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New Feature - Suggested SparkPages - Tell Us How its Working

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

SparkPeople's research shows that members who are active in the Community with SparkPeople friends are exponentially more successful. We are always then looking for new ways to help members get more out of the Community.

We launched a feature today where we now suggest SparkPeople members who could be good friends for you to add. We base our suggestions on a number of things such as mutual SparkTeams, mutual friends, goals, and more. To find your suggestions you can go to our Community/SparkPages page and look in the "SparkPages Suggested For You" column on the left. Note you need to be logged in to see suggestions, and you can click a link at the bottom to see more suggestions.

This is somewhat a "beta" feature where we are tweaking the best way to recommend friends. We'd love to hear from you in the comments on this blog how good the recommendations seem to you!

Dave H.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
KRYS210 12/4/2011 4:05PM

    emoticon Do not like the suggested pages at all. Please go back to posting the new spark pages instead. Thank you!

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CMFARRELL36 11/30/2011 4:12PM

    I'm going there now to have a look.
I glanced at a few comments on my way down to this box, and I agree that, potentially, this may be a great idea for new members.
Members who have been on SP for a while already "know" other folk, hopefully. Certainly this will be true for folk who undertake a challenge! And I would have to suggest to every SP member who hasn't already joined in to sme group or discussion that they should try to do so, as they'll get even more out of their Spark experience!

I'll come back and comment, if I need to, once I've looked at the idea.
But thanks for not only thinking about it, but also trying to do something about it.

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IRON_RESOLVE 11/10/2011 2:21PM

    Interesting, going to check it out now.

Still need a Group Goodie option, to offer multiple Goodies, to several friends at once, when time constaints make this a necessity.


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PICKIE98 11/4/2011 8:03AM

    I think it is a good idea for newbies,,sometimes we forget what it is like to start out on this overwhelmingly huge site. Things SHOULD be geared for new people,, sometimes their life is so hectic that this site being way to navigate, just might be what keeps them here Thank you.

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DAISY443 11/2/2011 6:58PM

    I have found your suggestions not to my interests. I have my Spark Friends, I can find new ones on my own. Suggest you discontinue this. Also, suggest you discontinue giving points for the quizzes. I have renewed them several times and find it boring and uninteresting. Given all that, I still love Spark People.

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    Well, I saw that, but now I know what it is based on. Thanks! emoticon

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STARL_73 11/2/2011 5:40PM

    The people I've Sfriended are ones who have sparked my interest. Most of the time, I have very little in common with them. And I really don't see how this site would know what commonality we would have, other than our teams.. I don't remember filling out a questionairre of my interests. Plus, just because we like the same movies doesn't mean we'd be great workout buddies..
I just don't see how this is going to work...
I love the idea that you're trying to help us find other members to bond with because you're right - involvement is a huge key to success. But I think this is not the right way.
What if we could add tags to our blogs - and other members could search via tags.

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    I would also like the option to opt out.

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JIBBIE49 11/2/2011 4:13PM

    After being a Sparker for four years, I'm always finding NEW friends by going to the Message Board for "New Members" and giving them a WELCOME. Then of course, joining "DONE BEING THE FAT GIRL" Team is another way to make great frineds. Any DONE GIRL is my BEST-FRIEND-FOREVER.

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BEHAPPY0201 11/2/2011 4:01PM

    I looked at it and there was not one person on the suggestions that I was interested in connecting with. I think we can all find our own friends through the groups we are on and through other friends, but thanks.

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GEOPENGUIN 11/2/2011 3:37PM

    Thanks for giving us more useless, needless, mindless stuff...instead of the stuff we want/ask for...
And what SNAZZYMC said...

Comment edited on: 11/2/2011 3:43:48 PM

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BEACHBUMCRY 11/2/2011 3:26PM

    Just a suggestion - Is there a way to make it so that the only pages suggested to people are those marked looking for a SparkFriend? That would allow people to opt out, but still find friends for those looking or that are okay with more friends.

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SUSIQZER 11/2/2011 3:09PM

    All of my suggested pages have been for inactive users. Is there a way to weed those out?

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    I would prefer to have the option to "opt out" of this feature. I may or may not want to use it, but it should be my decision to be matched up with others-- I kind of like picking my own friends, as I would do in "real life"


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YOOVIE 11/2/2011 2:42PM

    Is there a way to remove ourselves from this yet?

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WRITEFROMHOME 11/2/2011 2:33PM

    i checked it out. i didn't really find any great matches that I wanted to connect with. that doesn't mean it isn't great for someone else, but I think the best way to make common connections is through groups - people share common interests and maybe similar ages and weight loss goals.

I can't really keep up with too many friends anyway so I like to connect with those on a similar journey or same location and really spend the time to encourage them and read their blogs etc.

Great idea though.
*****And I am so grateful for this website. It has changed my life - and its not all about the weight. I lost the 15 lbs I wanted to) its about having goals and successes and feeling healthy and fit again and gaining a better mental attitude. My family and husband are grateful, too. I now look forward to the next years of life, rather than grieving the years I've lost.

Much thanks. words cannot even express it. THANK YOU!!! emoticon

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MI-ELLKAYBEE 11/2/2011 11:56AM

    First of all, I LOVE Spark People. Regarding the new feature: every time I look at it, it is different. I don't get a chance to check out those pages, and they're gone, replaced with others. It's a good idea, but may lead to adding more friends that I can keep in touch with. They all seem so interesting and friendly. Just one more thing: when I was new, I received an inappropriate response on a message board - I reported it and have never heard back. I was new and learning, and it was very very very rude and it made me feel bad about seeking help. I have never gone back to the technical help board. But I have received all the help I needed from other wonderful people throughout the site. If anyone sees this, and sends me a private SparkMail, I will provide the details again. Thanks.

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MELOSPARKLE 11/2/2011 8:21AM

    Sounds great! I'll go check it out now!

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TUBLADY 11/1/2011 8:57AM

    It sounds like a feature I will check out.
If it is anything like the features I thoroughly enjoy already using , then fantastic.
There is a lot on this site, which is good, you only have to use what you want or feel comfortable using.
I think the day i found this site was my lucky day.
I have lost 193 lbs total, and 147 of those pounds were because my use of the Spark food tracking, fitness, and wonderful teams I became involved with and the amazing friends I have met.
I can't say enough good things about Spark.
Thank you for creating this site and the fact that it's free, it's amazing.
Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PICKIE98 11/1/2011 3:12AM

    Sorry I did not know about this feature,, will check it out and let you know..

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TRUE-NESS 10/30/2011 6:37AM

    I have to say that I don't really like this feature. I really don't need any suggestions. I go to people's pages and read and decided whether we have anything in common or not. Also, the BIGGEST reason why I don't care for this feature is the fact that it has replaced the "recently added sparkpages" spot on my Start page. I liked going and welcoming new sparkers. Now, I don't know who they are or how to find them.

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CHANGING-TURTLE 10/26/2011 8:32PM


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CWFWATKINS 10/25/2011 10:46PM

    Just watched the Fox News Video and wow - I had no idea that you used your own, personal, "gazillions" to create this site for us. "Thank you" seems like a measly response, but it is a heartfelt one.

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LIFERUNNER43 10/23/2011 3:05PM

  Thank you for caring enough to change my world...and the world of so many others!

Q: What makes someone care more about others than money...than time...than even themselves?
A: Perhaps, if they were here today, people like Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King could tell us. Since they are not, we will simply listen to what our Spark People Team Members say...every day!

Thank you Spark People for making a lasting difference in the world!

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GUNNADOITNOW 10/23/2011 5:45AM

    I think i will check it out.thanks

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JACKIEHAYNES 10/23/2011 12:40AM

    Thank you Chris and all staff. I began my weight loss journey on June 2nd this year. I weighed 189.5 pounds. After about 1 week on my own, I joined Biggest Loser club online. I stayed with them through mid-August and I lost a good amount of weight, however, a friend told me about and I switched. I have not looked back. I still need to lose about 10 pounds. I love the features of SP. I am grateful that there is a website that is perfect for me and it is totally free. emoticon

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DEERLADY45 10/21/2011 10:00AM

    Spark Guy and Staff, Your web site has really done it for me. Im 58 and only now have i really lost weight and i know i will not quit. Full ,speed ahead for me! All the sites you have the recipes motivational pages and the spark friends are amazing.My dr was amazed that any thing would work for me and when he heard what helped he wanted the girls to get it on the cumputer so he could check it out!His other patients need you too! All i can say is Thank you! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GREATMARTIN 10/20/2011 3:56PM

    I am a new member who is about already to call it quits for a few reasons--I haven't the slightest idea if this is how to reacchyou as you said onyour automatic e-mail--in addition I don't want my e-mail box jammed with e-mails that I did not ask for--I want to look around, 'tset drive' the site for a few days but if I am going to have to spend a lot of time going through uncalled for e-mails then I'll just close the account

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JEWITCH 10/20/2011 12:45PM

    Thanks sounds like a feature.

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GALINAZ 10/18/2011 12:52AM

    Thank you for giving back and creating Sparks people! You are inspiring and remind me to give back every day in some way

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DWILCZKO 10/18/2011 12:08AM


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THEIS58 10/17/2011 3:13AM


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    This is one of the best websites for inspiration I have ever had the good fortune to come across. Well done and thank you - I feel an opportunity would be to have training days spread right across America ( sort of like a Spark tour) and further down the line Europe - maybe sponsored to help keep costs at a minimum and to video for online content on how to make the most of Spark would work very well.

People are very motivated and the simple stuff works - how to keep a food journal - an intro to exercise - you will not run out of topics or willing participants - not in the immediate future anyway.

Good luck and keep tweaking - it works...

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SPARKLEI 10/15/2011 6:32AM

  I have email a couple of times over the last few weeks and never get a reply. Is anyone from spark really out there?

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SPARKLEI 10/15/2011 6:32AM

  I have email a couple of times over the last few weeks and never get a reply. Is anyone from spark really out there?

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SPARKLEI 10/15/2011 6:32AM

  I have email a couple of times over the last few weeks and never get a reply. Is anyone from spark really out there?

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JULIA1154 10/14/2011 5:28PM

  This is an interesting idea. Thanks for continuing efforts to bring us more and better options.

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MO-WALK 10/14/2011 12:44PM

    I like this feature. I haven't completed looking at your suggestions but I am sure I will find a match or two. Thanks for another great SparkPeople feature!


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DWILCZKO 10/14/2011 12:55AM


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HOWLERMOM 10/14/2011 12:29AM

    Pretty cool - I will spend some more time looking tomorrow - a couple of the top choices I already knew from a Spark team!

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MOMTO2TOO 10/13/2011 10:39PM

    Thanks for adding yet another cool feature to this amazing, life-saving site! I appreciate everything you do for us!!! emoticon

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SWEETSOUNDS11 10/13/2011 9:52PM

    Funzies! I thrilled SP is always trying to develop new features. Personally, I've noticed more motivation and commitment now that I've built a few SP online friendships. I'm going to check out the feature right now.

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NCSUE0514 10/13/2011 9:02PM

    I'll have to check it out. Interesting concept.

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PENOWOK 10/13/2011 7:50PM

    You folks continue to amaze me. I have been on SparkPeople since the end of June and am still finding new supports and ways to access information! Thank you for your amazing tools!

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DEBLYNN323 10/13/2011 5:43PM

    looking forward to seeing what this shows!

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KASSIANDORA 10/13/2011 2:15PM

    I've been on the site for a few years, and the feature will often recommend people who have also been a few years, but a lot of them are inactive, haven't updated in 100-300 days. :(

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TRULYVISIBLE 10/13/2011 11:54AM

  I don't know if this is too technical or possible and I know this is a free site and appreciate all your efforts but I think it would be great if we were able to answer a few questions of what we are looking for and then we get suggestions. At the beginning of the journey you may want to communicate with one type of person but as the journey goes on you change and the needs for what pages you want to read change.

I am not at goal weight (25 to go) but now really enjoy reading pages of people who have lost all their weight and kept it off for more than a year. It gives me a realistic look into what it will be like and brings me out of my fantasy that I will no longer have to work hard once I reach goal. There are also tons of women on the site and I enjoy reading blogs from men because the blogs are different and therefore i get a different perspective.

Thanks for all your efforts with this free site. I try to support it by buying the Spark book and now the cooking book and joined Sparkpeople live. I think if people can do what they can to support Sparks financially it will be here a long time.

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JUICENUT 10/13/2011 11:26AM

    I just went through my recommendations and was impressed! From one young lady almost same age as my daughter that needed encouragement to one who was very inspirational to me. There were some really interesting people whose lives and stories intrigue me. What a great opportunity to reach out to people with whom I can really relate.

Not sure how you programmed that feature, but KUDOS to your developers! I think you have a winner...

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KIN59VARA 10/13/2011 6:33AM

    I will try it

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GLAMNGLOWDIVA 10/13/2011 2:44AM

    I would much rather have it back to where I could see the new members and greet them.

I think it would work well with the newbies, but everyone else I think we all do well bumping into each other here and getting to know one another.

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Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.