Making Choices: An Appropriate Technology Approach to New Media (Part II)

Content From: David Galiel, Advisor , AIDS.govPublished: October 06, 20092 min read


Our “Making Choices” strategy blog series explores ways to develop an effective new media plan that considers available resources, integrates with existing services, and uses the right tools for the job. Part I of this series discussed the first step of designing a new media strategy: identifying audiences and needs.

Part II: How To Choose?
Decision-making processes such as POST uses new media in several of the following ways to reinforce traditional media and make tangible materials more readily available:

The Old Is New Again
We know that cell phone usage is wide-spread, the technical barriers to using texting are very low, and participants can exchange text messages relatively privately — even in a public place. Therefore, when considering how to provide HIV testing information quickly and easily, text messaging stood out as appropriate technology. For World AIDS Day 2007, the Kaiser Family FoundationExit Disclaimer, CDC, and collaborated to launch the KNOWIT text messaging campaign to help people identify their local HIV testing sites. It may be surprising to hear traditional text messaging characterized as “new media” — the technology has been in use over a decade and doesn't include “social networking” or “Web 2.0” features. In fact, it doesn't even require a computer. However, text messaging proves to be the appropriate technology to meet a vital community need.

Let audiences and needs guide your choice of tools — avoid the trap of letting alluring new technologies push project development. In fact, an essential part of a new media strategy is deciding what tools not to use. And take into account the unique culture, environment and resources of the community you serve in selecting the right tool for the job.