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An Open Letter to Chris Downie Regarding Beth Donovan

Monday, April 30, 2012

Dear Spark Guy,

I was very disappointed and saddened when Spark People leadership determined Beth Donovan (~INDYGIRL) would no longer write for the Daily Spark. My understanding is you have made the decision to only use "expert" contributors for the Daily Spark.

I can understand you may define "expert" as someone with advanced education and perhaps lots of letters behind their name. These credentials can be important in validating information. However, I believe you are making a woefully bad business decision in deciding Beth's personal experience does not qualify her as an expert.

After all, how many handicapped people do you know who weighed 460 pounds and by following Spark People guidelines has lost 205 pounds? No weight loss surgery, no diet pills, no fad diets, no "dieting" period, Beth has done it the old fashioned way...she took in less calories than she burned.

Experts with a solid educational background can help us with their knowledge and give us information, but if they have never experienced morbid obesity they can never have the perspective Beth so courageously blogs about as she lives her life.

I don't know what Beth's educational background is, but I do know she is a talented writer who is articulate using correct grammar etc. She has inspired, motivated, encouraged thousands if not hundreds of thousands of us who have followed her blogs. I found her by seeing her on the Daily Spark. It's a shame future Spark members likely will not have exposure to someone who has promoted what the core essence of Spark People is all about.

Linda Carson Gorkis R.N.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
GREENDRAGYN 11/30/2012 8:26AM

    I hope they will reconsider. If there are legal concerns or otherwise, then have the content reviewed by an 'expert' prior to posting, but recognize the inherent value in 'been there, done that'. Getting 'advice' from someone that has never been there is never as useful as hearing it from the trenches...

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TIMOTHYNOHE 11/30/2012 12:35AM

    Did Chris respond?

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    I agree..

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PAMNANGEL 5/2/2012 1:19PM

    There is no better expert than someone who has lived the experience. You can't learn what Beth has been through going to any school.
By the way, I tweeted a link to this page. Hope nobody minds.

Comment edited on: 5/2/2012 1:29:02 PM

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CLOVER2 5/2/2012 1:13PM

    I am in so much agreement with this letter! Now how do we make sure that as many people as we can get to see this as I am SURE that there are a ton of folks out there who are in essence "grieving" at the information we have recieved. I for one found Beth through the Daily Spark. There are so many extraordinary stories on Spark People, getting them to the people who could most use them (like ALL of us!) is difficult in the best of circumstances, why would the people in charge now make it more difficult?

Comment edited on: 5/2/2012 1:14:06 PM

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CRYSTAL_MOM 4/30/2012 11:27PM

    I also like to hear from people who have "been there." I agree.

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JACQUIEANN1 4/30/2012 7:58PM


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SPARKLISE 4/30/2012 7:20PM

    I agree! emoticon

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SHOAPIE 4/30/2012 6:45PM


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