A few nice online self help images I found:
Charlie Silvr of RealAge
part of my personal health info series…. (I just finished writing a Release 1.0 on the topic, and will be running a workshop on it Septembr 30.)
RealAge is a model – unfortunately a rare one – of effective personalized outreach to consumers about health care. RealAge.com is an online service accessible through a consumer website that interacts directly with individuals, stores their histories for them only, and uses their self-reported data to figure out their RealAge. “We’re a media company,” says founder Charlie Silver, a serial entrepreneur who sold his chain of quick-oil-change centers to Jiffy Lube in 1994. Now he’s in the preventive maintenance business again – for human beings. RealAge is not an outgrowth of, say, a disabled child or a mourned spouse, but of Silver’s perception that people needed a simple way not just to collect or store health data, but to understand the meaning of it.
That perception didn’t come easy. The company began in 1994, when Silver’s previous business partner, Marty Rom, introduced him to Michael Roizen, MD. Rom and Roizen had met in medical school; in 1994, Roizen was developing medical informatics programs at the University of Chicago. Rom and Roizen recruited Silver to help start a business using interactive tools to collect personal health information. The product was basically a dumbed-down PC with five buttons that doctors could put in front of patients to take their medical histories.
But in hindsight, Silver realizes, the founders got it wrong. The challenge isn’t taking the patient’s history, but rather representing it electronically for easy analysis and making it meaningful to the individual. Most health information is hard to summarize even for a doctor – though it’s easy enough to see and say “You look terrible,” or “You’re looking great.” But exactly how terrible or how great? The numbers people focus on, from cholesterol level and weight to blood pressure and pulse rate, are all too discrete. No one of them tells the overall tale of an individual’s overall health. There’s a complex skein of conditions and dependencies and hedges. In other words, it’s hard to keep motivated to stay healthy when there’s no way to measure the impact.
By contrast, there’s a person’s RealAge, which does change when you change your behavior. based on actuarial analysis of numerous studies and health statistics, and an ever-expanding array of epidemiological survey results and clinical trials. “It needed a single number,” says Silver. “In sports, in business, in school…we measure things with a single number” – even though it hides lots of complexities. With such a number, an individual can use variety of strategies to lower her RealAge, just as a business may use any number of strategies to raise its profitability.
To be sure, there is lots of specific advice and complex background information that RealAge uses to supplement the RealAge (and keep users coming back), depending on each user’s (self-reported) conditions, behavior and prospects. But there is also a bottom line: Your RealAge is 44.5, even though you were born in 1965. Or, congratulations! Your RealAge has dropped two years since you stopped smoking, started walking to work and, oh yes, quit that job you hate and lowered your stress.
For example, registered users received the following tip a week after a journal article casting doubts on Vitamin E appeared: “You’ve no doubt noted articles like ‘Vitamin E Linked to Higher Death Rates’ [with a summary]. [It] may have you wondering if you should change your own health habits based on this news. However, according to a health alert, “Is Vitamin E Bad for You?” published in RealAge Magazine, RealAge’s premium subscription service, you shouldn’t give up on it, especially if you are a relatively young, healthy adult. Just don’t take too much. The RealAge Optimum dose of vitamin E is 400 IU per day. Use this as your upper intake limit. Also, if you take supplements, avoid being a solo supplement taker. Treat supplements the same way you treat your diet and go for balance.”
By contrast, says Roizen, “With all the new information about hormone replacement therapy, we waited for the dust to settle – about three months – and then we tried to summarize the pros and cons.” As for Vioxx, he adds, “In the database we have everyone who says they are taking Vioxx, so we sent them all a message when it was withdrawn. One of the real values of e-mail is that you can get a lot more information out than in a 30-second TV slot.”
In reality, the mailings can sometimes be undercustomized. The studies that RealAge cites sometimes contradict one another. Of course, that’s a function of real life, not just RealAge. Many of them do in fact contradict each other. RealAge’s basic messages, however, are the ones that the medical establishment seems to have the toughest time getting through: Eat right, don’t smoke, exercise, check for the most common diseases. Just getting those messages acted upon would save more lives than any drug invented so far.
While doctors may sniff at RealAge’s commercial aspects and its obsession with vitamins, we’d wager that it has been far more effective in changing people’s behavior than most doctors. It’s not that doctors don’t care; it’s that they aren’t there. RealAge is there seven days a week with its e-mailed tip- of- the- day, reaching 4 million people a day.
“Friendship Is A Sheltering Tree”
OK, what do I say here. This is tough. I’m not going to be around much since I’ll be starting this new job on Monday. As wonderful as it is to finally have work after such a long drought, I am going to miss the time I’ve been able to share my thoughts, feelings, panicky outbursts, joys, humor, life and art with you all here terribly. I’ll still post when I have the chance of course, but I doubt there’ll be much opportunity to leave those in-depth commentaries where word matches image so uniquely. That does pain me greatly, since I know how much it’s been appreciated by everyone. I will comment and make my presence known on your photo pages and groups whenever I can, as much as possible, so please don’t think I have forgotten you. God, how could I possibly after all we’ve been through together? Oh, brother, OK…
I just need to say this…..I doubt any of you will ever truly know just how much you’ve helped me to grow as a photographer, but even moreso, as a person. Your suggestions and critiques, your love and compassion, your generosity and consideration, have all been a boon to my spirit for these past 11 months. You have shown me it’s OK to express myself openly and honestly, to admit to being flawed, to try new things regarding my work, and to stand tall in the face of adversity. I have said many times that photography has been my salvation – from depression and anxiety, from self-pity and creative malaise. It’s pulled me up from the depths and helped me to breathe again. And when I felt like I was sinking under the weight of the world, I reached out a hand and someone HERE grabbed it, and lifted me back above the darkness. How can one adequately thank another for that kind of devotion? I cannot even begin to come close. All I can hope is that you can FEEL the fervent thumping of my heart, and know it’s because of you.
As I’ve written before, this online community in particular flourishes because we’re all truly connected in our words and deeds. Each of us counts on the other for inspiration and encouragement. And when it comes to simply wanting an "escape," we can rely on our neighbors in Flickrland to offer a shoulder to cry on, a joke to lighten our spirits, or a picture that will leave our jaws hanging with a beauty we’d never expect to witness in our bleakest of hours. What a wonderful gift to be blessed with in life!
So, THANK YOU – humbly and deeply and completely – for every small and enormous thing. If I could wrap my arms around the world, I would embrace you all. Know that down every challenging path, in every worrisome moment, in every beautiful and wondrous instance, that you walk beside me. You are my family. You are my friends. Walter Winchell said "A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out." Thank you for walking in to MY LIFE.
I love you, each and every one……
If you can, please make a contribution towards the disaster relief
efforts in New Orleans by donating to the American Red Cross.
As a way of returning the extraordinary generosity and support you
have all shown me in this great community, whenever I upload a new
pic or series of shots this year, I’ll provide a link to another flickr
photog whose work, personality, or spirit I feel you should discover.
Visit and introduce yourself. Make a friend. Share the love.
Open your eyes to Deena_Rooney today.
As an intensely inter-connected social software, tied by RSS, full of tagging folksonomy, is the world of 43Things. This first site is a place where individuals list 43 goals in life, tag them with descriptors, and write entries when they are achieved (or not). The social opart comes that you can see others who have the same goal, and read their stories (and as a marked aschievement, one can designate they are willing to help others).
Recently added on (and connected) is 43Places where you can list 43 places in the world you want to go, or have been to. With the same parallel features, you can see others who have the seem desire (or have been there).
And now they are tied together by 43 People which lists your profile (include links to your "things" and "places") plus you can list 43 people you’d like to meet, and then write a story about that meeting.
Perhaps this sounds trivial and a frilly (especialy when many people seem to want to meet Hollywood stars and some goals are, just, well, not even possible by the laws of physics), it is a vaulable experience to see how the social tools are worked together.
Perhaps with some structure, some copaching, some examples, the goal setting aspect could be used for academic, career, as well as personal goals.
In fact, this is the very subject of Jeremy Hiebert’s Masters Thesis on 43 Things Masters Thesis in Educational Technology:
“Using social software as a method of identifying and collaborating on learning goals. 43Things is the most obvious application of this idea, letting users define goals, many of which are goals requiring learning (‘I want to learn PHP and CSS’, ‘learn to cook great vegetarian meals’, ‘learn to record music on my laptop’, etc) and then connecting individuals to others who share that goal so they can collaborate on achieving the goal together—sharing resources, expert recommendations, online tutorials, links and comments to support each other. I think it’s a powerful model of self-directed, self-organizing collaborative learning.”
And like a good Web 2.0 social software citizem, he is using the 43Things site as part of his efforts:
And looka t this- he is one of 60 others with the same goal of explore how 43 Things can promote online learning!
So ask yourself, does your multi-thousand dolllar Course Management System have any functionality close to this?