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I'll be speaking at SxSWinteractive 2011! Come meet me and join the conversation!

by Jenni Prokopy, the Editrix

So much exciting news to report today...including the announcement that I'll be speaking at SxSWinteractive 2011 this March! I hope you'll be able to come meet me and join in the conversation.

Health Communities: Superheroes Who Need a Justice League

I'll be presenting on a topic that's close to home: the need for better online health communities. Here's the summary of my solo talk:

Research shows online health communities (OHCs) offer extensive benefits to members. But the variance in quality and effectiveness is huge. And Pew Internet research shows only 52% of adults with multiple chronic illnesses go online for health information.

A good OHC has the power to change lives. For many people, the worst day of their life is when they’re diagnosed; OHCs can provide respite, education and empowerment when members otherwise would feel alone. There’s as much demand for, say, an OHC on Raynaud's Phenomenon as there is for one on knitting. Yet while Ravelry is bustling, gorgeous and easy to navigate, good luck finding a useful forum about life with cold toes and hands.

OHCs could be better. They need a governing board, or a set of principles to aspire to follow.

I will lead a presentation on: Strategies for helping OHCs get around black hat SEO so they’re easier to find, especially by novices; Ways OHCs can partner with hospitals or other organizations, avoiding conflicts of interest while capitalizing on their financial stability and resources; Techniques for teaming with non-profits to extend reach; Ways to reach under-served populations, including people of color, families below the poverty level, rural communities and the aged; How to keep members long-term using better I.A. and usability; Using strategies of the biggest OHCs for niche OHCs.

So will you meet me in Austin next month?

This presentation will be the BEST if I have a bunch of savvy online folks in the audience who want to talk about how we can all work together to make OHCs better. Will you join the conversation? I sure hope so! We can connect using the SxSW Social page.

Even if you're not attending SxSW but you live in Austin or nearby and you're a Chronicbabe, let me know! The best way to connect is through Twitter; I'm @chronicbabe, 'natch. I'd love to meet up, even if it's just to clink beers during a night out and hug you hello.

Posted: 2/4/2011 in Announcements

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