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Improvements to SparkPeople?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Improvements to SparkPeople?

2013-03-10 (Last Updated 2013-03-10, v4)

Origin of this Piece
This started as a response to Anne's topic on the New Hampshire Sparkers Board, “Ask Your Question”

* www.sparkpeople.c

* “Are you confused about the site? Trying to find something and can't? Just wondering about a recipe, workout maybe where to go? Go ahead and ask, someone will find you the answer or someone who has the answer “

* What follows below, is an extended/edited version of that initial response.


SparkPeople – the system—the people programs, the software programs, the Team Leads, the Members and their contributions—are a remarkable, singular resource. That system could not have existed were it not for two things: (a) founders and leaders with the genius to set up such a system; and to make a self-perpetuatiing, self-extending system by capitalizing on great principles of behavior and change, nutrition, fitness and wellness, and (b) creating a system that delivered much or most of it's value through crowd-sourcing.

While the systems is remarkable, unique and powerful, with some modest changes in function and how function is delivered, it can be significantly better that it is, today IMO.

This post is my first cut at some needed changes in priority order of need as I see it.

* I'd suggest a topic and forum at the top-most level (separate and superordinate to all SparkTeams, Message Boards, Blogs, Users, Features), and with options accessible from a separate pull-down menu that offers access to forums on:

. - Answering questions on how things work from a software POV
. - Answering questions on how things work from a points POV
. - Answering questions on how the program works from a nutrition POV
. - Answering questions on how the program works from an exercise POV
. - Suggestions on improvements to:
. o web site function
. o points
. o text and concepts
. - Bugs in configuration and operations
. - Help operations for frequent issues

* For topics like those mentioned in the previous item, wiki type forum would provide much better support, team building, and team cohesion.
* Wouldn't a sites map directory whose link appears on every page also be a big help?

* It would be most helpful if typical search site (e.g., Google) Boolean operations such as AND, OR, and NOT were supported.

* It would help users to communicate more meaningfully if there were better quoting tools, of past messages (as exist in email clients and message boards on almost all Internet sites) in:
. - email replies?
. - message board replies (including notice of who you are replying to)?
. -blog comments (including notice of who you are replying to)?

* Shouldn't there be a dynamic checklist for SparkTeam lead, as there is for "Other Goals"? Would'nt that make team leads more effective, and allow them to spend their time more effectively.

* Shouldn't there be a customizable (per user, and per user defined function) function for dynamic checklists that can be used for things like Other Goals, specific user defined goals, the previously mentioned team lead daily, weekly, monthly and event driven items (e.g., new member joins a team) obligations?

* Why are sites named things like "SparkAmerica" when many, many users I've met through SP (thank you SP), are from all over the world?

I'm very impressed with SP, but with an improved set of tools, it's value could be improved greatly to:

* Members
* Team Leads
* Advertisers
* Those looking for a nutrition, fitness, or wellness portal?

Thank you, again, SP.

Lee emoticon


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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I am not too tech savvy but would also like some changes as well.
    1811 days ago
  • RD03875
    If you are so distressed with the daily operation of the software of SparkPeople, why don't you write to the owners or SparkCoaches and offer your services to help fix the site? You seem to be far superior in the software knowledge than anyone else here.
    1811 days ago
  • 68ANNE
    1811 days ago
  • 68ANNE
    you know, of course, that I never envisioned this when I posted that. I get all sorts of email and comments with questions on the site. Like 'are goodies real?' 'Where can I find recipes for healthy smoothies?'
    But if I had considered (I should have) that questioningLee would read it, of course (belonging to that team) and his own highly developed sense of unique mischief would pose questions far beyond my capabilities and knowledge.

    1811 days ago
    I hear you on the boolean search operanders being supported.

    My guess on the other email quotes reply-to etc was they didn't want to use an existing packaged email software, to protect from hackers??

    and in the interest of including diversity, including those from the other countries where we all have different shades and accents of the so-called Common Language = English - would be extremely helpful to have ALL videos be open captioned or subtitled at the very least (yes, there are differences in the two.).

    Okay, I've been sitting here too long, time to get up and waddle some more, instead of becoming one with the chair and the keyboard!


    1811 days ago
    Changes seem to happen slowly here...just like effective weight loss. I remind myself that the site is FREE & I can use any or all parts as I see fit for me.
    1811 days ago
  • POPSY190
    Sometimes there are suggestions posted on the team leaders business team (eg. I suggested it would make leaders more effective if they could group friends and from the response it was a suggestion that had been made many times before) but you rarely get any feedback from those who could implement such things.
    1812 days ago
    1812 days ago
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