Building Wellness Interventions Into Facebook


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CHI 2011 panel remarks reflecting on building wellness interventions in Facebook (or other existing social network sites). I highlight challenges and opportunities for both the interventions and for the research.

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  • Three apps, plus a study
  • Three apps, plus a study. Train self to focus on good thing. People super-reluctant to share – didn’t want to appear boring or boastful.
  • Steps – keep track of your own, compete or cooperate with friends, be held accountable.
  • Sharing. Celebrate, be held accountable, find activity partners. Support group. Link off of facebook.
  • What does Facebook do well? What doesn’t it do well?
  • What have we found: challenges
  • Boring, boastful: came up on GP and 3GT. Weak: OHCs. For many, there’s just too much work to manage an impression while communicating with your entire FB network about health.
  • Collapsed contexts makes the norm thing more difficult. What you are willing to say to a friend is not the same as what you might want to say to a coworker, but people haven’t really figured out lists or how to manage that.
  • What have we found: challenges
  • What have we found: challenges
  • So how can we make this better?
  • Building Wellness Interventions Into Facebook

    1. 1. Building Wellness Interventions Into Facebook<br />Sean A. Munson<br />
    2. 2. 3 Interventions.Basic format: adapt existing intervention to take advantages of Facebook’s affordances. Pilot. Refine. Field trial. Analyze log data and conduct interviews. <br />1 Study of existing practices.<br />
    3. 3. 3GT: positive psychology exercise around posting and sharing daily good things.<br />More effective if people share publicly & receive feedback?<br />Munson, SA; Lauterbach, D; Newman, MW; Resnick, P. (2010). "Happier Together: Integrating a Wellness Application Into a Social Network Site," Persuasive 2010.<br />
    4. 4. Steps: Track and share daily step counts, achievement of daily step goals, and longer-term commitments through a Facebook app. <br />Work with Paul Resnick and Caroline Richardson.<br />
    5. 5. GoalPost: iPhone app to track physical activity, set goals, and monitor progress, with ability to share on Facebook.<br />Work with Sunny Consolvo.<br />
    6. 6. Interviews with people successfully using both online health communities and Facebook to meet their health needs.<br />Newman, MW; Lauterbach D; Munson, SA; Resnick, P; Morris, ME. (2011). "It's not that I don't have problems, I'm just not putting them on Facebook": Challenges and Opportunities in Using Online Social Networks for Health, CSCW2011.<br />
    7. 7. Challenges(with Successful Facebook Interventions)<br />
    8. 8. Selectively accessing One’s Network<br />Collapsed contexts: happy to share with friends but not “friends.” People don’t know about or how to use features allowing selective communication (e.g., lists, GoalPost’ssupport group).<br />Mistrust of Facebook: Participants did not trust data shared with Facebook to remain as private as when they shared it.<br />Friends but not companies. Stories of companies using Facebook data for employment or insurance purposes. <br /> Limited privacy capabilities.e.g., all FB friends can see you are using an app.<br />
    9. 9. Managing Impression while Meeting Health Needs<br />Don’t want to appear boastful, boring, or weak. (at least not to everyone)<br />For health, Facebook was more of a front stage while online health communities were the backstage.<br />
    10. 10. Norms of Facebook<br />Want to post appropriately, but not sure what is appropriate.<br /> Fear of sarcastic or negative replies on Facebook, while able to expect supportive replies on Online Health Communities. <br />Silence can be demoralizing.<br />
    11. 11. Challenges(with the Research)<br />
    12. 12. Limited Integration Points<br />though this is also a challenge for any developer, with any API.<br />Using a 3rd Party Service (Facebook) not Built for Research<br />Deprecation of treatment groups. Features may change mid-study.<br />Complying with Facebook TOS while getting and storing the data we need, with minimum duplication of work for users. <br />A/B TrialsUsers expect same features as their friends, but the social graph is highly connected.<br /> See Sinan Aral’s work (“Creating Social Contagion…”) for an example of handling this. <br />
    13. 13. Successes<br />
    14. 14. 3 Good Things about Wellness interventions on Facebook<br />Real-world testing. <br /><ul><li>Researchers can do both discretionary use evaluation and paid field trials.
    15. 15. People can use your app after you are done with the study.</li></ul>Already a gathering place, that you can build on.<br /><ul><li>Ease of log-in.
    16. 16. Somewhere that people and their friends already spend lots of time.
    17. 17. Ability to inspire family and friends who are not using the app.</li></ul>Opinions and support from people you know matter.<br /><ul><li>Better accountability and competitions
    18. 18. More meaningful celebrations and support</li></li></ul><li>Some mechanisms of interventions – competitions, commitments, celebrations - work better with your friends and family. <br />You can connect with them on Facebook…<br />…but you connect with lots of people on Facebook. <br />People often hold back because they don’t know how to reach the right people on Facebook, or how to avoid appearing boastful,weak, or boring. <br />People are more comfortable keeping some health information separate from the rest of their identity.<br />Sometimes people get sarcasm or negative reactions when sharing on Facebook, and sometimes they get silence.<br />
    19. 19. 3GT<br />Steps<br />GoalPost<br />FB vs. OHCs<br />Thanks!<br />Sean A. Munson<br />