#getupandmove Challenges in the Real World

At the gym thanks to @litomikey and all my guammie pals. Next challenge for the Contagion team = how to augment time/place specific real world challenges with virtual social support?

Sent from my iPhone

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Engineering FTW: This Would Require a LOT of #getupandmoves...

From: "Wakooz Media Blog – Videos, Pictures, Jokes » Blog Archive » Things to Do with a Cadbury Cream Egg."

...but be worth every friggin' microminute of exercise needed to work off the Cadbury Creme Eggs.

Every Easter season my sister Kate and I try to resist the siren song of the eggs. Oh the chocolate. Oh the creamy yolk....I've had one so far and am averting my gaze at checkout lines.

However, now I may have to buy a pack to do, ah, some engineering for a mousetrap challenge (or something).

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The Same Can Be Said of Cofounders...

At the quantum level, the forces of magnetism and superconductivity exist in an uneasy relationship. Superconducting materials repel a magnetic field, so to create a superconducting current, the magnetic forces must be strong enough to overcome the natural repulsion and penetrate the body of the superconductor. But there's a limit: Apply too much magnetic force, and the superconductor's capability is destroyed.

From: "Brown physicist discovers odd, fluctuating magnetic waves."

Beware too much applied magnetism, in love, in life, in startups. :)

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Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here...

Flumaggedon 2010 strikes the McCabe household. Good thing we're not losing our senses of humor along with our lunches...

Sent from my iPhone

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Health Affairs Briefing: Child Obesity – The Way Forward – Health Affairs Blog

“America is guilty of child abuse,” writes Health Affairs Editor-In-Chief Susan Dentzer in the March 2010 issue of the journal, devoted to combating child obesity.

Are we guilty of child abuse? Self-flagellation? Both?

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Fear, Resilience, and Positive Emotions - Thank You, Anchor...

“Well-functioning fear circuitry in resilient individuals, for example, might prevent over-generalization of fear responses to different contexts,” explains Dr. Feder. “This will only be clarified by studying individuals who have themselves survived an assault or a serious motor vehicle accident with few sustained symptoms.”

Another example involves reward circuit function. We now know from Fredrickson’s studies of positive emotion that the capacity to experience positive emotions in stressful contexts contributes to decreased autonomic reactivity.

“Positive emotions have also been linked to reward system function,” states Dr. Feder, “and brain imaging studies of reward circuitry function in resilient individuals are the next step.”

From: "Psychiatry Weekly: Psychosocial and Neural Correlates of Resilience."

Trying to describe the difference in a person's fear response after a traumatic injury is, ah, challenging to say the least.

Looks like the good news is you may not *need* to experience a traumatic event to work out the fear-circuitry; instead, you may be able to practice exuding positive emotions during tough times to teach your autonomic nervous system to 'chill out' when threatened.

The power of positive thinking. Hmm. Maybe I'll take another look at that glass-half-full worldview...

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YC Alum Dropbox Sponsors Lunar X Prize Team "Part-Time Scientists" = Awesome!!

Today, Google Lunar X PRIZE competitor, Part-Time-Scientists, announced Dropbox Inc. as an official sponsor of their team. The cloud based storage provider connects shared folders across platforms and continents. Available on Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, Android and web Dropbox syncs files on all platforms. The cloud takes care of sharing, syncing and backups. Team Part-Time-Scientists, headquartered in Berlin, Germany with 38 team members is among 21 teams from 18 countries that are competing for their share of the $30 million prize purse.

“As a SAN (Storage Area Network) expert myself I am very excited that Dropbox decided to sponsor us. Collaboration on such a scale needs a reliable and easy way to let people work on files simultaneously. Our engineers are scattered across the hemispheres. When a U.S. member updates a file it is instantly available to every member in the world, while dozens of generations from that file are available for recovery in the background. I can’t think of a better way for collaborative work over the internet than Dropbox,” said Team Leader, Robert Boehme.

Dropbox Inc. joins the ever growing list of sponsors of the team Part-Time-Scientists. Among them is another semiconductor industry giant, Texas Instruments. For a complete list of the teams sponsors visit http://www.part-time-scientists.com/Partners_EN.

For more information about team Part-Time-Scientists, please visit www.part-time-scientists.com. High resolution photographs, video and other team materials are available upon request.

Dropbox was founded by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi in 2007, and received seed funding from Y Combinator. Today, Dropbox is well-funded by Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners, and Amidzad. Since launching publicly in September of 2008, Dropbox attracted over four million users and are growing rapidly. It has been featured in the New York Times and on TechCrunch, and won awards from places like PC Magazine and CNET. Their passion is making a product that rocks and putting it in millions of people's hands. http://www.getdropbox.com

From: "Dropbox Incorporated Official Sponsor of Google Lunar X PRIZE Team Part-Time Scientists." (Email alert)

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My Kind of Conference...Victorian Plagues, Commercialism, and Disease as Metaphor (w00t!)

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
-Victorian plagues: cholera, TB, venereal disease, influenza, smallpox
-histories and narratives of disease
-identity and pathology
-disease and the body
-disease as metaphor, languages of disease, contagion, illness
-disease and colonization, disease and globalization
-art as disease, mass culture as disease
-the spread of commercialism
-visual and literary representations of disease and illness
-sewers, filth, miasma
-slums, prostitution
-health and hygiene
-representations of illness
-mental illness
-imperial anxiety and disease

Please submit a 500 word abstract and short (50-75 word bio) by September 15 to Kristen Guest, Program Chair, kguest@unbc.ca

The conference will take place in Banff, Alberta in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. The town of Banff is surrounded by the spectacular scenery of Banff National Park, which offers excellent opportunities for both hiking and downhill skiing in late April. Banff is approximately one hour from Calgary and is easily accessible by car or air (regular and reasonably priced shuttles are available from Calgary International Airport).

Accommodations and sessions will be held in the Banff Park Lodge.

From: "CFP: “Victorian Epidemics” conference, VSAWC, April 2011 « The Hoarding."

Anyone down for a proposal?

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Experiential Knowledge (and Pancakes)

Blacksburg, Virginia. Brunch at Gillies. A "sprinkle" shower attended by friends and family. In this photo: Four generations of women in my family (both sides) sitting around exchanging female "folklore" about the pregnancy and birthing journey. These woman have 10 childeren between them. A small sample size yes, but a powerful one. Why, with all our tech prowess, are we still unable/unwilling to value (and capture) the incredible, hard won body of knowledge? I can't even count all the information of value I heard distributed- willingly, openly-through the central "nodes" in this network of women. We captured some of the tips on birthday cards for my sister's future daughter, but I kept thinking damn. If and when I need to access this body of data it will have vanished, save for a flawed set of memories. There will not be another gathering like this one. All these women will most likely not meet again. The knowledge exchanged was catalyzed by the company and the context. We share such value so casually, almost as an afterthought. When will it no longer be discounted?

Sent from my iPhone

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Your Cofounders Need. Moor. Challenges....

@shazow - the only question is - which one are you? The Hulk or Ironman?

Guammies, we both could use a refuel.

Send us some challenges! Por favor!

Easy way to make me move more here: http://getupandmove.me/jensmccabe



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We Ain't Scared, We're Just...Scared of Being Too Slow to Keep Up With Our Guammies

When you mess up on a social web app, as you undoubtedly will, you have to come completely clean or your users will smell your fear and hate you for it. Social sites are not typical software…they ebb and flow depending on the community and how it evolves over time. You, as the manager of a community, must act accordingly.

From: "Common Pitfalls of Building Social Web Applications and How to Avoid Them « Bokardo – Social Design by Joshua Porter."

What we build depends not on the language, not on the coding, not on the elegance or scalability of the backend (although damn @shazow, that's nicely done ;)...

It's about the people we know and love who use #getupandmove. Or don't.

I've been slacking on community management - listening to you - trying to make 'big deals' for Contagion.

But there is no Contagion, there is no getupandmove.me, without you.

Glad someone reminded me.

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Outtakes From Our YC Video Taping: This Guy's the Value, Thumbs Up!

Good thing we remember to mention the 85M TAM for Health 2.0 consumers, our revenue model(s), and the fact that we've done deals with 2 companies thus far and are working on more...

Whoops :) . As you can tell, we were having fun with it.

I blame the sleep deprivation...

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How To Figure Out if You Should Share PHI - Give Yourself 100 Points...

One thing I find useful when choosing to share PHI (or not) is to break down the issues relevant to me and my value system in a personal decision matrix.

This allows me to shy away from generalizations about 'should' or 'should not' outside my personal sphere of decision-making, and also to have a realistic, reciprocally valuable (I hope) conversation with another person who may be considering sharing PHI.

Here are some of the factors I consider:

1. Safety - does sharing *this specific PHI* jeopardize myself, or my family% 20in any way? (ie can health insurers use this information to deny my coverage?)

2. Security - does sharing this PHI in the format allowable by the social media site/service jeopardize any other information, or my future financial health/wellbeing? (ie do I use the same passwords, etc)

3. Privacy - does sharing *this specific PHI* reveal things I want to be 'openly available' in the public space if it's a public network, or would I rather share them via a closed or anonymized listserve? Would I say them aloud on a mobile phone in a crowded mall? Would I pay to post them on a billboard? (Obviously that last one's a stretch but if I *wouldn't* want to see that info posted on a billboard, why the heck w ould I consider sharing it in an open fashion on a public social network?)

4. Utility (self, self+doctor, others, self+others, self+others+doctor) - does sharing *this specific PHI* have utility/value for me? ie does it make me feel better to get this off my chest (catharsis, therapy, etc). Does sharing *this specific PHI* have value for my conversations with my doctor? Even peripherally? Does talking about it on a social network make me think about my condition(s), and/or decision-making and priorities in a new way that might influence my conversations with my care providers?  Does sharing *this specific PHI* have a potential or inferred value for anyone else? (this may be the hardest to judge since I can%2 0attempt to predict what may be useful for someone else but it's a crapshoot at best)

5. Access - to whom does sharing *this specific PHI* on this site or service grant access to my information? Is the network structure opt-in (ie only my friends on Facebook can view this update) or is it publicly available a la Twitter public timeline?

6. Control - who has control over removing, revising, or redistributing my PHI should I choose to share it with this group, at this time, on this network? Does the site's User Agreeement or Terms of Service grant me control, or can they store, aggregate, and anonymize/use/sell my data on the backend?

7. R+R (personal reputation and community 'reliability') - what are  my personal motivations for sharing this PHI? Do I want to gain a certain reputation (ie "I am an ePatient") by doing so? Do I hope to increase the group value by adding to the knowledge network?

I tend to give myself 100 points to distribute among the relevant factors.

Where I give points are the factors I use to make the decision to share personal health information (PHI) which changes episode by episode and site by site.

I do not often, for example, share PHI on Facebook, but I share ODLs (observations of daily living relevant for overall wellness) quite often on Twitter.

I also often choose to share PHI and my personal health narrative in the blogosphere (Posterous).

I take all the abo ve factors into account *each time* before I do so, as well as the audience and community/communities with which I'm involved on each site, and their motivations for perusing my content.

This may seem like a complicated exercise, but it's worth talking about. You can drop factors important to you into a simple Google Docs spreadsheet and distribute points from there.

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Farewell Notes to a Great Poet and Friend

blessing the boats  
by Lucille Clifton

(at St. Mary's)

may the tide  that is entering even now  the lip of our understanding  carry you out  beyond the face of fear  may you kiss  the wind then turn from it  certain that it will  love your back    may you  open your eyes to water  water waving forever  and may you in your innocence  sail through this to that

From: "blessing the boats - Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More."

At St. Mary's College of Maryland, my junior and senior years were consumed with a project that examined the cathartic experiential benefits of poetry readings for author and audience.

I had a night class with poet Lucille Clifton. There were only 7 of us, and each week our poems were ripped to shreds by one another and sometimes , seldom, reconstructed into something beautiful, terrible, or, more often, mediocre.

Lucille taught me to love the feeling of the wind at my back during times of change, even when it felt more like a tsunami than a tender evening breeze.

Because of Lucille I didn't take my writing too lightly - nor too seriously - but just seriously enough. (Poets have an unfortunate tendency to ballast their public personas with more weight and gravity than their ethos earns).

Because of Lucille I stopped writing just for me, and started writing for others.

Because of Lucille I came to California - now home - for the first time in the summer of 2003, to the Squaw Valley Community of Writers' "Writing the Medical Experience" workshop.

I wandered around Truckee in a daze. I'd done nothing but have a car accident. What right did I have to be there, a lazy college kid, surrounded by brilliant personalities and wordplay at every turn?

If only I had known then the intense redirection that would occur as a result of that 2 weeks living and working amongst poets including Louise Gluck and Rafael Campo, plus medical students and doctors from all over the country, I may not have *wasted* so much time trying to tell myself one couldn't possibly make a living from creating and communicating the value of a single individual's learning about what it means to be sick, and what it means to live well.

Because of Lucille I stopped hiding from myself and began to write with gut-wrenching honesty. The way she taught me to write, about my life and desires, informed the way that I speak now - to audiences, to friends, to family, to loved ones.

Lucille, you have sailed through this to that.

I hope the water was smooth, my friend - near the end - for your journey. Thank you.

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Just Another Day at the Office, You Know, Emailing the First Lady...

When four of your friends tell you that your company should be working with First Lady Michelle Obama for her "Let's Move!" initiative - and continue to hound you until you've responded that you'll work on it - you've got three choices:

1. Giggle (check).

2. Hide (check).

3. Check out the program, stutter in disbelief (check). 

Email the White House and send the First Lady a card (check on the first, working on the second). 

The White House gets tens of thousands of emails daily. The likelihood of anyone working on the Let's Move campaign seeing my email is slim to none.

Still, as @betaCooking says, sometimes just showing up is a good approach if you want to play. 

Here's what I emailed:

Dear First Lady Obama - I can't tell you how much I admire your work with the Let's Move campaign. The future of our country depends on moving from 'sickcare' to a proactive focus on the wellness of each individual. A healthy, happy population happens - ironically - one person at a time. How do we get individual people to make a series of smaller, slightly healthier choices - "microchoices" - that add up over time to health (or the lack of it?) We are working on precisely that problem at http://getupandmove.me. I would absolutely be thrilled to support your Let's Move campaign in any way possible, and we have seen from folks using #getupandmove (search Twitter.com for some interesting references to challenges people are issuing, accepting, and enjoying) that behavior change IS possible, especially when you make health social. My very young startup company is Contagion Health. We believe that although illness is viral, health can be contagious too. Kids were meant to move - and so were the grownups who look after them! We're working to make moving fun for BOTH. We look forward to being of service to you with the Let's Move initiative. All the best - Jen McCabe http://getupandmove.me/jensmccabe @jensmccabe on Twitter jensmccabe@contagionhealth.com http://www.linkedin.com/in/jensmccabe

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Your Prostate, Our Robot: Does Marketing Trump Medicine in Emerging Biotech?

The runaway  popularity of robotic prostate surgery is a case study in the triumph of marketing over medicine, and for that reason, it could be a glimpse into the future, according to a report in the New York Times. Last year, an overwhelming 86 percent of the 85,000 U.S. men who had prostate surgery chose robot-assisted procedures despite scant evidence that those operations have proven to be safer or produce better long-term outcomes than traditional prostate surgeries. Oh yeah, robot-assisted prostate surgeries cost $1,500 to $2,000 more per patient than traditional variety, which involve surgeons making small incisions in the abdomen and inserting tools with their own hands to slice out the organ.

Few procedures have skyrocketed in popularity as much recently, with robot-assisted prostate operations surging from an 5,000 a mere eight years to 85,000 last year. And it’s questionable whether the additional millions in spending helped patients at all:

Medical researchers say the robot situation is emblematic of a more general issue. New technology has sometimes led to big advances, which can justify extra costs. But often, technology spreads long before investigators know whether it is worthwhile.

From: "When Marketing Trumps Medicine."

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Amazing First Time Eating a Tamale From the Tamale Lady

Veggie! Sweet potato, beans, corn. Four dollar=foodie bliss. Sent from my iPhone

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Advance health informatics - Engineering Challenges (Contagion FTW!!)

New approaches to analyzing the math can help — especially when the math describes the network of relationships among measures of health care use. In other words, monitoring not just individual streams of data, but relationships such as the ratio of one measurement to another, can provide a more sensitive measure of what’s going on. Those kinds of analyses can help make sure that a surge in health care use in a given city because of a temporary population influx (say, for the Olympics) is not mistaken for the beginning of an epidemic.

Never thought I'd see the day when I'd be working on an engineering challenge, as a non-engineer.

But thanks to my patient cofounder @shazow, Contagion Health is doing just that.

Last night we recorded our YCombinator video application.

We had just one minute to say why we're doing what we're doing, to try and explain why we're obsessed with making health social through simple, beautiful, easy to use tools like #getupandmove.

This was harder than it sounds. As a non tech engineer, I am guilty of spending too much time wrasslin' with complex metaphors, weighty analogies, and theoretical acronyms.

But during this 1 minute, we didn't have time to layer bullshit over our dreams about how social tech can enable health.

This turned out to be a very, very good exercise.

Andrey and I argued about what we'd say (ahem, 'discussed') for about an hour prior to taping 4 takes.

I'd recommend all startup founders and wannabee entrepreneurs who follow the gospel of Paul Graham (YC) tape a 1 minute intro describing your business.

Later (after the app process) I'll post our video - and in the next couple days I'll be posting some funny outtakes.

But for now, here's the gist of why we're working on a platform that'll let you find, choose, check, and use information that's important for your life *yes, Quantified Self friends, stuff like your Nike+ or WakeMate data too.

Life isn't about data. It's about choices.

Your choices. And how they reflect who you want to be, how you want to live - especially when something goes wrong, like falling asleep at the wheel and hitting an 8 foot iron ships' anchor dead on.

Because, let's face it, even after the worst kind of trauma we start to think - pretty much as soon as we wake up after a life disruption, shake ourselves off, and look around - about what in the hell we're going to do NEXT.

And these choices - both the ones we actually make and all the thousands of potential decisions we *could* make at any given time but don't - generate a shi%ton of data.

So what?

Your stream of data means nothing in isolation - it's about the decisions you make (or don't make) as a result of seeing it. Smart 'triple threat' engineers like Andrey get this, and code accordingly.

They get that you have to visualize data in a way that makes it USEFUL for your health, but more importantly, for your life.

You personally - not your mobile phone, not your personal health record - are still the best 'advanced health informatics' engine out there.

It's not your fault we haven't figured out how to help you make sense of it all.

Your datastream, your lifestream, this should be manageable, measurable, modifiable.

It must be by you, for you, your own personal asset - and presented in a way that makes doing the things you want to do possible.

We're working on it.

I hope others participating in this engineering challenge, that their work and ours, will mark the beginning of the contagious health epidemic.

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amednews: 'Speed dating' matches physicians, patients :: Feb. 8, 2010 ... American Medical News

If Doc Shop -- a program Texas Health HEB launched in fall 2009 to connect patients with obstetrician-gynecologists -- sounds like speed dating, it's because it was modeled on the matchmaking process that lets singles meet a significant number of potential dates in a short period.

The hospital's first event took place on Sept. 24, 2009. Two others have been held since, and seven are scheduled for 2010. The program has been successful enough that the hospital is expanding it to include pediatricians, with longer-term plans to include other primary care specialists.

From: "amednews: 'Speed dating' matches physicians, patients :: Feb. 8, 2010 ... American Medical News."

@beccacamp, if Fort Worth is anywhere near Austin, we should maybe pay a lil visit at SXSW ;)...

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Will The Real Top 10 iPhone Med Apps Please Stand Up?

From: "Today’s real top ten iPhone medical apps | mobihealthnews."

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Hotel Bed Jump #getupandmove Challenge for @stales

Live from the Express Scripts San Antonio Ignite Symposium.

My talk today is about public health 2.0, social networks, connectivity, and behavior change.

Case in point: "health" doesn't have to be boring when you're not trying to do it alone...

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Google AdWords Surprise Big Spender: NHS Choices Program?!

The Department of Health (DoH) has spent more than £2.7m in advertising on Google in the past year, it has emerged.

Using the internet search engine’s pay-per-click AdWord service, the DoH spent £2,720,457.11 between 1 February 2009 and 31 January this year, health minister Phil Hope said.

Adwords are the "sponsored links" that appear at the top of the page when a user searches for a particular term. Clients pay Google each time the link is clicked.

The DoH paid for 21,939 “active search terms”, he revealed, but said that revealing the exact search terms could put the DoH at a future competitive disadvantage.

"Details on which Google keywords have been bought for use is commercially sensitive; in particular the collection of the keywords the department has paid for on NHS Choices is estimated to have taken approximately one year to complete," Hope said in a written answer.

From: "Department of Health spends £2.7m on Google ads - 10 Feb 2010 - Computing."

Wacky....21,939 active keyword buys?!

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Startup Founders: Who Do You Owe It To?

If the answer is 'no one' other than yourself, you're either:
A. Not looking hard enough past the image in the mirror or;
B. Not pushing yourself far enough.

Can you think of at least 1 friend 'back home' who would say this to you, in all honesty? If not, are you pushing yourself far enough now?

Are you willing to push yourself farther?

Who do you owe it to? If the answer is 'myself' it's gonna be a long and lonely road.

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Who Knew? At Contagion Health, We're Mechanics...

Enter a blog

The analysis indicates that the author of http://getupandmove.me is of the type:

ISTP - The Mechanics

The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment and are highly skilled at seeing and fixing what needs to be fixed. They generally prefer to think things out for themselves and often avoid inter-personal conflicts.

The Mechanics enjoy working together with other independent and highly skilled people and often like seek fun and action both in their work and personal life. They enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters.


This graph displays dominant parts during the writing

Text used for analysis

More text gives more accurate results. The following text was used for this analysis
Get Up and Move | Barter with exercise Get Up and Move Already moving? Sign in ! Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Twitter Issue a challenge, barter with exercise ! I will if will . © 2010 by Contagion Health

Used http://typealyzer.com to check out our site's 'personality type.'

Good to know if this startup thing falls through I can go back to driving the Nurburg Ring ;).

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This is Exactly What our Getupandmove.me User Graph is Showing...

In each network, most nodes are linked to only a few other nodes. But a small fraction of nodes have lots of links. These hubs shorten the paths between all the nodes in the entire network.

From: "Network Theory: A Key to Unraveling How Nature Works by Carl Zimmer: Yale Environment 360."

Social contagion theory like whoa!

We're now building out some internal algorithms and analytic tools to find those 'central' or 'contagious' node users and incentivize THEM to help other users 'level up.'

Perhaps even more interestingly, we've got some data that may support the theory that some percentage of users 'level' up and become hyper-nodes unexpectedly.

I use 'some' and 'maybe' a lot there because our emergent community and user behaviors are fascinating, and pretty new (we're less than 12 weeks in).

Network theory, fitness, health, social contagion, and how your skinny jeans fit. They're all connected.

Now we just have to figure out how to use build stuff that uses those bonds (covalent? ionic?) to get to better health.

We're working on it!

PS - @theferf, thanks for introducing near-sadism into our model with that 90 pushup challenge. My arms feel like I'm typing with oven mitts on...

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Contagion Health Mention at Davos! Thanks @edyson!


Thanks for the heads up @mdbraber.

@shazow, virtual high five.

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Will Loopt Lead the Way on N=1, Contextual Commerce?

For example, certain deals are only unlocked if you do certain tasks, such as check-in at a certain time of day. This could be enticing to venues because while something like a coffee shop may be busy in the morning, it may be dead in the afternoon, and may want a way to pull in more traffic at only that time. There are also incentives for users to check-in with friends, which obviously benefits the venues since it means more people in the store. There are also options to give customers real goods or virtual goods. Users will also have an easy way to see what specials they are close to unlocking.

Perhaps most significantly though, LooptCard will be built entirely on top of Facebook’s social graph, we hear. This means there is a low barrier to entry to gain new users who may be wary of signing up for yet another social network. This also means that it will be tightly integrated with Facebook Connect so that all of these deals and check-ins will pour back into users’ Facebook streams, upping the viral potential of both the app and the deal.

From: "Loopt To Start Pushing Check-In Specials Hard Using A New App And Facebook."


Loopt's recognition of real-time, personally relevant context for geopromotions is the first build I've seen take individual routines into account.

The behavioral data this kind of app has the potential to generate is the real Easter Egg here. Fascinating implications for mHealth design.

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Being a Woman in Tech Sucks, Yes. But Seriously. Stop Bit&^*%^. If You Choose the Startup, It's Still Your Choice.

Brad, I think a large part of the problem is pretty easy to understand. My wife and I both work at different startups; last night we were both at work pretty late. She didn’t finish up until around 10:30; I got done an hour or so before her but kept working for a while. We don’t have kids, but this lifestyle is not going to be possible when we do. Our highest performing women tend to marry high performing men (in my case I got lucky with my wife…). Since the burden of taking care of kids tends to fall on the woman, and since our best and brightest women are marrying men who have similar hard working lifestyles, something has to give. And it is usually the women’s careers.

I wish this didn't hit so close to home.

To date, I've turned my back (willingly) on one marriage and one relationship (so recent it still burns) to try and build the things I think need to be built for health.

The time constraints with startups are only one part of the problem though, whether you're male or female.

The emotional and mental rollercoaster that leads to Provigil use, drug and alcohol abuse, and lack of caretaking (of oneself, of one's relationship) is entirely another.

Even if you are stable, self-confident, smart, and well supported (financially, socially), these peaks and valleys can eat you (and everyone around you) for lunch.

My most recent relationship was with another highly intelligent, highly driven, highly successful Silicon Valley tech founder, so perhaps that high performing to high performing part bears closer examination.

Ironically, when asked to 'put a relationship first' (and this is waaay before having kids) I think the problem is that most male entrepreneurs won't, and most female startup founders WILL (unless the guy is also your cofounder).

Except, I will not - at least not yet - and that means my relationship ended.

We women fold. We think "what the hell am I doing this for?" or "what the hell (and who the hell) will I have if I fail?"

I'm guilty of this too. This morning I spent an hour on the phone with my sister, who has one kid under 2 in the house and another on the way.

I'm wondering if I will have time for that after doing a startup so late. I'm wondering if I'm not making a safe choice here. Guys can always reproduce later, but my clock ticks down earlier.

The ugly truth is you just can't have it all - except in the VERY rarest of circumstances and relationships.

I should know how this feels. I'm staring at this choice RIGHT NOW.

And it's not great timing, let me tell you.

In the midst of applying to YCombinator, meeting VCs every week, building out getupandmove.me for other health and wellness uses, and realistically looking at my options if Andrey and I DO NOT get into YC.

He'll be fine - as the engineering side of our team he can go work at Google.

I, however, would probably need a quarter brewing coffee somewhere to recover and figure out what to do next.

I've got waay more than the 'qualified but female' founder strikes mentioned by most of these well-intentioned but near clueless writers against me. I'm not from 'here.' I grew up on the east coast.

I didn't go to Stanford. I went to a small liberal arts college and have a degree in English and a minor in Gender Studies.

Not only am I an unpedigreed, first time (at 30, Jesus) female founder of a tech company, I am a non-tech, non-CS founder who doesn't code.

What I'm trying to share, I guess, is that it's just never a damn convenient time for a woman to become an entrepreneur. And there are always more disadvantages than advantages.

But isn't that true of entrepreneurs in general?

If you're going to start something, and take the risk, timing doesn't matter that much anyway - other than your ability to judge the market, opportunities, and grab at a change in the wind.

But I will agree all around that with both parents engaged in startup life it seems near impossible to me to contemplate things working out in a healthy, well-balanced home.

Startup founders are by nature self-engaged to the point of alienation, and sometimes even injury, to those around them.

We're obsessed with our code, with our concepts. We're obsessed with cracking the closest benchmark of success (traffic, funding, etc) and then moving right along to the next one.

Unless you're in a relationship, where instead of a Venn diagram with three sections (you, me, our relationship which overlaps in the middle), you've got 5 (you, your startup, me, my startup, our relationship).

Needless to say, things get, ah, rather complicated. There's only so much emotional, spiritual, and mental energy in a person, and I'd say these energies are markedly decreased by startup life.

In my last relationship, I'd wake up, leave bed, do an early morning scrum call for hands2gether, our forthcoming mobile app built in partnership with a large US health insurer, make coffee, clean the kitchen, do some more work, and then go back in and cuddle with my boyfriend until he was ready to wake up and go get something to eat.

We'd blow about 3 hours of eating and talking time before I'd usually start another afternoon work session.

Because he was often up til 2 am coding or doing his night-owl schedule, I'd struggle to stay up, often falling asleep in a sitting position trying to pay attention to some movie we were watching on iTunes.

Why am I sharing this? Because it sucked. Hard core. It is not healthy nor sustainable.

And what sucks worse is that this will most likely happen again, at least if I want to be in a relationship rather than just doing some casual dating that satisfies certain, ah, indelicate needs.

The tradeoffs I choose to make as a result of doing this NOW being so ruthlessly non-traditionally prepared are legion. And I'll most likely choose to keep making them.

Why? Because I love this. When I tried to contemplate doing something else earlier this year, I was absolutely miserable, and horribly under-productive. Healthcare, and using cool things like social games to make this better, is it for me.

Oh, if this goes south, I'll survive. Somehow I always do. Those 'adaptable' characteristics you have to have to be an early stage founder can be reapplied as 'survival techniques' pretty easily, but it sure doesn't feel good.

For all the reasons I was compelled to start Contagion, startup life draws me. But doing a startup in the Valley might also "break" me.

To survive the Valley as woman, you have to survive being ignored by a gathering of founders not because you can't hang in the conversation, or because you're wearing something feminine (I wasn't-boots, blazer, boyfriend's Polo rugby, jacket).

You have to survive knowing that the guys here will either be puzzled by you, mortified by your very essence, being and presence, be strangely attracted and fascinated (luckily a minority), or not give a rat's ass about you until you're successful.

And that last one, at least, ladies, is where we have the benefit of being treated just like the guys.

It doesn't matter whether you're XX or XY. If you care about startups, then you care about success. And you know others will judge you on it.

And when you get to that nebulous realm of 'success,' you can decide if it was 'all worth it' or not. The likelihood is that you may end up there alone.

The guys face this too, when the money doesn't bring them love, or happiness, or wellbeing, just a fatter bank account and, whoo hoo! An easier time getting VC meetings the second time around!

Can we make this a more gender balanced area? Sure. Can women get by in the current dogs-circling-a-fire-hydrant atmosphere? Sure.

But for gods' sakes guys, quite talking about this and start talking WITH us so we can learn how to do our startup jobs better.

If you're not mentoring at least 3 females interested in founding startups, I'd say you're the ones falling behind and failing to innovate.

But don't worry. I'd be happy to forward you a fat list of names. Competitive, smart women are out there. Don't worry so much that you won't find what you're looking for in us...

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By Easter, I *WILL* Be Able to Do 1 Pullup!!!

This is my own personal fitness Hades...

Despite having spent a good part of my early 20s on a walker+crutches (after my car accident and mad leg surgeries) I still could never quite manage to do a SINGLE full, dead weight hang pull up (no pun intended).

My mom (@susanlindsey) and sis (@kbluey) used to stop at every Pilates equipment area on hikes and bang out a quick 4 or 10. These ladies are amazing and, at least as far as pull ups are concerned, completely out of my league.

So. I've done some crazy-cool challenges for my buddies at getupandmove.

I'm doing crazy #getupandmove wall pushups in SOMA laundromats. I've done pole kicks on an Amtrak train (to the amusement of fellow passengers). Yesterday I walked to 3rd and King with my laptop and iPhone, 'hopping' every minute for @litomikey's (my dad!) challenge.

But I've been too afraid to tackle my own white whale: THE.PULL.UP.

This is a tough goal. But if Andrey and I can pull our sh*& together, swallow our fears, and apply for YCombinator, then, damn it all to hell, I am GOING to do that pullup come Easter.

Guammies, I need your help. I will slack off, procrastinate, and in all likelihood fail unless I get some serious pullup practice challenges.

Please don't leave me hanging with my tail in the wind alone...

Your weak-upper-body-strength founder -

Posted via web from Get Up and Move!


Developers Working on Mobile Ad Apps Everywhere Weep this Weekend...

Apple is warning iPhone developers that applications built with features based on user location must provide "beneficial information," adding it will reject apps that incorporate location to deliver targeted advertising. A post on the iPhone Dev Center website encourages programmers to enhance their iPhone and iPod apps via the Core Location framework, which enables software to pinpoint users' whereabouts and deliver information like local weather and restaurant recommendations. "If your app uses location-based information primarily to enable mobile advertisers to deliver targeted ads based on a user's location, your app will be returned to you by the App Store Review Team for modification before it can be posted to the App Store," the post promises.

The iPhone Dev Center post is all the more interesting in light of Apple's January acquisition of mobile advertising network Quattro Wireless, a deal reportedly valued at about $275 million. Apple rival Google, which itself scooped up mobile advertising network AdMob in late 2009, called local services "hugely important" to the future of the mobile user experience during its recent Q4 earnings call, with Google product SVP Jonathan Rosenberg forecasting that location-based services will more deeply integrate with mobile advertising and commerce services in the "not too distant future.

From: "Apple vows to reject location apps geared for mobile advertising - FierceMobileContent."

Fascinating. Unless Apple builds in in-app advertising using someone they've acquired, this would be the *only* area of your app where they don't get a slice of the action per transaction.

Posted via web from Jen's Posterous


More EMR data could mean more patient anxiety - FierceEMR

And some patients require more context than just supposedly "normal" ranges.

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"My Heart is Divided"

Switch Beer and Wine.

Switch Car and Bike.

Replace "Lost" with "X-Files."

Cross out "Computer Games" and put "Plays with Whiteboards."

#quantifiedapparel, anyone?

(Note the stunning lack of a 'relationship' anywhere on the shirt...)

Posted via web from Jen's Posterous

Typography and Health Design: Do You Get It?

One thing that fools us, for example, is font. When people read something in a difficult-to-read font, they unwittingly transfer that sense of difficulty onto the topic they’re reading about. Schwarz and his former student Hyunjin Song have found that when people read about an exercise regimen or a recipe in a less legible font, they tend to rate the exercise regimen more difficult and the recipe more complicated than if they read about them in a clearer font.

Become a details person, if you aren't one already.

Make look books. Save screenshots of 'easy' to read sites, intuitive user experiences, and clear, crisp design images.

I suggest downloading the Jing screenshot client, and creating Flickr albums to keep notes for yourself.

In designing for health, even the 'wings' on your lettering (or the lack thereof) makes a difference.

Do you get it?

Posted via web from Jen's Posterous

"What Pre-Launch or Early-Stage Web Projects Deserve More Attention?"

I think in general specialized third party services, especially those dealing with complex data set types are going to be super relevant in the future.

:) @shazow

Posted via web from Jen's Posterous


Hope Springs Eternal

For @kbluey and @susanlindsey

Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Jen's Posterous

#getupandmove Facebook Notifications and Invites FTW!!!

Because let's face it, not everyone loves teh Twitter ;)

Now you can do nifty Facebook invites...plus, just because @shazow was feeling frisky, a snazzy new autocomplete so we'll help you find your friends there and invite 'em to join you over at http://getupandmove.me

Just start typing in their name and then shoot them a message.  We make health+social easy. God I love me work...

Posted via email from Jen's Posterous

Sitting Kills? Stand Up, Sit Down, #getupandmove (Now With Snazzy Facebook Notifications)!

Studies show that sitting kills. Inertia may be especially hard on the heart. Every hour spent watching television was associated with an 18% increase in heart disease deaths and an 11% increase in deaths overall among 8,800 Australians who were followed for six years. People who watched TV at least four hours a day were 80% more likely to die of heart disease than those who watched less than two hours a day. (Americans watch an average of five hours of TV a day.) A Canadian study of 17,000 adults also found a consistent link between chair time and deaths from heart disease. The more people sat, for any reason, the more likely they were to die of heart disease within 12 years -- even if they were slim and exercised regularly. Too much sitting isn't the same as too little exercise. The Canadian and Australian studies can't prove sitting kills. It's possible heavy TV watchers and other chair-bound types have other habits, i.e., snacking patterns, that explain the link. When people are lounging or sitting, muscles go silent. Studies in rats show this muscular shutdown is quickly followed by a dramatic drop in an enzyme that's a vacuum for fat in the bloodstream. Artery damaging fats get a new chance to build up during every period of prolonged sitting. And springing up to jog once a day is unlikely to undo the damage. So, sit less and move more. Our bodies just weren't designed to be this inactive. 

From: "Monday, February 1, 2010 | DCPCA Health News Alert."

"Frequent" random acts of microfitness may be healthier than we know. For your body's sake, #getupandmove it. Often.

We're helping you get the motivation you need to move more throughout the day wherever you are, from whomever you find most helpful - on Twitter, on Facebook.

If you tried the Facebook #getupandmove feature last week, try it again.

My cofounder Andrey spent some nice time cleaning up the code and working on the API so you can now leave friends Facebook notifications.

Accountability is an agreement with yourself and the folks you invite to #getupandmove.

Speaking of which, I'm off to our UserVoice community to see how we're doing holding up our end of the "make healthy microchoices" contract.

Tot ziens-

Posted via web from Get Up and Move!


#getupandmove in Serious Star Wars Style

I have never before seen a bunch of chicks make Star Wars Stormtrooper outfits look sexy. That codpiece is hard to overcome. .

Seriously. Mad respect for the SeoulDanceTroopers Wonder Girls.

I will be strangely addicted to learning this dance as a #getupandmove challenge for the next few days...

From: "YouTube - 서울댄스트루퍼즈 - 원더걸스 'Nobody' 편 (SeoulDanceTroopers - Wonder Girls) "

Posted via web from Jen's Posterous

Tonight's Healthy Dinner Experiment

Organic mustard greens braised in a sauce of soy, mustard, and honey. Cornichons, a pinch of cinnamon, and some Cayenne pepper. Feel like a foodie! Accompanied by Patianna Vineyards Fairbairn Ranch 2005 Mendocino Syrah (biodynamic whatever the he^* that means). Cooked while listening to thesixtyone.com. This is how a healthcare geek celebrates ;)

Sent from my iPhone

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Mark Your Calendars Gene Geeks: Tomorrow's a Big Day in "Genomic Slavery" Debate...

Under US patent law, no one can patent what occurs in nature. Inventors can patent the microscope that zooms in on an insect in the Amazon rainforest - or a drug that they invent based on the insect’s DNA - but not the insect itself. Yet for the past three decades, the US Patent and Trademark Office has been doling out exclusive patent rights to companies and universities for gene sequences they isolate from human chromosomes. In effect, researchers who discover what a specific gene does can retain the exclusive right to study it, and develop tests and therapies related to it.

But tomorrow a federal court in New York will hear a crucial legal challenge against the patent office and a Utah company, Myriad Genetics. The plaintiffs - a group that includes medical researchers, doctors associations, patient advocacy groups, and the American Civil Liberties Union - are challenging the validity of Myriad’s patents for two gene sequences responsible for most hereditary cases of breast and ovarian cancer. These patents give the company a monopoly on tests that show women whether they are likely to get cancer based on mutations in those sequences - and on research that could help develop better tests and less toxic treatments for cancer. Such research should be an open avenue of scientific inquiry.

From: "Protect biotech research, but not by patenting genes - The Boston Globe."

Posted via web from Jen's Posterous

Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It: Studying Health

"Thousands upon thousands of persons have studied disease. Almost no one has studied health."

Thanks to this quote from Adelle Davis' 1954 book "Let's Eat Right to Keep Fit," I just figured out how to sum up all the speaking and tweeting and design and consulting and startup advocacy work I do in healthcare. 

I'm studying health. It's that simple, and that complex.

This week's #startuplife menu includes QA testing of the hands2gether app with our partner prior to app store submission. I can't wait for this app to launch, because it will be a fun, free, easy way to study the contagious spread of happiness. More on this app soon.

Also putting together a hiring packet for cofounder @shazow to apply for a VISA, which means thinking carefully about the docs, language, and creation of Contagion culture NOW and crafting docs that reflect our aspirations rather than half-assing it and getting him something cheap and easy to carry across the border. 

Oh, and a little thing called the YCombinator application...

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