Posts Tagged ‘non-profits’
By Hannah Wright On 17th November 10
cial network from LoveLife” width=”300″ height=”225″ />I recently sat on a panel alongside Scott Burnett of LoveLife, South Africa’s largest HIV initiative for young people. We were there to talk about digital innovation in international youth service programmes, and I found myself in the surprising position of being massively impressed by a WAP site called MYMsta.
OK, stay with me here… WAP is the ideal way to reach young people in South Africa, where only around 10% of the population has access to the internet, but 75% of young people have a cell phone. What’s more, instant messaging via a mobile-based social network can massively undercut the cost of text messaging, giving it instant appeal for the youth market.
MYMsta (“Make-Your-Move-sta” – named by the youth so you’re not supposed to get it) is a mobile social network with a difference, seeking to connect the
youth to their peers, but also to deliver positive health messages to its users. In short, why pay to advertise on other people’s communication channels
if you can deliver a service yourself, and in doing so win the loyalty of your target audience by saving them money? And what better place to offer sexual health advice on demand than on a mobile phone, where dates are arranged and hearts broken?
Here in the UK, the popularity of Blyk shows that many young people are prepared to accept advertising messages on their mobile in exchange for a free mobile contract, but while there are a few apps using the “provide useful unrelated service in order to deliver important messages” logic (MacMillan’s find a coffee shop app, for example), I’m not aware of charities embracing the concept in a big way. (If you are, I’d love to hear about it.)
I’m hugely excited by the prospect of a social network service, which genuinely benefits the target audience, run by a charity whose mission is to help ensure a generation of complete, creative and connected youth who have the tools to stay HIV free. So I’ll be watching their progress with interest, and just a little bit of jealousy.