The Widener Sexuality Careers Conference from last year caused a surge of energy and focus on sex education online since so many people are utilizing the internet for sources of information regarding sexuality related issues - especially since there are great websites for teens such as Answer, Scarleteen, Sex, Etc., and of course, Planned Parenthood.
While I understand that a big part of being a successful educator online is by looking at what already exists, and trying to offer different/missing information or approach the topic you're educating differently than others already doing it, within our field there's room for many to educate about sexuality in both similar and different ways because so many people are hungry for the information!
Specifically, when evaluating who happEsextalk's target audience is, I get stuck because the purpose for creating happEsextalk was to provide sex positive education among all sexuality topics, not just among topics such as HIV/AIDS, Femininity, Masculinity, or talking with your children about sex. Therefore, I feel my target audience is pretty much everybody, and though feeling overwhelmed with that reality, I look to Laci Green for an example of phenomenal sex positive education for all. (By the way, if you know anybody who addresses all or multiple sexuality topics in sex positive ways, please let me know where I can look into them!!)
My goals with happEsextalk are to provide: 1) resources to those who ask (and those who didn't know they were in need of them in the first place), 2) different perspectives through creating discussions about sexuality topics in the media, and 3) answers to questions my followers have about personal experiences.
I'm familiar with adding posts to a queue (through Tumblr) so you're consistently posting even when you're not at your computer, which helps tremendously with time management while in this program, and I have posts from my Tumblr linked to my Twitter and Facebook Fan Page so all my followers are notified when something new posts; additionally, I post specifically to Facebook trying to start conversations, or create interest in the particular topic.
The issue that concerns me is, although I'm doing all these things, nobody is engaging with the posts or starting discussions from my questions. The fan page insights provided by Facebook show how many people view the posts, interact with the links/photos/videos on the posts, and provide demographics for those who "Like" the happEsextalk fan page, but I am obviously missing something that gets people interested enough to respond or engage in discussion.
When I look at other sex educators online, some from our program and some not, discussions begin almost instantly when they post on their blog or Facebook, providing people with that different perspective of thinking I am trying to achieve through happEsextalk.
As this fall semester comes to an end, I plan to spend the entire month of December re-vamping the happEsextalk approach, mission, goals, etc. - thanks to great advice and tips from Francisco Ramirez's workshop at this years Sexuality Careers Conference!
In preparation for this, I wanted to ask my peers:
- Whether through blogging, Facebook, Twitter, etc., how do you approach sexuality education online?
- What methods do you use (or have seen others use) to engage followers in the topics being posted about?
- What helpful resources can you recommend for happEsextalk's 2013 re-vamping brainstorm I have planned? (whether it be books, websites, personal tips, etc.)
- If applicable to your career path, how do you currently (or plan to) market yourself as a sex educator?
Providing sex ed by utilizing social networks is an important aspect of my identity as a sex educator, and I want to be able to do that effectively. While I feel confident in my ability to provide a starting point regarding human sexuality questions or concerns for people of all ages, it's more important for these people to also be confident in my abilities! Thanks in advance for any feedback, resources, and tips provided in the comments!! I welcome it all with open arms!!! :)