Thursday, 29 August 2013

FROM NOTORIOUS B.I.G. TO "PLAN B" — RAP GENIUS TAKES ON HEALTH


There is something special happening over at Rap Genius. The site started as a collection of user-generated forums where anyone can read, discuss, and analyze rap lyrics from Biggie to Markie Mark to Eminem. But now, the team is focusing on health and fitness with "Health Genius," a platform that tackles health news using the same crowd-sourced techniques that made Rap Genius a success.

"Rap" and "health" aren’t exactly a classic combination, but the idea isn’t as crazy as it sounds. The team at Rap Genius has built an online empire around people’s desire to decode and debate what they’re passionate about — in this case rap lyrics. Rap Genius was born in 2009 and quickly grew to include hundreds of thousands of active users and approximately 10 million unique monthly visitors. It has since spawned a new vertical called “News Genius,” which focuses on current events using the Rap Genius model. Health Genius doesn't have its own tab just yet — for now, it's a collection of stories dispersed under the News Genius umbrella. This can make "Health Genius" difficult to find, but those health stories are gaining popularity and attracting their own unique community of users.

Much like its big brothers Rap Genius and News Genius, Health Genius is a community-moderated forum where any user can annotate primary documents relevant to current health concerns. Users can pour over the FDA’s approval of Plan B, a FAQ on gout, the cloning of human stem cells, a report on carcinogens from the National Institute of Health, or any other health news. Encouraging conversation about health is always a plus, but why does a “rap” forum care about our health, anyway?

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