Sex Ed Media: Making Sex Ed Viral
WE'RE MORE LIKE BUFFY THAN THE OTHER GIRLS
What is unique about being a sex educator in the online media landscape:
anyone can call themselves a sex educator, talking about sex automatically
makes you judged, it's the only area of media and journalism that is not
considered legitimate or fact checked, websites and businesses will shut you
down with only a cursory look.
SOME, MANY, MOST APPLIES TO MEDIA CONSUMPTION
Understanding online media consumption, including portable devices. Explain
that people have individual comfort levels for consuming media.
Who is your audience? Don't say everyone because that's like saying "normal"
about sex. Who comes to you? Who is following you? Who responds to you?
Then, reverse engineer your audience: what do you see that people need
information about the most, that you know well? What would be the best delivery
methods to get that to them?
IDENTIFY YOUR STRENGTHS
What media is your strength? The strengths of your team members? Writing,
audio, visual, information organization, sharing (link, video, photo, news
aggregation, music, art, dance, performing), or editing? Sit down and pick your
top three strengths. Take your non-sex area of expertise, and apply your sex ed
to that area – always have a second area of expertise. Never ever be a one trick
Individual use would be for career building.
Group use would be for institutions or businesses.
* Intention. Create a clear statement of intent, or a set of guidelines about what is
is that you do, and what is is that you do not do. Do you have a persona; what is
public and what is private? Is your group focused around a cause; what do your
people do to this effect? What is your message? What is the opposite of your
You need a definition of intent for your own guidance (when you get tired,
stressed, knowked off track) and to make it harder for people to pigeinhole you.
* Online presence in various outlets. Main outlet is your website (homebase).
Strongly recommend own website, but if not then use Wordpress blog or other
such as Blogger, Posterous, Tumblr, TypePad. You can use social networking
sites but you will limit yourself. Also have presnece on: Facebook, Linkedin,
Twitter. What's right for you, and how do you use it? Auxiliary outlets – this is
where media hacking comes in – could include Flickr, YouTube, iTunes,
GoodReads, Amazon (Kindle), Tumblr, Posterous, local or national event
websites, video community sharing sites (Qik, 12seconds, Robo.to), podcasting
communities (PodcastAlley, Libsyn), specific sex networking sites (Fetlife),
specific social networking sites (see list on wikipedia). ORGS: decide how the
outlets are used and by who in your ogranization. Who uses the Twitter account,
who updates Facebook? Assign multiple users with clear parameters to keep the
media flowing and interesting. Bridge Twitter to Facebook page to keep constant
WHO YOU ARE
* A bio. Long bio (can be a page) and short bio (2 sentences). People and press
will need to easily describe you; provide them with a canned response. Put it all
on one page, which also has images of you (or a logo) for use on other sites,
links to all your online media outlets. Include press quotes, if any.
* Offer an item of value to visitors that they can reliably get from you. It can be
philosophical ("I am a genderqueer sex educator *role model*"), repuation based
(screened and maintained links) or actual (advice, entertainment, audio files,
reading lists, book reviews, sex information).
* Allies, never competitors. Support the work of others if it is of value to you. If it's
not, still link, give credit, give props.
FOLLOW BEST PRACTICES
Best practices (individual and group): Reputation is everything. The internet is
made of people. Be courteous. Do not expect things in return; be prepared to
give things away a lot. Be ready to have ideas and things stolen from you; stick
around long enough and people will see that you are a source and ripoff artists
are always outed. Do not spam anyone, in any form, ever. Always give credit.
Always link to people. Be free with compliments and share others' work. Know
that attention is earned, especially with teens. – hack – Create comment profiles
on sites you love, even if they don't apply to your field. A SFSI comment profile
on Fleshbot.com, TechCrunch, Amazon, Gawker …? Why not? – hack – Be
prepared to be trolled hard, long, and forever. Stay sex positive no matter what.
Be honest. Always, always, always take the high road because people will expect
you to do the opposite because you are a 'sex person.' See every negative as an
opportunity to explain something.
Don't run afoul of the TOS. We *are* talking about sex. Think around the
presumption everyone will bring to you that you are here to break the rules,
offend, or bring an unwanted surprise because you are a sex person.
MAKE A MEDIA TREE
Does your current online presence meet your needs? What needs are not being
What are your distribution channels? How can you get the most out of them, i.e.
can they be linked?
How can you keep your online community involvent regular? Relationships
Create a complete record of the ways in which you engage with public and
businesses in regard to your value item and online presence.
Map it out: Create visual tree of media distribution in separate categories (mobile
presence, file distribution, all communication with public). Examine existing
profiles, ancillary markets and assumed markets.
Identify which areas are most challenging to you.
Define your needs.
Evaluate each area needing attention or improvement, and assign priority levels.
START A FIRE
Fire requires three things:
don't quit your day job
figure out solutions to timesucks (like canned responses)
Guidelines: planning, get organized
friendly guerrilla marketing tactics
create a message and stay on it
what are you here to oppose?
hacks: think differently and creatively when looking at online outlets, don't
dismiss being part of any online outlet. Reach out to places out of the ordinary,
like speaking about sex ed at a tech convention.
look for heroes and model what you like about them
react to current events; take sex negative news and use it as an opportunity
find things to argue about, and make the argument fun