Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Recent text4baby thoughts

I subscribe to the weekly text4baby Tuesday newsletter - sign up at the link here if you're interested - and have long been vaguely annoyed at the paucity of data they publish. For a while, (I've been receiving the newsletter over a year, since about 2 months after the text4baby launch) they showed only number of subscribers per state in a bar chart (not weighted by population). It didn't used to have a scale, either, so it was like, hm, about 5 mm of people in Vermont and wow! about a decimeter of people in California. (Woops, I just checked and they also gave % English/% Spanish, and % pregnant/% first year (there are texts through the baby's first birthday) and % would recommend to a friend (consistently 93-97%).

Anyway, today's issue included a better graph, labeled, weighted and all, so I thought I'd share. Sorry for the craptastic graphic quality:

from text4baby Tuesday newsletter May 10, 2011
I am really eager to see some evaluation from text4baby (spoken like a true public health nerd). I know Professor Doug Evans at George Washington University is working on something formal. Information is hard to find.

Regarding the extremely ambitious text4baby goal of one million subscribers by the end of 2012. Here is my homegrown crappy data (from the same newsletters since March 2010) about their growth rate:

text4baby subscribers. the cute little february 2011 bump is this
At this rate, by my rather haphazard calculations (approx 369 new subscribers a day, beautifully linear, and taking nothing extra into account), at the end of 2012*, they'll be about 608,145 people short.

But then, I feel like a million subscribers is a dubious goal in the first place without any (any!) evaluation data.

Someone else has similar things to say.

I would be critical for some of the same and some new reasons now, a year after I wrote this paper and having taken many more public health courses.

*601 days from today!

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