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Social Networking And Hiv Aids Communications 01


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Presentation at the IAMCR conference on Social Networking and AIDS Communications by Pete Cranston. Commissioned by Communications and Social Change Consortium ( for AIDS2031 (

Published in: Education, Health & Medicine
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Social Networking And Hiv Aids Communications 01

  1. 1. Social Network Services & HIV/Aids communications Pete Cranston IAMCR Conference July 2009, Mexico City Research commissioned by Communications for Social Change Consortium for AIDS2031
  2. 3. Social Network Services & HIV/Aids communications <ul><li>Audience </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definitions & Samples </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The research project </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Part One: SNS trends and behaviours </li></ul><ul><li>Part Two: Global snapshots </li></ul><ul><li>Part Three: SNS & Social Activism </li></ul><ul><li>Next Steps </li></ul>
  3. 4. Social Network Services (SNS) <ul><li>communication between groups of people mediated at some point by Internet technologies. </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-platform, not simply a collection of websites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accessed often through Social Network Sites such as Facebook or Orkut, accessed via computers or, increasingly, mobile phones. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>features of particular SNS are made available in “widgets” like this ‘chumby’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They can be embedded on websites and in devices such as televisions, games consoles and other internet access devices. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 6. Research Outline <ul><li>Drawing on UK Literature Review (SNS & Youth Services) – a baseline for usage </li></ul><ul><li>Global telecommunications and social media usage data </li></ul><ul><li>Country snapshots from Brazil, India, South Africa and Thailand </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Overview of usage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus Group interviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Local media responses </li></ul></ul>
  5. 7. Research focus <ul><li>Assumptions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>15-25 are using digital technology, particularly social media differently than their predecessor generations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>digitally enabled social media play a central role in the communications of young people….. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… .with affordable, reliable and fast-enough access to these platforms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Socioeconomic developments in non-OECD countries along with trends in telecommunications and digital technology are likely to increase significantly access to digitally enabled social media platforms over 5 – 10 years </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What is the picture of Social Media usage globally? Do young people in non-OECD countries actively social network using digital technologies when they can? </li></ul><ul><li>Are their behaviour patterns similar or different to those in mature markets? </li></ul><ul><li>What can we learn from those using Social Networks for Social Change </li></ul>
  6. 8. Part One: SNS trends & behaviour
  7. 9. Trends
  8. 10. Trends Source: comScore World Metrix
  9. 11. <ul><li>For active UK SNS users they are a more significant messaging platform than e-mail – with users checking their SNS messaging inboxes daily, and e-mail far less frequently. </li></ul><ul><li>In the UK in 2008 growth in Internet traffic SNS exceeded email traffic growth, which fell. </li></ul><ul><li>Nielsen: “social networks and blogs are now the fourth most popular online activity, ahead of personal email. Time spent on these sites is growing three times faster than overall Internet rate, and now accounts for almost 10 percent of all Internet time.” (Mar 09 ) </li></ul>
  10. 13. Literature Survey for UK Usage <ul><li>Byron, T, Children and New Technology (Byron Review) UK, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Goad R & Mooney T, The Impact of Social Networking - UK (2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Greenfield et. al, Teens on the Internet: Interpersonal connection, identity and information (Information technology at home. (2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Hasebrink, Livingstone, Haddon, Kirwil and Ponte, EU Kids Go Online ( 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Lenhart and Madden, Social Networking Websites and Teens: An Overview ( 2007) Pew Internet and American Life Project </li></ul><ul><li>Livingstone and Bober, UK Children Go Online ( 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>Withers and Sheldon, Behind the Screen: The hidden life of youth online ( 2008) IPPR </li></ul><ul><li>OfCom Communications Market Report ( 2006) OfCom </li></ul><ul><li>Social Networking: A quantitative and qualitative research report into attitudes, behaviours and use ( 2008) Ofcom </li></ul><ul><li>QuantComm, ComScore, Nielsen </li></ul>
  11. 14. Digital natives – the constantly connected generation <ul><li>aged 15-25 in 2009: digital technologies have been pervasive during their early years, formative experiences, in developing identities and friendship groups </li></ul><ul><li>Gap between “always connected generation” and older generations is worldwide and arguably more significant than North-South digital divides. </li></ul><ul><li>The difference is one of capacity not necessarily of usage or ICT skills </li></ul>
  12. 15. Keeping in contact Sharing content Exploring identity Hanging out Making new contacts Informal learning
  13. 16. Behaviour: virtual and real <ul><li>Activity in SNS is seen as “virtual communication” but virtual is the opposite of “real.” </li></ul><ul><li>Communication through SNS is very real to those involved in the communication. For many users, SNS communication is woven into their day-to-day lives, with conversations continuing seamlessly between face-to-face meetings, on mobile phones and SNS. </li></ul><ul><li>Corners, corridors and kitchens: people “hang out” in SNS, interacting with the online community throughout the day, often filling dead time. </li></ul><ul><li>Online hanging out overlaps with and intermingles with offline hanging out. </li></ul>
  14. 17. <ul><li>Buhle: Before I deleted it, I’d spend time chatting especially if I didn’t go to school from early in the morning until around 6pm </li></ul><ul><li>Lebo: What did your mother say? </li></ul><ul><li>Buhle: I didn’t chat if she was home </li></ul><ul><li>Lebo: What about when she was home? </li></ul><ul><li>Buhle: I’d go to my room and lock myself in (girls laughing) </li></ul><ul><li>Lebo: Your mother doesn’t want you on Mxit? </li></ul><ul><li>Buhle: She doesn’t want me using it, yes. </li></ul><ul><li>.... </li></ul><ul><li>Lebo: Ok. What if they close Mxit one day? How will you feel </li></ul><ul><li>Busi: (iyo – sigh) it would be really bad, (Busi – I’d get hurt) </li></ul><ul><li>(and from younger girls) </li></ul><ul><li>“ i lyk mxit 2 couz u cn express ur feeling to ur mxit frnds” </li></ul><ul><li>“ when i am in mxit i whant to speak some jokes I dont whant to speak whith strangers” </li></ul><ul><li>(South Africa Focus Group) </li></ul>
  15. 18. Behaviour: we are social animals <ul><li>SNS are changing the way people keep in touch and who they keep in touch with. </li></ul><ul><li>Users are as likely to use SNS to carry on conversations with friends who they see every day face-to-face as they are to communicate with old friends or with acquaintances who they do not meet regularly </li></ul><ul><li>SNS can change the scope, nature of friendship and relationship formation and how friendships and relationships operate. </li></ul><ul><li>Activity in SNS often reinforces and enriches physical connections </li></ul>
  16. 19. Users, Technology & Media <ul><li>SNS are becoming an entry point to the wider web and are adding a distinct social layer to users’ experience. </li></ul><ul><li>In some areas SNS are also starter applications, - the first online tool that people become used to. </li></ul><ul><li>SNS are becoming major media publishing and consumption spaces, users are becoming skilled in using a variety of media and forms to communicate and interact. </li></ul><ul><li>SNS are key spaces of identity exploration and self-expression, as well as spaces for gaming and play. </li></ul><ul><li>SNS have become a central place for constructing, negotiating and mediating group norms. </li></ul><ul><li>Some SNS users are putting themselves at risk through their social networking activities </li></ul>
  17. 20. Personal organisers & public connections <ul><li>SNS are used functionally, to organise events, activities and campaigns or to manage professional networking. </li></ul><ul><li>SNS users are creating, joining and engaging with groups and communities to access and share information. </li></ul><ul><li>A search on any of the major SNS of the term World AIDS Day is likely to turn up a number of groups or events posted to the site, often with many members </li></ul>
  18. 21. Part Two: Global Snapshots
  19. 22. UK: a saturated market (Tim Davies) <ul><li>78.4% of British web users 15 and older visited a social network site in September 2008 and 54 percent of 16-25 year olds report having profiles on social network sites. </li></ul><ul><li>The highest SNS penetration rate is currently amongst 16-17 year olds, with at least 67% owning a profile. </li></ul><ul><li>UK Internet users on average make 23 visits and spend an average of 5.3 hours a month on SNS. For a younger audience some studies have anecdotally cited teenagers spending upwards of two hours every night connected to SNS. </li></ul><ul><li>The main social network site platforms (the big three) in the UK are Facebook, Bebo and MySpace. </li></ul>
  20. 23. Wordle
  21. 25. Snapshots – Brazil (Felipe Fonseca) <ul><li>ICT-aware public policies, including free or subsidised public access centres, and the natural fit of SNS to Brazil’s intrinsically conversational popular culture means that since 2003 Orkut, Google's social networking tool, has gone from a highly elitist club-style project to being almost universally used by people at all levels in society to chat to their friends and family across the country. </li></ul><ul><li>Being connected and in touch was found to be more important than content. </li></ul><ul><li>Orkut is today the second most accessed website in Brazil, the majority of Brazilian internet users has a profile </li></ul>
  22. 26. Snapshots – India (OneWorld South Asia) <ul><li>5% have Internet access (growing rapidly) </li></ul><ul><li>60% use SNS (c23 million), 20% growth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>50% under 30, mostly urban </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>24% over 10 hours in a week </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>42% visit more than 10 sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>17 million visit social networks regularly </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Global brands dominate but local, Indian language and state based, brands are growing fast </li></ul><ul><li>Little evidence of activity in Social Networks for social change objectives by organisations. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus Group respondents were active SNS users, browsing SNS to stay updated with their networks; playing games and using applications built into the SNS; sharing or consuming photos, video and music content within their networks. </li></ul>
  23. 27. Snapshots – Thailand (Path & [OGB]) <ul><li>Hi5 is the biggest SocNet, about 5 m; FaceBook is next and growing. </li></ul><ul><li>People operate in both Thai and English, if they can, but Thai only users tend to operate more on Hi5 </li></ul><ul><li>Usage of SocNet is high profile in Bangkok: people in market stalls and street corner shops can be seen on Hi5; in the SkyTrain are active on their mobiles </li></ul><ul><li>Bangkok wifi coverage is huge - 16k hotpsots, meaning people on the trains and buses pass in and out of networks </li></ul><ul><li>The beginnings of NGO usage, including in HIV/Aids </li></ul>
  24. 28. Snapshots – South Africa (WomensNet & Cell-Life) <ul><li>8.5% Internet penetration, 101.8% mobile penetration (08) </li></ul><ul><li>RSA 8 th largest Facebook user globally </li></ul><ul><li>61% Mxit, vs 27% Facebook 16 to 24 year olds </li></ul><ul><li>Focus Groups with township youth </li></ul>
  25. 29. MxIT <ul><li>Approx. 6m users </li></ul><ul><li>Maximum length of chat messages are 2048 characters compared to normal SMS at 160 characters </li></ul><ul><li>You only pay for the costs of connection / data transfer – far cheaper than an SMS, less than 1c vs. 50c. </li></ul><ul><li>Users have an IM name and they create a mutual friend connection with people they want to talk to </li></ul><ul><li>Messages are sent to particular individuals selected from a contact list which shows who is currently available and who is not. </li></ul><ul><li>It is possible to add multiple people from your contact list to an ad-hoc group discussion, or to create ongoing discussion groups. </li></ul>
  26. 30. Simphiwe <ul><li>20, completed grade 11, working, lives with his grandmother in Orange farm. </li></ul><ul><li>He uses Facebook in Grow Bacha office weekly </li></ul><ul><li>A dedicated MXit user – sometimes spending all day (and all night) MXit-ing. </li></ul><ul><li>Drew two social networks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On one he has his friends, - best friends, female friends, Facebook friends – all by name. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>'Snake' is friends with “cruel friends, the Assassins, the naughties” and Alcoholics”. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Simphiwe’s use of MXit is full of bravado and macho rhetoric - he created another personality that is braver, more confident and more of a risk taker than he might be in real life. </li></ul><ul><li>Typical of 'high risk' youth –20, not completed schooling, lives with a grandparent (with no parental involvement ) </li></ul>
  27. 31. Part four: SNS and social activism? <ul><li>How is it different? </li></ul><ul><li>Options for action </li></ul><ul><li>Working with young people in Mexico City, and globally </li></ul>
  28. 32. proliferation of influencer channels – word of mouth communications
  29. 33. <ul><li>Started as monks took to the streets in Burma. </li></ul><ul><li>Rapidly went viral, doubling in size every day, culminating in adding over 100,000 per day for 2 days. </li></ul><ul><li>Max over 400,000 people. </li></ul><ul><li>Key in organising October 6th global day of protest - protests held in 30 countries and nearly 100 cities worldwide. </li></ul><ul><li>Helped promote the petition (840,000+) </li></ul><ul><li>Worked with established groups globally, hundreds of thousands of new supporters. </li></ul>
  30. 34. SNS for Social Change
  31. 35. Summary conclusions <ul><li>Our research confirms that the interaction between people and social networking technology has changed and will change the way people communicate about issues and behaviours that impact on HIV vulnerability. </li></ul><ul><li>It provides evidence that young people in non-OECD countries actively social network using digital technologies when it becomes affordable and practical. </li></ul><ul><li>The case-studies from Brazil, India, South Africa and Thailand show that this is not restricted to the affluent or the middle classes and that young people will use whatever technology or access route is possible and affordable. </li></ul><ul><li>The material from South Africa illustrates how mobile phones are an effective platform for social networking even in areas of limited internet connectivity. </li></ul><ul><li>Outside English-speaking OECD, civil society globally has yet to engage with the new media </li></ul>
  32. 36. Next Steps - Research <ul><li>Develop a social media monitor (research programme) focussed on HIV/Aids education. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Update and maintain the information we have gathered on our target areas; develop similar data sets for other locations of specific interest to the HIV/Aids activists or where usage is exploding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research in more depth and over a longer time period behaviour and usage patterns in non-OECD countries than we have been able to do in this first rapid study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Continue to monitor technological and business driven innovations in both developed and newer markets, reporting on their implications for Health Communicators </li></ul></ul>
  33. 37. Next Steps – Monitoring & Risk <ul><li>Develop a light-weight monitoring and evaluation framework to calculate the ROI of SNS based interventions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Aids communication to date has brought very limited benefits in terms of changing behaviours or increasing our understanding of the motivations of at-risk groups and individuals and we don't really know why. SNS, because of their interactive, buy-in nature, can at least provide an indication of whether individuals and communities are engaging with content, which is an important step in understanding what works and what doesn't </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Develop a risk assessment framework for engagement with SNS </li></ul>
  34. 38. Social Network Services & HIV/Aids communications Pete Cranston IAMCR Conference July 2009, Mexico City Research commissioned by the Communications for Social Change Consortium for AIDS2030
  35. 39. Research team <ul><li>Ann T.C. Kao, Thailand </li></ul><ul><li>Felipe Fonseca, Brazil </li></ul><ul><li>Lara Cumming, Statistical Review </li></ul><ul><li>Madhusmita Hazarika, ( OneWorld South Asia), India </li></ul><ul><li>Russell Southwood & Isabelle Gross (Balancing Act Africa), telecommunications trends </li></ul><ul><li>Sally-Jean Shackleton (Women’sNet ), south Africa </li></ul><ul><li>Tim Davies, UK and joint author </li></ul>