Do I Have Your Attention?

This evening I learned about “the science of capturing people’s attention” from Ben Parr. While his presentation methods leave something to be desired, the subject-matter was certainly interesting. By the end I was wondering if I was doing a good enough job capturing people’s attention when (if) they visit, what could be done to keep someone’s attention when they get there, and what can be done to get them to come back.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to improve My Chronic Disease Secret, its reach, its impact, its purpose – improve its everything.

I believe that people living with or impacted by chronic diseases need a safe place to be honest about what they are experiencing without the fear of shame, guilt, or stigma. I believe that sharing these secrets not only helps in the immediate as a form of catharsis, but also by association – finding out you are not alone is a powerful experience.

I think that while there are other similar outlets for anonymous confessions: r/confessions feels like a competition, the Secret app is built upon your existing connections on Facebook and through your email who are also using their app, which makes it difficult to truly broadcast and connect with the broader community. And while the Postsecret forums do, in a way, support anonymous secrets, there isn’t a place that calls out or highlights secrets for the chronic disease community.

There are other outlets, but I feel strongly about the approach I’m taking and the potential audience I’m reaching. There’s a lot of anger, fear, frustration, jealousy, and confusion out there, but there aren’t enough places for people to safely share what they are feeling.

I suppose this stuff will always be on my mind – I brought this on myself. Now the task is to figure out how to get it right.


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