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Private Pages and Teams On Spark (Just My Opinion, Not Meant to Ruffle Feathers)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I have to admit that in the five years I've been on SP, I've wondered about why there are private pages and private teams. Frankly, while some have explained the need for private pages, there are ways to remain anonymous and still share with the wide world of SparkPeople.

But when it comes to teams, on an international site like this, I really don't get the "private" thing. I just quit one of my teams that became private at some recent point. Anything that excludes others is not where I want to be. If there is a focus for the team, and you want to keep others out who do not have that focus, you can do it by saying "for runners only." Or something to that effect while keeping it open.

I remember a time when I asked a spark friend who is a leader of a team if I could join. The only reason I was joining is I liked her and wanted to support her focus. Her response, "no, sorry." Well, I didn't lose sleep over it, but it did make me think about the issue of private teams.

On a site like this, why exclude others? Just sayin'.

Wishing ALL a good day.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I used to wonder about the private team too until I joined one. They are for special challenges like the biggest Loser challenge or BLC. you can join thur the mailing team. wait until the next challenge opens up which will be in may and the mailing team is open now.
    1363 days ago
    1364 days ago
    I have been a spark member on this account and one other on and off since 2008. There are a TON more private pages than there ever used to be. There also seems to be less message board and team activity. There seem to be more trolls on message boards too (people who are super-negative and just go around spreading their negativiity) I get that being overweight is a private issue and losing weight and being vulnerable on the internet is scary. A lot of people don't want their real-life friends or co-workers to know the things they post on here and I understand that 100%. It's just too bad that people aren't reaching out and finding support. I have been going around trying to make new friends here and find a lot of interesting looking people have private sparkpages.
    1367 days ago
    You did well to move on and let your friend the leader of whatever team get on with it. Telling you you couldn't,t belong to her team sort of hearks back to childhood and spiteful little girl mode. What s more important belonging to a team or losing weight and being healthy. This is something I ask myself all the time.
    1367 days ago
    I have been here a long time so I can understand the need for privacy. Privacy is very important to some people.

    Personally, I think people should be able to choose who will be their sparkfriends and who will be on their teams. There are people that I don't wish to share my personal thoughts with. They look for victims online and in real life. People have the option to associate with who they want to in real life and they should be able to online as well.

    Personally, I'm not a fan of people who are prejudiced and like you avoid them as listening to them is upsetting to me. They are entitled to their opinions but it doesn't mean I have to embrace it or allow it in my life.

    As far as private groups, a lot of it is to keep trolls from invading a team in order to cause trouble. Some trolls are just looking for members for their own teams but others will often say hurtful things to members to rile people up. It's especially a problem on political sites and religious site.
    1367 days ago
    I was wondering about this myself. I'm sure they have their reasons, but it's no reason to be rude. I enjoy your blogs by the way!

    1367 days ago
  • RR1_RR1
    How rude of that team leader! I agree with the private page though, I had to turn mine on because unfortunately if you do not all of google can see your private thoughts, and I'm a little paranoid..however I don't mind anyone on spark being on my page. I wish it didn't have to be private and could just be open to sparkers and not google.
    1368 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1368 days ago
    Wow, I'm sorry that leader said that to you, how horrible that must have made you feel. It can be hurtful and angering, I'm sure. The thing that I've encountered most is the private friend feed. I want to encourage someone and can't go further than their status.. What I do know, Jesse, is that many new members who come to Transformations have private pages and don't know it. Certain boxes are pre-ticked on different peoples' page setups--I've done many for friends and family. The biggest thing is not turning a page online because sometimes it's not ticked, but I know other things get ticked, too, as my mother never knows when she gets a goodie or someone comments on her page for example. But then again, some things just are private. Sometimes there is a period of time to join the team before it becomes private, though, as you know. Anyone can join the Hogwart's challenge, they just have to do it by a certain date.

    Thanks for this thought-provoking blog on a topic not often brought up on SP.

    Emmy :))
    1369 days ago
    I didn't even know their were private teams and, if so, I wouldn't want to be a part of it.
    Spark Pages set to private and/or can't send mail is super frustrating. People mention that they need support and when you go to their page it is private. Why bother posting something like that if you want your life here to be private?
    1369 days ago
    Hmmmm, I'm kinda conflicted on this topic.....I often consider myself an open book and enjoy having my Sparkpage public. However, recent "stalker" issues and previous experience with my ex's wife being psycho......I've learned some things can't publicly share basically because not everyone on there is there to encourage and support you :( I have been thinking about posting very personal blogs yet hesitate because can't make it private for just my wouldn't be all blogs, just the few really close to my heart.

    As for teams~think it should be very open and public....just watch what you say if it's super personal. If it's a family team, like on Facebook groups you can make them "secret" so it is kept private and won't show up in "team searches". My family has a group like that on FB.....not that want Spark to start looking like FB, but noticed the "status/news feed" is starting to look ....different.
    1369 days ago
    Interesting post. I agree about private pages and private blogs. I think at one point in Spark several SparkFriends mentioned fears that their pages could be searched through google or other non Spark sites; I think that rumor has died down. I hate it when someone asks for support or help -- and their page is set to private.

    I originally joined Spark through a small private team in my community (now defunct) organized by a friend. We met in person monthly and walked and shared a healthy potluck. The face to face connection was nice but the group lasted less than one year. Now I am only in public teams and I enjoy meeting new people through Spark.
    1369 days ago
    okay I am a team leader and I would never make my team private. But I do see reasons for it. they should not be published and no one else should know about them. I think if you set your page to private than you should not be allowed to comment . You can still read everything here but you should be totally invisible, I agree many times I have commented or tried to send goodies or support to find you cant because they are private. the other thing I hate is people who have not been here for 1000 days but you cant delete them as friends they are stuck forever. there are some people I thought left a long time ago but the new tracker says they just walked etc. very confusing .
    1369 days ago
    I can agree to a point. I do see the point in private teams... as others pointed out, there are times that the privacy is wanted, if not needed. I had a private team that was comprised of just family members. The intention wasn't to exclude, but to protect our "real life" privacy when family-specific topics were mentioned.

    I don;t, however, understand the point of private pages... for the reasons others mentioned above. It would be easy enough to simply exclude information that you don't want public.
    1369 days ago
    I agree with HANOVERLADY, I have often seen people posting "Visit my page" or "I need support" in the team huddle, and then when you go to their page, it is set to private. I wonder sometimes if they don't realize they have their page set that way?
    1369 days ago
  • DELIA38961
    emoticon it is very frustrating when you want to encourage and support others but cant bc its private
    1369 days ago
    The most frustrating about private settings is when someone posts to a huddle "I need support" but their page is set to private so you can't just go to it and leave a hug or other sparkgoodie.
    1369 days ago
    emoticon It is great to have private teams but then have them on your own private site/blog, not Sparkpeople, where support should be encouraged and every team open to anyone wanting to participate. If there is private information being shared there is still a way to do it via Sparkmail or sending a goodie. Excluding people isn't okay, not on this site, spread love and kindness!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1369 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/19/2014 12:46:50 PM
    I agree with Natplummer.
    1369 days ago
    I agree to an extent. I have people who have joined a team I lead, but their page is private, so I can't interact with them there, and they have their sparkmail turned off, so I can't interact with them there. Unless they use the message boards, I have no way to contact them. Then I'll read their blogs complaining that no one is interacting with them. emoticon

    I do belong to one private team, but it is a competition, and is opened to new members every time a new competition starts. I understand that one, so that the teams are even, and can compete fairly. We have to commit to posting every day during the competition. Took me a while to figure it out though.

    I think that people who have been inactive on Spark for an extremely long period of time should be removed from team rosters. It is annoying to have a few thousand team members listed, but less than 100 of them that are still using Spark. Very deceiving.
    1369 days ago
    As for the private team I am on, we have be come very close and through out the years to get through some of our pain, we have shared some very private personal stuff that we do not want to share with the public---
    stuff like talking about ones ex- hubby or ones younger years when they were abused
    some ladies need to talk but they don't want the world to know.

    I really understand what you are saying, I just wanted you to know that our team is not private to hurt anyone's feelings it is so we can open up to each other and know it stays in our team.

    Private pages, I don't have a comment on because I am not private. emoticon
    1369 days ago
  • KEELIE21
    To perhaps shine some light on at least some private teams, I am on one that is made of of just 4 of us girls who are very close friends in our outside lives. Being private for us is comforting because as we are much more relaxed in our posts, and at times our language. Not that we are talking like sailors in there but we know each other, we have inside jokes from growing up together. If someone who didn't know us was to read the threads they would most likely be lost. The purpose is not to exclude others at all.
    Hope this helped

    1369 days ago
    I think sometimes the point is to not interact with the community as a whole. I guess people are entitled.
    1369 days ago
    I agree with you.
    Sometimes I see that a friend has commented on some blog that sounds REALLY INTERESTING to me, but it is private, so I never get to read it.
    I wonder why people blog if it's not meant to share???
    I get some of my best ideas from other people!
    Best wishes!
    1369 days ago
    Openness is important. Many team leaders have "private" teams so that they can think out loud with one another and test new ideas before taking them to the team as a while.

    I like to think of teams as a place for support and pages as a launch pad for everything on Spark, including and especially support from the general community.
    1369 days ago
  • NANCY-
    1369 days ago
    I find that the openness is one of my favorite aspects - I can see your point
    1369 days ago
    Private I all so think I go on blogs I think all have a view point that makes us think Or we can remain closed minded And want only those
    1369 days ago
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