Can You Help BISH?
This website is mostly read by young folk (it’s most popular with teens and twenty somethings) who are looking for some top notch advice and information for themselves. However, I also know that there are a few fans of BISH who are here because they are teachers, or academics, or activists, peer sex educators, or parents. So this one is for them. Thanks for coming and I hope you find BISH helpful, but can you also help me?
BISH is a pretty popular website, with thousands of visits per week and over a million unique visitors in the last 12 months. I have a survey for young people to give me their thoughts about the website and they are very positive, 69% of young people rated it ‘very helpful’, with 15% saying it was ‘helpful’. You can read more about what young folk say about BISH, and here are some quotes I put in nice graphics which I shared on social media (hint, hint).
However, despite it being so popular I think that it’s still a bit of a well kept secret. A lot of the young people contacting me say that I should promote more. This is really hard to do because:
- People don’t like sharing stuff about sex education online
- Facebook and Instagram don’t like sex education materials (I’ve had a number of posts taken down without even being told)
- Even though I get sponsorship from Durex (thank you, thank you, thank you) that’s only enough for this to be a part-time job for me, I don’t have the £ to pay for ads, promotion, social media management etc.
So this is why I’m asking for a favour from you. Thanks in advance if you can help (I’m not asking for money, well maybe right at the end).
Can You Promote IRL?
If you work with young people in real life IRL (school, college, youth clubs, clinics, university) I’ve made some A4 posters that you could print out. Hopefully you will like them and if you can print them out that would be awesome. If you would like to print a lot out (or if you would like some leaflets or cards to hand out) I might be able to pay for the printing costs for that, depending on how much money I have, so get in touch via the contact page.
I already get a lot of visitors per year and the vast majority of those are via google search, which means that for a few search terms BISH is at the top or near the top of the search results. Mostly search engines like well written and relevant blog posts, but they also like to triangulate the quality of the website by looking at who links to it. This is where you can help!
If you can link to BISH from your website that would be awesome. It seems that the best links for would be from government or academic institution websites, so if you can link for one of those that would be especially good. In particular if you could link to your favourite posts in the love, or about you section that would be awesome because I think those sections could do with a boost (and there is a lot of crap advice online about these I would like to counter).
From what I’ve learnt reading about Search Engine Optimisation, I may not benefit from being linked to from porn sites so if you work in porn maybe could you link from your social media instead?
So my readers think that this website material is valuable and from speaking to academics, researchers, and practitioners in the field they seem to really like the BISH approach, but I’d love to get that in writing! For those of you I know I’ll be emailing you directly about this but for those I don’t, if you like it here, could you send me a quote? Perhaps think about:
- why you might recommend young people visit BISH?
- what does BISH do that other sources of information can’t do/don’t offer?
- what might make you trust the advice here?
It would be really useful for me to be able to convey to my funders (and potential future funders) that what I produce here is of generally good quality, so it would be great if I could include your quote and name in reports. If you can do this could send me a few lines via the contact page that would be extremely awesome. NB this is just about this website, not my teaching resources at Bish Training.
As you might have gathered, it’s just me here at BISH and so evaluating what I’m doing is all down to me (which isn’t great). I have a on-going qualitative survey, google analytics (which I don’t really understand), reader comments, and what stakeholders say to me in person or in their talks about the website. I have quite a lot of information to do a process evaluation but I don’t have a great deal of evidence about the impacts or outcomes of the website. I know other research has been done about sexual health websites by UCL, and there is the work by Natsal 3 but it’s all pretty limited. So if you are out there doing a Masters or a PhD and want a sex and relationships advice website to research — HELLO hit me up via the contact page.
Pay For Your Sex Education
Outside of the amount of money that I get from Durex I’m a freelance sex and relationships educator and trainer. So I still rely on people paying for sex education in real life to help me to keep doing this. I know that a lot of sex educators use the ideas here to help them plan their sessions, or even just use bits of the website in their lessons. I don’t mind doing that, but remember that what I’m offering here is advice and I don’t think that advice = good sex education. So would you consider buying one or all of the many RSE resource packs I have available at my website for practitioners.
As well as teaching resources I also have an activity book which you can use in lessons or in one-to-one work. It’s a bargain at £20 for sex educators because you can download it and print it as many times as you like. If you want to have a look at this for free you can here, because I’ve made this available, in a lower resolution version, for free/donations on this website for my readers. If you’re a parent, you can have that for just £3.
If you’re a teacher needing free RSE resources, why not head over to DO… RSE for Schools where you can download some cracking lesson plans written by me and Alice Hoyle. You can also join our facebook group, RSE for Schools, if you want.
What I hope to do with all of your help here is to demonstrate how worthwhile a website like this is so that I can attract more funding (either from Durex or an additional source, like Wellcome Trust or someone similar). I have enough funding to do what I do (as a part-time job), but not enough to expand it, or promote it, or to pay for writers, or to pay for social media folk, or to create a moderated community like at The Mix or Scarleteen. The dream is to turn it into a charity or social enterprise.
So if you can help me find additional funding please can you get in touch? There must be some kind of funding available for an action research project or some such, but because I’m busy doing this I don’t know about it. If you’re an individual feeling a bit flush and fancy chucking me a few pounds to pay for young people to have free copies of the Activity Book, or to pay for posters, or just to buy me a pint that would be lovely too (but honestly this is not the main thing I want to come out of this blog post).
Thanks So Much
If you can do any of these things for me that would be really great. This has been really hard for me to do because I don’t like asking for help (fragile masculinity), but one of my main difficulties is advocating for my own stuff and what I really need is some help doing that. So even if you could just pick a post on here that you think is great and just share it with someone you like that would be awesome.
© Justin Hancock, 2018
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