Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Providing Successful Sex Education Online...

As a full time graduate student, I provide sex ed mainly through my online sex educator persona happEsextalk, so I wanted to describe some issues I'm experiencing going into 2013, and ask for some guidance and/or advice on how to be more effective in online sex education!

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:

  1. Whether through blogging, Facebook, Twitter, etc., how do you approach sexuality education online? 
  2. What methods do you use (or have seen others use) to engage followers in the topics being posted about?  
  3. What helpful resources can you recommend for happEsextalk's 2013 re-vamping brainstorm I have planned? (whether it be books, websites, personal tips, etc.)
  4. 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!!! :) 

96 comments:

  1. I have a lot -- too much, probably -- to say on this subject, so maybe it would be better for us to get together and have a chat than for me to sit here and write you a long comment. Let's make time in December, as you're working out your revamp.

    But here's my short-and-sweet initial thought: You hit the nail on the head. What you /want/ to do is provide education on wide-ranging topics, but what you /know/ is that there are so many other places out there doing it that all you're doing is reinventing the wheel. And when people have places to go already like Scarleteen and Sex+ (Laci Green's channel and community), then--well--they're going to go there.

    Part of what you can do, then, is make connections and get your start /somewhere else/, rather than trying to market yourself off the bat online. Send out a ton of e-mails to people and organizations whose work you admire and show them what you've done and what you have to offer. Ask them if they need help. See what you can do for them. Get your name out there. Talk to people in this program who you think have connections and ask them how they got there. Ask them for resources. They can connect you with others.

    Or: Make your online project a niche! I know that you're saying that you want to provide education on all things, which is AWESOME, but maybe it would be better if you limited your audience or topic. It would help the public recognize you, AND it would help you if you only have to concentrate on certain subjects. Like, maybe you could do something specifically for Black teens or for sororities -- some group with which you feel a connection. Human Sexuality is a vast, vast field. Trying to cover all of it is -- not only exhausting! -- but pretty much impossible. Don't put yourself up to that task!

    Building an online brand is HARD, especially when you're not doing something new. It's something that I'm trying to figure out, too. But I think that the best, BEST thing that you can do is work your ass off for OTHER people, and wait until you have the name recognition (and the know-how) to go off on your own. Grab an unpaid internship with a blog, and learn EVERYTHING YOU CAN. And then use that information to your advantage when you're ready.

    My advice? Put the site on hiatus until you figure out how to revamp it. Then unveil. Provide straight-forward, interesting, DIFFERENT content, and then target the audience that it's for.

    I hope this helps a little!

    ReplyDelete
  2. These are all great questions that ALL of us as sexuality educators need to address, so thanks for bringing it up!

    Melissa said it and I'm going to reiterate it because even before her message I was thinking about it. Make connections with a program or organization and see if you can head up their social media/sex education online or even help with it. They will have specific goals and specific audience for you to focus on. Maybe through this avenue you can start to build an audience for happEsextalk from the building blocks of another organization. Gain credibility. Figure out specialties and unique things you bring to the table of sexuality education. Focus on an audience. Main thing - create your personal brand. You've started and you can keep growing with it!!
    1. I like the revamp on the website idea. The first thing people are going to do is to Google you, so a kick booty website is key.
    2. Figure out your brand message and make sure it's consistent.
    3. Daily social media updates, stories, articles, answers, etc. (You already do!)
    4. Continue to build your credibility and visibility online, but like I said - you may need to start doing this for an organization in order to really get the kick start you want.
    Again, all ideas. Maybe you'll resonate with some things. I admire your drive and motivation! I need to hop on this train!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don’t have too much experience with online education, but I do have experience watching you educated in person. You are an extremely engaging speaker especially when it comes to sex education. I would suggest vlogging. It’s easy for people to access and an amazing use of your charisma.

    We are all here if you ever want to run a practice video by some honest, loving friends.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I say start with something that you know! Use your knowledge, experience, and passion and begin at that place. For example, I now juvenile delinquents and plan on branding to this specific group of adolescents, probation officers, and teachers regarding the needs of sexuality education, terminology, child development, and communication skills for these minors. Now, do I know how I am going to do this ~ not a clue!!! I know that I want to start out with creating a mission, goals, and objectives for "my organization" and then will begin to plan out the rest. At times it seems overwhelming because it feels like their is so much to do! On the other hand, I know that I have a unique level of expertise to offer this population and plan on using it.

    Think about your unique gift and run with it!! I figure it will all work out when I am coming from a place of genuine enthusiasm and knowledge. Good luck! Shanna

    ReplyDelete
  5. Not as a sex educator specifically, but as a blogger, I can tell you it's hard to build up an interactive, comment-y audience. It just is. So don't be discouraged because it's not working out right away. Keep in mind that for every commenter there are going to be a ton of readers who don't comment: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/participation_inequality.html

    On the blog I co-write with my family, we average around 250 views per day, and when a new post comes out we get between 500 and 1000 views, but most of our posts get no comments, or only one or two. That's just the way it goes in internet-land, so you need to focus as much on increasing your audience as you do on trying to get more of your followers to comment. Here's a post with some tips on getting more comments: http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/how-to-get-more-comments/ It's written specifically for bloggers but it has a lot of points that are relevant no matter what platform you're using.

    Narrowing your focus is important. As Melissa said, there are other big groups doing general sex ed, and it's going to be hard to compete with them. Picking out a specific niche that you can write about in more depth and detail is going to draw people who are interested in that specific topic, and you're more likely to get people excited about participating when you're discussing something they don't have an opportunity to talk about anywhere else on the web.

    ReplyDelete
  6. On a side note... after reading Stephanie's comment... I googled you. I tried to see how specific I needed to be before your happyEsextalk page popped up. "Butler Sex Education" will get you tons of stuff about Judith Butler. However, if I put in "Erica Butler Sex Education" your page is the eight result.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I want plenty of articles and blogs please upload shortly.
    Visit Banya

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've learned several important things via your post. I'd personally also like to mention that there will be a situation in which you will get a loan and never need a co-signer such as a U.S. Student Support Loan. When you are getting financing through a traditional finance company then you need to be prepared to have a cosigner ready to help you. The lenders will probably base their very own decision on the few issues but the most significant will be your credit worthiness. There are some creditors that will in addition look at your job history and decide based on that but in almost all cases it will be based on on your ranking.

    ReplyDelete
  9. There are many diverse possibilities when choosing between online psychology degree programs. Throughout the last hundred years, psychology has been an increasingly popular field to study for a lot of students. Visit our website for the details.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am sure you have a great fan following out there. Visit Skrugvica

    ReplyDelete
  11. The blog and data in this, is very good and informative also. Video sign 2010 Homepage

    ReplyDelete
  12. These are truly amongst the wonderful informative blogs.
    Relationship with My X Tea

    ReplyDelete
  13. I wanna thanks to a great extent for providing such informative and qualitative material therefore often.
    Click Economy Fence Link

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your articles are extremely fit and approved and incomparable.
    online payday loans direct lenders

    ReplyDelete
  15. These blogs and articles are fully good enough for me.
    payday loan no credit check

    ReplyDelete
  16. Exceptional blog you guys have conserved there, I absolutely appraise your effort. Relationships by Leonardo Spencer

    ReplyDelete
  17. I was searching the blogs for a long time and that is good to know that I have found such blogs here. Great working! Keep it up!
    Good Relationship With Asum

    ReplyDelete
  18. Whatever you have provided for us in these posts really appreciative.
    More about Chrome Download

    ReplyDelete
  19. I thought haven’t read such distinctive material anywhere else on-line.
    PushButtonfor.org - How to file bankruptcy

    ReplyDelete
  20. Your writers are extremely fantastic that have made easy to understand everything for us.
    reclaim ppi

    ReplyDelete
  21. It's been good to see your blog when I always look for such type of blogs. It’s great to discover the post here.
    accident claim

    ReplyDelete
  22. It’s really very informative that I wanted ever, thanks for this. ppi

    ReplyDelete
  23. Your blogs and accretion attracts me to come back once more on your site. payday loan no credit check

    ReplyDelete
  24. This blog is very informative the stuff you provide I really enjoyed reading. mis sold ppi

    ReplyDelete
  25. Your work forces out your followers for blog commenting. online payday loan

    ReplyDelete
  26. As a matter of fact these informative and great blogs have amazed me.Tips by Lopo Liku Mieo

    ReplyDelete
  27. I consider this the finest blog I have read all this hour.
    Advice by Bus2Day

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi to all, the blog has really the dreadful information I really enjoyed a lot. Discover Hot Rod Tsunami

    ReplyDelete
  29. I have been really impressed by going through this awesome blog. NBJS 120 Relationship Tips

    ReplyDelete
  30. The material and aggregation is excellent and telltale as comfortably.



    ppi refunds

    ReplyDelete
  31. Fantastic work man, keep your heads high you did it.

    Challang You Love Tips

    ReplyDelete
  32. Your computer is rattling instructive and your articles are wonderful.
    Dirma Pusa Love Tips

    ReplyDelete
  33. I see the superlative contents on your blogs and I perfectly enjoy going through them.

    Relationship Advice by Workouts by Emily

    ReplyDelete
  34. Info is out of this world, I would bang to see more from your writers.
    mis sold ppi

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi, I really need the information more as you have provided in this valuable blog.
    Read More about Asian Loves Cams

    ReplyDelete
  36. I believe this is actually the most useful blog I've been through this entire day.root Samsung Galaxy S4

    ReplyDelete
  37. A real lot of useful info here!These are all great comments

    ReplyDelete
  38. Amazing work pals, I really enjoy reading your interesting blogs.
    pirater un compte facebook

    ReplyDelete
  39. Superb way of explaining, and great blog to get wonderful information.
    CA payday loan

    ReplyDelete
  40. I desire lots of articles and blogs please upload soon.
    infographic design

    ReplyDelete
  41. While the admin of the web site is working, no question soon it will likely be famous, due to its feature blogs.infographic

    ReplyDelete
  42. It’s amazing in support of me to truly have a web site that is valuable meant for my knowledge.
    social media infographics

    ReplyDelete
  43. Well to be honest the articles and the blogs are really appreciative.
    infographic

    ReplyDelete
  44. Your blogs and its stuff magnetize me to return again n again. infographic design

    ReplyDelete
  45. The blog is quite awesome that has provided me the best knowledge.infographic

    ReplyDelete
  46. I'm also visiting this site regularly, this web site is really nice and the users are genuinely sharing good thoughts. good infographics

    ReplyDelete
  47. I got this blog site through my friends and when I searched this really there were informative articles at the place.car insurance quotes

    ReplyDelete
  48. Your blogs and its stuff magnetize me to return again n again. cheap auto insurance

    ReplyDelete
  49. I went over this website and I conceive you've got a large number of splendid information,http://www.stunningloftconversions.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  50. Wasp dudes! Amazing stuff continues the good work.contact ee

    ReplyDelete
  51. The Info in the blog is out of this world, I so want to read more.
    Detox Drinks

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hi buddies, it is great written piece entirely defined, continue the good work constantly. pirater un compte facebook

    ReplyDelete
  53. I never ever read such type of info before this was really incredible. pirater un compte facebook

    ReplyDelete
  54. Superb way of explaining, and great blog to get wonderful information. comment pirater un compte facebook

    ReplyDelete
  55. These blogs are quite incredible that have provided the best knowledge. sky blue credit repair reviews

    ReplyDelete
  56. I never ever read such type of info before this was really incredible. Orthotic Shoes

    ReplyDelete
  57. I really enjoy reading and also appreciate your work.
    vietnam visa

    ReplyDelete
  58. Job well done guys, quality information. vietnam travel

    ReplyDelete
  59. Really amazing blog, I’d love to discover some extra information.
    Android App in Pakistan

    ReplyDelete
  60. That’s a nice site you people are carrying out there.
    1 rated universal life insurance

    ReplyDelete
  61. Really amazing blog, I’d love to discover some extra information.
    compare auto insurance rates

    ReplyDelete
  62. This is an informative blog by which I have got that info which I really wanted to get. davinci bridesmaids

    ReplyDelete
  63. The information in this blog is extremely useful for the people.
    mango exporter pakistan

    ReplyDelete
  64. Really amazing blog, I’d love to discover some extra information.
    Buy Follistatin

    ReplyDelete
  65. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Each time I used to always check blog posts within the first hours in the break of day, because I like to get information increasingly more.
    buy twitter followers UK

    ReplyDelete
  67. I read your blogs regularly. Your humoristic way is amusing, continue the good work!

    NY criminal lawyer

    ReplyDelete
  68. Congrats you individuals are doing with this blog site. dwi in ny

    ReplyDelete
  69. I wonder why different professionals don't take action your website overmuch m happy I got this.

    free media player

    ReplyDelete
  70. Every day I visit a number of blog sites to see content, however this offers quality based content.
    vietnam travel

    ReplyDelete
  71. The info you provided in the blog that was really unique I love it!!!
    vietnam travel

    ReplyDelete
  72. If somebody wants expert take on the main topic of blogging next I advise him/her to go to this site, continue the fussy job.
    vietnam travel

    ReplyDelete
  73. Every day I visit a number of blog sites to see content, however this offers quality based content.
    vietnam holiday

    ReplyDelete
  74. I think I have really come on the right place for getting the perfect info.exposed skin care

    ReplyDelete
  75. I think each one is obtaining additional from this website, and your views are enjoyable in favor of new folks.
    weight loss pills that work

    ReplyDelete
  76. This blog is really awesome in all respects.vietnam holiday

    ReplyDelete
  77. You people have actually provided the best blogs that are easy to understand for the folks.vietnam travel

    ReplyDelete
  78. The information you have given in the blog really marvelous and more interesting.http://u535833.mono.net/

    ReplyDelete
  79. The information in this blog is extremely useful for the people.vietnam travel

    ReplyDelete
  80. I’m sure you will provide the more awesome blogs like these blogs that I’ve enjoyed a lot.luxury Villas Marrakech

    ReplyDelete
  81. I'd purely tell you all “awesome information”labiaplasty before after

    ReplyDelete
  82. Outstanding blog, in my opinion site owners should acquire a great deal out of this blog its very user welcoming. vagina surgery before and after

    ReplyDelete
  83. For best and cheap manual Seo services, Web designings. Must check Professional Website Design Company Bangalore

    ReplyDelete