, please share your stories with us!

October 07, 2008


Communities of Color and New Media Use: Part II

Podcast of this blog post

As we mentioned in our last post, after attending The United States Conference on AIDS Exit Disclaimer we wanted to get a clearer understanding of internet and new media use among communities of color. To learn more we hosted a webinar, “Underserved Populations and New Media Use,” for over 100 of our Federal colleagues and their grantees (visit our podcast page for the slides and an audio recording of the webinar). Last week, we discussed the presentation by Fard Johnmar, Founder of Envision Solutions, LLC. Exit Disclaimer Our other webinar speaker was Alejandro Garcia-Barbon, Senior Technical Advisor to IQ Solutions, Inc. Exit Disclaimer He presented about the “Drugs + HIV > Learn the Link” Campaign of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

NIDA’s “Drugs + HIV > Learn the Link” Campaign: What is it all about?

Spanish Web Banner for HIV Drug AbuseWeb Banner for HIV Drug Abuse

The campaign designed their first public service announcement (PSA), “Text Message,” to reach young African American women with information about non-injection drug use and HIV. The PSA’s success led to the creation of a PSA to reach young Hispanic women. The result was “After the Party,” a PSA available in both Spanish and bilingual English-Spanish versions, about a young woman who receives an HIV-positive diagnosis.

The campaign’s website has resources for teens on HIV and drugs along with five webisodes that continue the story of the characters in the PSAs. They use other new media tools, like MySpace Exit Disclaimer, as a means to distribute and promote their messages.

Stephen Perez, a registered nurse who works with the Latino community in San Francisco around HIV/AIDS, told us, “I encourage my clients to reflect on the impact of alcohol and drugs in their lives. This site helps to reinforce these messages. The use of new media tools, like MySpace, to further promote the campaign reaches many young Latinos where they are already spending time.”

How can I use these tools to get ready for National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD)?

Web Banner for NLAAD: United we can: HIV/AIDS stops here.  Prevention starts with us.

October 15 is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day Exit Disclaimer. In anticipation of this important day, consider sharing the “Drugs + HIV > Learn the Link” resources with your colleagues and friends. And check out another campaign targeted to Hispanic audiences: the Soy (I am) Exit Disclaimer project, a joint venture Exit Disclaimer between Univision Exit Disclaimer and the Kaiser Family Foundation. Exit Disclaimer Soy tells the stories of individual Latinos living with HIV/AIDS; another example of using new media to start conversations, reduce stigma, and link people to important information and resources.

What are lessons learned for programs wanting to use new media tools to reach underserved communities with HIV/AIDS messages?

  1. Tell a story. By making the characters and their actions realistic and relevant to the lives of their target audience (young African American and Hispanic women), the NIDA campaign draws the viewers in and makes them care about the content.
  2. Have good content. A good story isn’t enough by itself - the information has to be accurate and link the viewer to the additional resources they need.
  3. Be flexible. By using a variety of formats - webisodes, radio and TV PSAs, print and online materials - including some that are effectively accessible without a broadband internet connection - and marketing them in different ways, the campaign responds to the reality of where their audience gets information and how they want to receive it.

With just one week to go, it’s also time to register Exit Disclaimer your NLAAD event or find one to attend. And stay tuned next week for more on using new media to reach the Latino community and the Latino Commission on AIDS! Exit Disclaimer

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