212952 Do You Tweet – Blog – Wiki? Social Media, Aid-effectiveness and Global Health

Monday, November 9, 2009: 3:10 PM

Eckhard Kleinau , AIM, Washington, DC
Social media – a.k.a. Web 2.0 technologies have become ubiquitous in our lives, especially if you live or work with teenagers. In the workplace, whether in global health or other social sciences, we are not yet quite sure how to “Digg” it or are ‘Twittless' about how to deal with tools that come in many different flavors and seem to serve the needs for self-expression and communication with friends. In the world of professionals and scientists, there is no room for web paraphernalia that engage in daily trivia and mindless chatter; or is there?

The reason why Web 2.0 technologies deserve a serious look by the global health community lays in what they do best, namely sharing information, and facilitating collaboration and networking. Web 2.0 refers to a second generation of web development and web design. These tools work mainly with internet browsers and their implements on mobile devices such as cell phones. The global health community already uses Web 2.0 tools extensively, for example:

• Wikis (Wikipedia) such as McGill Library Global Health Resource Guide or USAID's new Developedia.

• Blogs (web logs) such as the Global Health Policy blog of the Center for Global Development or author Laurie Garrett's Global Health Blog.

• Tweets (micro-blogs of up to 140 characters, made popular by Twitter.com) such as Save the Children (@savethechildren) or UNICEF (@unicef).

• Social networking sites such as the popular Facebook, which houses the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health, or video sharing sites such as YouTube, which features several global health related video clips.

• Tools for sharing social news and recommending websites feature on many global health websites and are too many to list: RSS feeds (web syndication), Digg, StumbleUpon, del.icio.us, to name a few.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss ways to use social media to promote accountability in Global Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: MPHer
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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