Friday, March 15, 2013

TGIF: COP 24/7 Style

Gwist Recap: The Best Video Clips From The Gay YouTube Channel, March 10 - March 17

GWIST is a brand new YouTube channel that brings together videos of interest to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. From the founders of Logo, Gwist isn't ABOUT being gay, but FOR being gay and for anyone who wants to BE a gay!
In my daily search to gather "what's really going on" I often check the HuffPost Gay Voices features a complete booty of items, clips, links, articles and just plain old stuff. The HPGV folks have decided to post several of the best videos featured on Gwist during the previous seven days. Well I couldn't just let them all have the fun, since COP 24/7 has a video link to YouTube in our margins and don't forget that this forum has been all about walking technology's wild side and then some. Also its been brought to our attention by our readers and visitors that more video should be included instead of so much "reading" content. I'm happy to oblige even though I am an avid reader and not in the "dumbing down" of  America syndrome that seems to running rampant across the landscape. But never mind that now, check out this week's best clips below! You know COP 24/7 is always aiming to please. Share your thoughts or perhaps forward your video submission for use on this site. Surely there's got to be some creative forces out their that are up to the challenge. Let's hear from you today!!


Reaching Gay Men Through Social Media

Earlier this week I shared with you my first time as a featured "plenary speaker" during the 5th Annual Regional HIV/AIDS Conference held in Hot Springs. I was asked to present a session on "Reaching Gay Men Through Social Media," which was a topic that I knew that I would have to spend some time in research  mode. It's been a minute since I've been in the classroom, but I quickly got my thought processes flowing. As I explored and drilled down on the subject I realized just how much info there is to discover on the topic as well as my "interpersonal" unscientific research that I amassed from many locals continued to pique my interest. The ultimate winner in the social media game with many gay men is none other than Facebook. Its hands down that many and I do many of you seem to spend an inordinate amount of time posting everything from your body parts to rants on even the most insipid matters. Supposedly all of this in the name of being "social." During the presentation I offered a snapshot of statistics from a Pew research that noted that the LGBTQ community utilizes the Internet for news, blogging, entertainment sites and most of all direct interaction.

Much of this social connecting is centered around popular sites such as Manhunt,, A4A ( Adam4Adam), Gay Black Chat (GBC), Grindr and Jack. Each has its own uniqueness but overall mostly gay men are now engaged in "high tech" cruising where individuals can make contacts both near or far. Although it seems less personal, to some degree their is an element of "personal" since users can actually size up a person from profiles or posted pictures. The conversation can be in "IM"(instant messaging) or other forms of chat that allows each person to determine if they've got a possible connection. My presentation to clinicians, advocates, endusers and or administrators was design to give insights to organizations that may be seeking to scale up their social media strategies or Internet partner services which also are used in the STI (sexually transmitted infection) prevention tool box.

I encouraged participants to take a closer look at how their entities could harness the power of the Internet in "messaging" to gay men meanwhile offering a set of bullet points to consider in the process. I emphasized that gay men in Arkansas are digitally savvy and I found their presence on all of the aforementioned sites and beyond. In a interesting juxtaposition, my presentation intersected with a focus group survey on web usage promoted by The Latino Commission and the Arkansas Department of Health. The goal of the assessments were to speculate on the feasibility of creating a web based platform that could facilitate more community cohesion and communication. I couldn't help be interject that COP 24/7 has been on that task for more than seven years despite not being a house hold name of sorts. I believe that I certainly created at least a model to be considered and I plan on leveraging my current research in conjunction with this platform to be a player in the game. My dear readers COP 24/7 has taken a licking but kept on ticking. And by golly you ain't seen nothing yet. Come grow with us as I take it to the next level and more. Got thoughts, comments, stories, let's hear em.

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