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A Message from SparkGuy: Announcing the Launch of SparkAmerica


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Monday, August 02, 2010

Hello SparkPeople Members!

I'm excited to share with you the launch of an exciting new program and website called SparkAmerica! Here is the official announcement page, but I wanted to share some thoughts with you here as well.

SparkAmerica is a new campaign that has many fun and exciting aspects.

First, SparkAmerica is a great way to motivate YOU to stay on track to reach your goals. It emphasizes taking consistent, small actions that make a big difference, such as doing 10 minutes of daily fitness and earning SparkPoints on the site. We have seen these types of activities change so many lives over the years. Several years ago, we created an online program in our hometown called SparkCincinnati that was similar to this. It was a hit around the city and we have always wanted to take this program national (and eventually global). Now is the time for SparkAmerica!

Second, SparkAmerica is a great new way to Spread the Spark to everyone you know. Our number one source of new members is current members who spread the spark. But we know that many members feel uncomfortable talking about weight loss with their friends. SparkAmerica changes all of this since it is a new site that is geared toward everyone—not just people who might be interested in losing weight. So, it’s a great way for you to help your friends, family and co-workers reach their goals.

Third, SparkAmerica is an opportunity for all of us to work together to make a major impact on the lives of Americans—and eventually people around the world! It's a great example of what we see on the site every day: members reaching their own goals, supporting and motivating each other, and then Spreading the Spark to more people. Imagine if we're able to do this on an even larger scale!

SparkAmerica will be integrated into your current SparkPeople experience. We're rolling this out slowly and will add more references to SparkAmerica on the SparkPeople website (like on the Fitness Tracking page, for example). You can also visit www.SparkAmerica.com and share it with your friends.

Since SparkAmerica is such an exciting program, several major partners have already signed on to help participate in this campaign. YOUR participation and enthusiasm will make it even easier for us to continue to partner with even more great organizations. This could even turn into a great way for us to feature SparkPeople members in major media stories about SparkAmerica and SparkPeople. Who knows, eventually we could even have a TV show or special that grows out of this concept! I know all of this is possible because of the excitement I see on the site every day.

Please let me know your thoughts below.

Thanks for your support. I appreciate it. SparkCheers!

Chris "SparkGuy" Downie

P.S. For our members outside the United States, our goal is to eventually add this program for more countries as well. The more members and tracking we get from other countries, the easier it will be to work with possible partners in those countries to turn this into a big program for our international members.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
FAT2FITKECIA 8/3/2010 5:06AM

    Wonderful Job Chris & Co! The new website is GREAT!!!! emoticon

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SHAMELESSHUSSY 8/3/2010 4:33AM

    To be honest, I'm kind of confused how this differs from what's already on offer; local buddy searches, SparkAmerica/SparkEarth 2008, etc. Is the only difference rebranding away from the perceived heavy weight-loss slant of this site? Because I've always thought Sparkpeople's done a fantastic job not hitching themselves too closely to the "diet-site" wagon.

To me, the site's always been about fitness and you always seemed to work hard to emphasise that. And what of these "major partners"? I know Sparkpeople has to pay for itself. I respect that. I've always admired your commitment to free-of-charge sites. But will this mean the Nike Fitness Tracker, and the Cuisinart Food Tracker, in addition to the newly minted Brita Water Filter Water Tracker? Fair enough, these ventures aren't cheap, but I have to admit I'd be a bit bummed. And I'd have to start wondering if your perspective/information was affected by the holders of the purse-strings.

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SKIPSIDE 8/3/2010 3:50AM

    Good idea....This looks great!
Seems to work well and is nice streamlining of Spark.

Just one minor error noted, the values in the "2010 Goal" column on "Minute Goal Quick Reference Table" on the "Family/Class Set-up" page are wrong. Simple error with a quick fix... unless you purposely set this up to be for only 4 months, Sept thru December I'm guessing.

Comment edited on: 8/3/2010 3:52:56 AM

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JACQUIEANN1 8/3/2010 3:33AM

    sounds great i am waiting for spark new zealand

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MARJIJANE 8/3/2010 2:39AM

    A wonderful extension of an already marvelous program! Many times, when I am "spreading the Spark", my first reference to the site is as a place to organize your life to become more fit and lose weight if that is what they are looking for... I will check out the new site!

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MIZZSB 8/3/2010 2:17AM

    cant wait for sparkholland :)

looks great!

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TRABOLD8567 8/3/2010 1:19AM

  Thank you!

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HEATLW 8/3/2010 12:17AM

    let me know when you are ready for SPARKCANADA, I would like to get on board with your team.

Regards, H

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CYNDY_55 8/2/2010 11:18PM

    Very
````` emoticon emoticon
````` emoticon

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SUSIEPH1 8/2/2010 10:35PM

    Way to go Chris ... don't forget Down under...
Cheers Susie emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 8/2/2010 10:02PM

    WOW!!

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WANDAC2013 8/2/2010 10:02PM

    emoticon Keep it up, Chris and the SP Team!!!!

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SISTERDOE 8/2/2010 9:40PM

    How exciting!

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KATHYJO56 8/2/2010 9:29PM

    emoticon

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PSMITH3841 8/2/2010 9:16PM

    Very Cool!

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CAROLJ35 8/2/2010 9:16PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LECATES 8/2/2010 9:16PM

    ONe question---well, maybe more----This will not replace SparkPeople, will it?

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LIVINHEALTHY9 8/2/2010 9:08PM

    Cool!!

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REMUS55 8/2/2010 8:20PM

  cool emoticon

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APPLEPIEDREAMS 8/2/2010 7:37PM

    Cool! Can't wait to see it all roll out.

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AHAPPYLIFE 8/2/2010 7:34PM

    I found this earlier and passed the info on to my daughter who is a high school teacher. Great idea!!!

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GOING-STRONG 8/2/2010 7:10PM

    Wow Wow Wow.... I love how you keep your thinking cap on to make SP bigger, better and something everyone can use. Way to go!

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BKWHITE3 8/2/2010 6:40PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUNSHINE_GAL 8/2/2010 6:39PM

    Chris -
What a GREAT idea! In fact, I visited the new site and the "Family and Classroom" concept is such a worthwhile tracker. Not only can parents get their kids active as a family experience, but teachers can have this as part of their classroom participation. Your determination and drive to support good health for all is respected very highly. This new site is perfect for those who don't need to lose weight but want a healthy lifestyle and also those who have already reached goal and are just maintaining. Another exclusive is that the two sites coincide with one another regarding your point values. In either case, they carry over to the other site. Again, you outdid yourself. What's next?

Thank you!!!!

Tanya


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SPRINGBREEZI 8/2/2010 6:35PM

    I so appreciate that Sparkpeople Team works hard to improve with new innovation. Constantly you find new ways to invite people in to improve their health. It is amazing that you are still free for everyone. Thanks so very much.

I looked at the Spark America page and could use some guidance to understand how it works alone and with Spark People. For example: my city is not listed and the ones near me are a half hour and hour and a half away so how does joining benefit me? Also I use a pedometer every day and have total steps and aerobic steps and time. How do I log that? I have used the step tracker but would also like credit for aerobic walking but don't want to take credit twice.

Congrats on your new endeavor hoping for great success spreading the Spark to healthy lives.

emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/2/2010 6:39:17 PM

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LOGOULD 8/2/2010 6:33PM

    emoticon I know it's going to be a HUGE HIT!!! I talk endlessly about Spark and don't understand peoples' reluctance to visit the site just because they feel it's a "diet" site, but this is PERFECT for everyone - whether they want to lose weight, don't want to lose, or they just want to be happier and healthier!

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DPTHEIS 8/2/2010 6:12PM

    Awesome news! More people could certainly gain something from finding their SPARK!

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JDBD17 8/2/2010 6:10PM

    Awesome!!

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WOODSYGIRL 8/2/2010 6:06PM

    This is terrific!! I spread the Spark as often as possible, and now with this new outlet, even more people will have their interest piqued! You guys ROCK! Helping to change lives, one spark at a time... love it!

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1THING 8/2/2010 5:53PM

    Spark on.. there are many more folks with whom I can share this, but I do not get the credit since I use my email from another source with all the addresses, I do not use the facebook type medians.

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ONLYTEMPORARY 8/2/2010 5:50PM

    This is great, I signed up for the Spark America when I first found SP. I will go see if I have to do it over again.

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NANCYRUBIO 8/2/2010 5:47PM

    If you are disabled will the site be of use to us or is it only for the physical fit? We to need to learn new exercises and to be physically fir and eat properly.

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EMMABE1 8/2/2010 5:41PM

    This sounds a great idea, As an Australian I look forward to the expansion for international users, however I know it will be an asset for my US friends!!

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DAWNO64 8/2/2010 5:39PM

    Cool site! One more way to get people sparking!

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