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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

My Social Media Makeover

By Aless Piper

March 29, 2012

When I started writing about social media and the role I felt it could play in helping AIDS Service Organizations connect with people who may not otherwise be involved in HIV/AIDS activism, not to mention stay current and relevant, I was adamant that I also make some of the changes I was suggesting ASOs make.

To wrap up my recent posts about social media for a while, here are the details of my social media makeover. It should be noted that all prices are in US dollars.

I started with my website. After seven years, and twice as many domain names, it was really past time to settle down. I bought Aless.ca and paid for two years ($12.95 / year).

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One ill-fated Tumblr blog and $9 later, I am now with Wordpress.com and their domain name add-on ($12 / year). It is truly a work in progress. I am interested in a wide variety of topics not all of which revolve around HIV/AIDS and the LGBT community (Surprised? Me too! Haha) and am currently struggling to strike the right balance between posts about my aforementioned interests, and posts about, well, other things. Like social media.

I am also still looking for just the right theme, preferably one with a responsive layout. For right now though, I am happy with Forever.

To tie my online presence together, if you click Portfolio in the top navigation bar, it will take you to a list of excerpts of my posts here on TheBody.com. Better yet, click Flaming Red.

I also connected my Facebook and Twitter accounts, so that new posts immediately appear on these social networks. I am a huge fan of time savers. Also, my Twitter feed appears in the sidebar on my blog, posts pushed from Wordpress excluded. So when you view my Twitter feed in the sidebar you won't see posts what I've posted on Wordpress.

Next up, Facebook. I already had a Facebook account, and after much soul searching I decided against creating my own page or group. Why add to the confusion of groups and pages already on Facebook when you can just allow subscribers. Click subscribe on my publicly viewable Facebook profile to see my updates on your News Feed.

If you're not on Facebook, what are you waiting for?

Now on to Twitter. In one of my earlier posts I called Follow Friday (#FF) some of the best free networking you'll ever do, and it is. I, however, wasn't very active. That has changed. Now I very rarely miss highlighting some of my favorite world changers on Fridays.

I also engage with my followers at least once a week by asking a question and requesting that they hit reply when they answer so it pops up in my mentions. Like this one: What role do you think #socialmedia can play in keeping #ASO's relevant & current & engaging ppl who may not be involved? #HIV #AIDS #HIVCan One of my favorite answers basically sums up why social media is so darn important.

This came from kamalfizazi who replied "sharing info tweeps can search in anonymity; using media that youth use 2 share info; build campaigns' visibility & momentum."

I am also very committed to remembering the hashtag for all things about HIV in Canada #HIVCan. Thanks to John McCullagh for picking up on my many mistakes with that one!

Again, this is my Twitter account.

Please note, this is a solution that worked for me, it may not work for you, especially if you run an ASO. Only you know your needs. However, all of the tools used in my social media solution can be adapted to just about anyone's needs.

Finally, a huge shout out to my awesome boss, John, who has heard me talking about this for months. It is finally done.

If you have questions or want to share how you're making social media work for you and/or your ASO, you can always e-mail, or connect with me using one of the links above.

Send Aless an email.

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See Also
10 Black HIV/AIDS Advocates Who Are Making a Difference
More Info and Guides on HIV Activism

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Atieno (Kisumu, Kenya) Sat., Apr. 14, 2012 at 12:31 pm EDT
I am happy to hear of all the progress you have made towards coming out openly to fight HIV... I too have a great presence in the social media (but have no website), though I have tried my hands at blogging. Coming out to fight stigma is the greatest decision any person affected with HIV can ever made in life.
In my country we do not have great networks but small support groups..
Anyhow I am 40 and making serious decisions in my life despite my HIV Status.
1. I MUST have a baby (my own child), because I feel this will give me a reason to love, to fight, to work, even to cook and eat... instead of living alone in isolation/lonely and slowly depression setting in. And so I am 1month pregnant.(I cant wait any longer coz of my age!)

2. I am enrolling for my under graduate degree,this is a dream I shelved 5years ago when I realized I was HIV+.

3.I might have to relocate to another town to achieve this, because it will not be easy commuting to my campus 200km away with pregnancy and a little baby to attend classes.

Do you know of any scholarship scheme for HIV+, 40yr old pregnant college going women? I believe I need support. To achieve especially this degree and hire a baby sitter and pay tuition fees and extra boarding fees I need support.

Thanks, hoping
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Aless Piper

Aless Piper

Aless Piper is a 20-something office assistant by day, world-changer by night. She is a voracious reader, and addicted to iced caramel correttos from her favorite coffee shop. She has been reading TheBody.com for more than half her life.

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