Saturday, October 20, 2007

Social Media at the CDC- What is the CDC doing?

All about CDC 2.0--> gets 2 million hits per month. The usability rates have increased dramatically, and the site now is award winning -- it is one of the best national health Web sites. There are RSS feed that have hundreds of thousands of subscribers!

The CDC has a blog, written by Dr. Berndhart, about health marketing with 9,006 total page views and 5523 subscribers through e-mail updates. Dr. Berndhart claims that it isn't a "real" blog and he says he hasn't posted as much as he would like.

Also, there is a "webinar" for bloggers. People can use this to obtain more information about health issues.

Social networking is important to the CDC, but Dr. Berndhart says they only are making small steps. The CDC has been "lurking" in these networks for about one year.

The CDC has received more press about its virtual worlds than all other social media efforts combined. They participate in Whyville and have "virtual vaccinations" where kids can take their avatars to receive the shots. A Whyville flu was let loose in this virtual world, and if people were not vaccinated a bug followed them around. What a great educational experience!

In second life, the CDC has an avatar names Hygeia Philo. It recently purchased an island and new islands are being developed. Dr. Berndhart says Second Life is "an important testing area to evaluate strategies, " and he says interactivity is key here.

Podcasts are widely used by the CDC to distribute information. One thousand to 1,500 podcasts are downloaded per day.

Mobile applications are extremely important and have great potential. Getting reminders, persuasive messages, health promotions and personal safety tips through mobile technology is the next step. Dr. Berndhart says he believes that mobile technology could be bigger than Broadband Internet ever will be. Connectivity is growing in all parts of the world.

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