Just a few days ago, I wrapped up my work at HDN, where I’ve been working semi-frantically on HealthDev.net, a social news aggregator in the spirit of DIGG and Plime. After going in beta at the beginning of this year, the website properly opened its doors to the public on July 1 and, at the moment, about 650 individuals have registered. June saw around 428 articles being posted, 31 of which were unique to HealthDev.net. Interestingly, July, so far, already has seen 69 new unique articles.
All in all, although there’s still a lot of work to be done, particularly in building acceptance of the platform, the website can be said to be moderately successful.
To take it to the next level, HDN will be required to send out a consistent message on the platform, constructively pushing it with its partners and through its projects, while managing the content in a structured and consistent way.
Typically, many of the potential users of HealthDev.net are not nearly as tech-savvy as the constituents of DIGG, Plime or Facebook. For many, the threshold to interact is high, the technology is daunting and the connection is slow, as many of the constituents, those living in countries hardest hit by AIDS and TB, have access to only mediocre, at best, internet connections.
As HDN is currently going through, ehm, interesting times, the above is more of a challenge than a given.
For myself, I’m attached to HealthDev.net until the end of the year in a support role. If, or rather, when, the system decides to stop working, I’m contracted to go in, get my hands dirty, and fix it.