Monday, May 21, 2012

Combine Chronic Conditions and Facebook: A New Start Up Called "Woebook"

It's the Disease Management Care Blog's 31st wedding anniversary. To celebrate, the happy couple is at hideaway that offers what the DMCB spouse refers to as "chaise lounges." She patted one next to her's and asked the DMCB sit, relax and "converse."

That's when the DMCB excitedly pointed out that Facebook's launch has many lessons, including the overlaps between hype and greed, the wackiness of giving money to a 28 year old hoodie-wearing oddball and the certainty that if everyone could only "friend" everyone, cheap solar power would finally prevail.  Inspired by the luster of a multi-billion dollar IPO, it thinks now is the time to cash out the retirement funds, leverage the DMCB's brand and launch its own social media offering called "Woebook."

The User Profile: This will list any and all medical conditions that may reflect a user's, family member's or friend's medical history, or a professional interest or a passing hobby. If you don't know your condition, a partnership with IBM's "Watson" will assign one to you. If you have no condition, a bank of specialists will be on call to make one up for you.

Friends: Communities of the Diseased will spring up, share symptoms and insights and give special meaning to the term "poked."

Marketing: Instead of relying of some claptrap on how targeted and intrusive ads somehow "enrich" the users' "experience," Woebook will be honest and announce its intent to bludgeon users with what they really want: information on pricey brand name drugs and the latest and most expensive medical devices.

Privacy Settings: While the default is HIPAA-level privacy and the threat of unending visits by U.S. Department of Justice bullies, Woebook will maintain a jumbotron in Silicon Valley that will rotate the pages of users who have selected the "maximally voyeur" privacy setting. Banner ads scrolling across the bottom will generate tons of advertising revenue. Best of all, those annoying Millennials in their BMWs will be reminded that something incurable is waiting them just a few years away.

Speaking of Ads: You'll have to give permission to have them appear on your pages. If you accept that option, the DMCB's Woebook will share its vast ad income with you. Users will also have the option of sanctioning spurious, malicious or uncool ads and, if enough votes are collected, the ad and the sponsoring company will be banned. That includes for profits, not-for-profits, government agencies and candidates for U.S President.

Photo sharing: You bet, including but not limited to that unsightly and tough-to-diagnose rash or non-healing sore, x-ray images and scans of the mysterious "this is not a bill" documentation.

The DMCB spouse is unsurprisingly not ready to cash out and commit the 401K. Angel investors are free to call for a copy of the Woebook business plan.

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