UPDATED: Fortune: We're the 'Facebook of Dieting'

By , SparkPeople Blogger
UPDATE: This story is now available online.

Here's what SparkGuy had to say about the experience:
"I have to tell everyone that it was a lifelong thrill to sit in the Fortune magazine offices and share the SparkPeople story with 3 high-level people there. I'll never forget it and am so excited that this article will help us spread the spark to many more people and organizations."

SparkPeople is no stranger to good press. From TV to blogs, newspapers to magazines, the media are noticing us more and more these days.

Now, we have another feather for our cap: Fortune! This well-respected business magazine, which primarily focuses on large companies that are household names, wrote a great little piece on SparkPeople in the April 12 issue (on newsstands now).

You'll have to read the story (on page 22, under the heading "Disrupters") for all the details, but we wanted to share this coup with our members. Like everything else we do, it wouldn't be possible without you!

If you were going to tell a reporter about SparkPeople, what would you say?

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SP is on such a higher level than fb there is NO COMPARISON! on fb you learn mindless games, spend hours moving only your finger on the mouse, and achieving a goal in a game that has no meaning. On the other hand SparkPeople is a live classroom, gym, health clinic, weight training clinic, inspirational clinic, educational mindful real game of life with real goals to reach for that have meaning and builds up others as well as oneself. No comparison to fb! Guess this means bye bye fb! at least for me! Report
I'm just about to ditch Facebook and stay totally on SparkPeople. Who needs fantasy farmville when the reality of a pleasant walk is so much better for me?? Report
I'd tell the reporter that "Spark People" is so much better than Face Book.
It's not just another website to chat or blog. It's a place of inspiration where you can talk to people, learn from them through their personal struggles, their inspirational stories, and of course from their successful journeys they've found through hard work, motivation, and endurance. I'm so glad I found this SP. I hardly ever go on FaceBook anymore. "Spark People", you Rock! Report
I follow Fortune Magazine on Twitter and it is the reason I am now a Sparkie. I have replaced my habit of checking facebook constantly to now checking sparkpeople. I downloaded the iPhone app, and it is now right next to my facebook app so when I look at the facebook app, I'll have easy access, and no excuse, not to check into how I'm doing for the day. The only way to kick a habit is to replace it with a new one, and this website has definitely helped me do that. Thanks! Report
ZELAZM, I pretty much agree with you. But I experience Facebook very differently from SparkPeople. I actually did not feel like blogging today, even though I badly need it for my mental health ... but the result was about the Facebook and Spark interface and experience and how I should (or anyone should) experience it when working the Spark program:


I would let the reporter know that SparkPeople.com is a life saving vehicle! Individuals who choose Spark are given every opportunity to succeed at becoming a healthier and fit person through the member founded teams, balanced nutritional guides, fitness suggestions and education.

The coaches are supportive and offer doable help for sometimes unique problems. Motivational member pages are available for all to view and learn from, as well as forming friendship bonds that might have never happened on their own.
SparkPeople.com is, whatever the individual who comes here needs. No boundaries, no commitment, no credit card... yes... participation and the level of individual participation is voluntary and free... I am living proof that this can help and one can succeed! Report
That's EXACTLY how I put it to people and have blogged about it -- it's even BETTER THAN FB!!!!! It helps me to put myself first, accomplish goals for the better of me and my health unlike FB which sometimes hurt people unknowingly when you post certain comments which you think might be harmless ... SP is all about ME and it's very special to me!!!! I'm on SP more now than I'm on FB, I might check that a couple of times a week instead of a couple of times a day now -- I'm a SPARKIE forever!!!! Thanks Guy!!! Report
I know I'm doing my part to spread the Spark. It's the best thing on the internet, in my opinion. Let's all make it the best thing for everyone else, too. Report
Everybody has said it all. For me the difference with Spark is the safety that is created by the tone of non-judgemental, compassionate support. No-one is judging you if you" slip". In fact, they are very supportive. It doesn't matter if you fall off the wagon, the important thing is that you're back. For me, the beauty of Spark is not even just the tools. It's the fact that spark is there when I want to eat. Instead of eating something, I go on Spark and you gently remind me that I don't need that"thing" I was going to put in my mouth. You convict me gently, and wisely. That's what I need. That keeps me here. You convict me, but you understand. Report
Great article in Fortune. SparkPeople is an awesome website and is helping me finally get healthy and fit. Thanks Chris and staff! Report
I found this Fortune mag in my mom's laundry room. So I'm recycling it myself! This is a neat little article. How neat to have Spark appear in Fortune! Report
Sparkpeople is about lifestyle change that leads to a healthier you. You are able find support, log your food intake and exercise activity as well as given information on the latest food/diet trends, execerise and restaraunt choices. It's a real life approach to weight loss. No pills, no "miracle" cures - just good information to make smart choices and a supportive environment of us regular folks. Report
I have yet to read the article, but the Facebook of dieting is a gift and a curse! Everything I've read about Facebook says it is HUGELY popular, but can't figure out how to make money....considering the sales of the Spark, I'm guessing that label may not even be true! Spark is something in and of itself, and a legitmate way to make money. Spark shares the social network elements of facebook, but it seems to me that Spark has found a way to complete the sentence that Facebook still can't quite finish....

UPDATE....just read the article, I am surprised the site hasn't turned a profit! I thought between the store and the books sparkpeople would be doing pretty well. Thanks for continuing to keep it free despite that, and I'd imagine as the site gets more popular because of the book that will change! Report
I would tell them that spark people is a community made up of people that truely care about each other's goals and that by taking steps one day at a time and supporting each other we accomplish something wonderful in all of us! Report
I would tell them how great Spark is and how much I have enjoyed my first 20 lb. weight loss. I plan to keep going and spread the Spark! Keep up the great work! Report
I commented on an MSN story about the top "diet" websites - and they neglected sparkpeople! Report
I would tell them that Spark People saved my life. I have a chronic illness that exercise actually helps and it is because of Spark People and the support I have received here & exercise on a consistant basis that actually has been the best "medicine" for my illness. My pulmonologist is singing Spark People's Praises and is recommending it to his other chronic lung patients. Thank You, Spark Guy for giving me back my life. Report
I actually did tell a reporter about SparkPeople when she interviewed me for an article about health and fitness for my local paper! Report
Hey! Find me a reporter and I'll sit them down for a heart to heart!

I'd tell them that SparkPeople has helped me lose weight (31 lbs to date and my ticker is still moving downward) it has exercised my heart beyond my body by finding friends I love and admire!

SparkPeople has given me the discipline and the motivation to focus on food in a HEALTHY way. It has educated me better than any health provider ever could or ever would!

It has introduced me to a community of lovely individuals that are all focused on being the best we can be in this world.

It gave me motivation after losing our beautiful son to re-enter the business of life once again.

It has gifted me with the awesomeness of making a difference in other people's lives...just through the stroke of a key on a keyboard..how rewarding and worthwhile is THAT?

And....most importantly and most awesomely...it was set up with no pre-conceived notions, no strings attached...no eye on the almighty dollar factor...THAT is what makes it the most FABULOUS site and organization in the universe....just ask me...I'll tell you...SparkPeople is about bringing out the most admirable part in each of us...helping, motivating, encouraging and loving each other!!! Just ask me!

An entirely GRATEFUL Sparkie user!

Bobbi Anne Signs Report
I opened a facebook account but no time to check it out. I'm to busy sparking! Thanks Spark guy for giving me so many tools and friends. We're losing and loving it. Report
I've never joined FACEBOOK, since Sparkpeople has all the friends I've needed and I've wanted to discuss my weight problem. I use to go into a chat room on AOL and the people in there talked about sex most of the time. I said I wanted to discuss WEIGHT LOSS, since that was the name of the room, and one woman said "Oh, that gets boring. We talk about sex since it is more interesting to us." I left and later found Sparkpeople. Report
A friend at work told me about Sparkpeople and I must tell you that I love and appreciate the site so much that I have told other people at work about it. It is such a positive influence and support system. No one critisizes you they encourage you, and I find that now not only am I eating healthier I am exercising more and can't go to long without exercise before I can't sit still and must move around.. I must give a big thankyou and congratulations to Chris Downie and his team for all the incredible work that they have done. Report
If a reporter asked me what I thought about SparkPeople, I would say that it is the best invention since the wheel!

While most websites offering nutrition information, exercise demonstrations and fitness advice charge, Spark People offers all that and much more for no fee. I don't need for my wallet to lose weight; I need to have the knowledge, tools and support that will help me live a longer, healthier life.

I try to support the website's sponsors every opportunity I have and rarely does a day go by that I don't find an opportunity to Spread the Spark. Report
A great review and well deserved praise. It won't be long before this company makes a profit. It has all the keys for a great success: A great team, supportive followers and a great product. Report
I just love this site. I tell all my friends about SP. It has everything that I need. I mostly love that I can read articles and learn something new each day about eating healthy. Report
SparkPeople's greatest strength is the group culture as defined by Chris and guided by the dedicated staff with sensitivity and energy. All the great tools and info are useless if people don't use them.

The guidelines promote a sense of belonging and security. Members from all walks of life are granted permission to reveal their short-comings and strengths and be accepted. I have "met" and been given great advice by people all over the globe who I would never have a chance to get to know otherwise.

The intelligence and depth of the tools attracted me but the people are keeping me. I have been on the site for just over three months. I have put myself out there. I was invited to be a Community Leader, which I accepted. Being acknowledged for my efforts makes me feel appreciated. I really do love Spark. Thank you, Chris, for your vision.

what a great article! congrats on a well deserved rave! i had no idea that you had yet to make a profit..that sort of blew me away. i hope this article and all the other fabulous things that are being said in the media are going to change that soon! Report
Sparkpeople has helped me do things I had never even tried before. Thanks Report
I would tell reporters that Sparkpeople is the single best online tool for managing weightloss -it is the complete package for nutrition, fitness, motivation, and support! It is the only online site I use daily! Thanks Sparkpeople!

My husband subscribes to Fortune and showed me this piece. We both thought it was very cool that this mag wrote about Sparkpeople! Report
That is Great! If I were talking to a reporter about SP I would describe to them all the wealth of information you can find on the site, as well as the communities where you can learn, help, and get help from others. Report
that is well deserved recognition. Sparkpeople is such a great resource and to think that it doesn't cost anything to participate is awesome. today everyone is trying to make money off of people. I have enjoyed this site immensely and it has helped me lose 14 lbs so far. There are alot of nice people and great support! Report
Great article. I found the last statement about guarding the refrigerator interesting. As soon as I read it my first thought was...you don't get it, someone who has not struggled with weight issues. It is about so much more than the refrigerator. At least they are getting the info out there. The more forums it hits the more people it will touch. Report
I'd say that SparkPeople is a warm, wise, close-knit community of very supportive, health-seeking achievers! (And propos of nothing, your recipe for roasted radishes with green onions was fabulous! I finally got around to trying it yesterday, and I will surely make it again!) Report
I have been a Spark for a little over 1 month now. I can't stop talking about the site. I can't stop being on the site when I am at my laptop. Lost 6lbs so far. Thank you!!! Thank you!!! Report
Congrats to SparkGuy and the SP team!! :) This site certainly deserves media attention.
I like that it telling others what a great site it is. Not just for weight loss, but for healthy living! The tools on Sparkpeople are wonderful helping you to track and see where you are at and where you need to be on your healthy lifestyle journey. Report
I would say this is a great place to learn about nutrition and excercise routines. This site will greatly improve your thought process on what you are allowed to eat vs. what you cannot. I would highly recommend this site to someone that is struggling with what they are supposed to eat on a diet. Report
This is the place to learn what you need to know about diet and exercise, etc. Try it. Report
SP is the best. It works. Report
I would tell the reporter to sign up and try out the program him/herself - whether or not he/she needed to lose weight. Everyone can benefit from Spark; everyone has room for improvement in the area of healthy living. Report
I felt this was an awesome article! It will & should bring more people to spark! I love this website & found it on accident. I am continuously trying to Spread the Spark! Report
Congrats on continuing to spread the Spark! ! Report
It's hard to believe how much fun I'm having losing weight, exercising and developing healthy eating habits. I joined Spark People in early January and each day I'm more excited than the day before. All these wonderful ideas have also helped me make great strides in accomplishing other goals. I LOVE SPARK PEOPLE!! Report
I would tell a reporter that this program fits every personality type. Report
It's a true community of supportive people all on the road to conquering weight issues, regaining their health for life. Report
yea there is worth while stuff that will help me with life changes for this I am truely grateful thanks sparkpeople Report
I found you because I read the Fortune article. I'm so glad I did. I've had a very motivated 9 days. I'm still exploring other aspects of the site but so far...I love it! Report
I am soooo grateful to Spark PeopleI have learned so much and can honestly say that Spark People has helped to make a life style change that I hope help me to live longer. Report
I would say that sparkpeople is an energizing and motivating website. The people on sparkpeople are so positive and supportive. You can get all kinds of information on getting healthy and staying healthy. It was the jump start I needed to really take control of my eating habits and exercise habits. Report
I say Spark People changed my life. It helps me stay focused and goal oriented. I am sure I would have not achieved the success I have so far with out the support network that Spark People has given me. Report
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