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What new media is good for, from AIDS.gov

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, January 4 2010

    1. Extending our public health programs, through an integrated communications strategy.
    2. Bringing up-to-date and accurate information to support health decision making where people are already spending time, and listening to what our audiences.
    3. Repurposing content through free or low-cost open-source tools, often requiring minimal technical knowledge.
    4. Knowing when not to use new media and revisiting our websites.
    5. Understanding we need to learn more about the power of mobile.
    6. Integrating new media into discussions on health information technology and health care reform.
    7. Building partnerships.
    8. Learning from our colleagues.
    9. Having a two-way conversation and supporting peer-generated content.
    10. Evaluating what we do and sharing our lessons learned with each other.

What the team behind AIDS.gov says they learned in 2009 about what new media is good at doing. Worth noting is that the team -- officially, employees of the Department of Health and Human Services -- has been aggressive in sharing what it thinks it knows about new media with the health of the public health and federal government worlds, putting together guides on how to use new media to fulfill your mission. Public health, what with its mandate to inform the public and the number of different players whose ability to work well together is key to our survival, is one area where connective technologies have (largely unrealized) tremendous potential, so it's worth keeping an eye on what these folks are doing.