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Posts: 42,795 8/20/09 9:20 P
Introducing the SparkPeople Insider! Thursday, August 20, 2009
When you logged in to your Start page yesterday, you may have noticed a new banner at the top of the page. This is our newest SparkPeople feature. We call it the SparkPeople Insider. Here's a small image of what it looks like:
Each day, there will be a new insider "tip" when you log in to SparkPeople. We're going to feature some of SparkPeople's best—and often "hidden"—features in this section. Occasionally, you'll also find a Special Announcement or info about NEW features in this area, too!
In addition, you can earn 1 SparkPoint each day for clicking on the link in the Insider. We hope this will encourage both new and seasoned SparkPeople members to learn about some of our best features and to remember to read the special SparkPeople Insider tip each day.
We hope you enjoy the SparkPeople Insider. Remember, you'll find it on your Start Page (under the "My Tools" tab) when you are logged in.
Feature enhancements - Fitness Maps & Video Blogs Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I wanted to let you know about two feature enhancements today:
1) Tweaks to Fitness Maps - The biggest change we made is that you can now search maps by any city name or zip code (including international). Previously you could only search by choosing from the 100 biggest US cities. - We also made some smaller changes, including the ability to rename your route and use metric measurements. - As a reminder you can find Fitness Maps by going to Healthy Lifestyle, then Fitness, then find a link in the center of the page. You can click here to visit directly.
2)New page to view Video Blogs - You can now view all Video Blogs on one page. You can sort them to see the most recent or most popular. We encourage you to visit this page for inspiration and to browse videos from members like you! You can get to this page by going to the Community tab and clicking the "Explore Video Blogs" link in the Blogs section, or can click here to visit the page directly.
New "Success" Icon Options Thursday, August 06, 2009 Hi everyone!
Based on member feedback, we've added some new "success" icons that you can use as your Message Board profile picture. In addition to the "I lost __ lbs" icons, there are now icons such as "I ran my first 5K", "Creating a New Me" and "Getting Fit". To upload one, click on Edit My SparkPage, click the link to change your profile picture, then click the link to "success icons" at the top of the page.
NEW: Videos and a Healthy Chef on SparkRecipes.com Thursday, July 30, 2009
Recently, we unveiled a redesigned SparkRecipes.com to make it even easier for you to find and share healthful meal ideas. We've also been hard at work on a few more improvements to the site that we think you'll love.
One of the biggest problems people face when they embark on a journey to healthy living is cooking. Whether you never learned how to cook or just don't know how to lighten up your favorite foods, many people fear the kitchen.
With SparkRecipes.com, you can overcome that fear and cook healthful, affordable meals at home.
Introducing "Healthy Home Cooking with Chef Meg"
We have joined forces with Chef Meg Galvin of the Midwest Culinary Institute. (Visit her "Healthy Home Cooking with Chef Meg" page here!) Chef Meg is a World Master Chef and full-time chef instructor; a wife and mother of three preteen boys; and an avid runner. With a passion for healthy living that was sparked during childhood, Chef Meg knows how important it is to find time for fitness and healthful meals with her family.
Chef Meg grew up on a farm in Kentucky, eating food that went straight from the field or the pasture to the table. Today, she continues to provide fresh and healthy meals for her own family--and now yours, too.
She took some of your recipes and gave them a makeover and shared plenty of original, healthful recipes, too. To help you feel more comfortable in the kitchen, Chef Meg did a handful of how-to videos, with plenty more to come. She'll teach you basic cooking techniques and show you how to make healthful meals for your family.
Watch Chef Meg's intro video here.
You can find a link to all of Chef Meg's original and made-over recipes and her videos on the SparkRecipes homepage, in the bottom righthand corner. You can also visit her "Healthy Home Cooking with Chef Meg" page here!
Create food grouping from food you have tracked Monday, July 20, 2009
You can now create a new Food Grouping from foods you add to a meal in your food tracker. To do this: 1) Track custom food 2) Click the "Copy This Meal's Custom Foods to Another Day" button 3) Instead of clicking a date to copy food, click the link at the bottom of the page to "Make this meal's foods a food grouping" 4) You can then name and save the Food Grouping
This change is based on feedback from members like you!
Delete multiple foods from tracker at once Wednesday, July 08, 2009
We launched a small tweak to the food tracker today, enabling you to delete more than one food at a time. On the bottom right of your myNutrition page you should now see a button labelled "Remove Multiple Foods." This will bring up a page enabling you to remove multiple foods at once.
A number of members requested this to make it easier to delete mistaken entries, especially entries from Food Groupings.
Enter the SparkPeople Web Search Sweepstakes Tuesday, July 07, 2009
We're excited to announce more improvements to our "Web Search" page--PLUS a new contest and a chance to earn more SparkPoints!
Most Internet users like to set a search engine such as Google or Yahoo as their homepage, and some people like to customize that page with things like news or favorite links. Did you know that SparkPeople offers a page just like that?
Setting your browser's homepage to www.sparkpeople.com/websearch is another great reminder of your health and fitness goals and will allow you to:
Search the web with a search powered by Google or search all of SparkPeople.com
NEW: view your SparkPeople Friend Feed to see what your SparkFriends are up to
See your local weather, including the current temperature and forecast
Add news feeds from USA Today (See the latest Headlines, Entertainment, Sports, Tech, and Health News and more)
Add your other favorite RSS Feeds
View your daily horoscopes from Tarot.com
Create a list of links to your favorite websites
View fun SparkPeople content, including our motivational Quote of the Day
Now, about that contest...
SparkPoints and Contest Because we believe that setting your homepage to www.sparkpeople.com/websearch may help some of you stay motivated to reach your goals (by keeping them top of mind), we are offering two fun incentives:
1. When you set our Web Search page as your homepage you will earn 25 SparkPoints.
2. Once you have earned your 25 SparkPoints for setting it as your homepage, you will also be entered into a drawing to win one of 10 SparkPeopleStore.com $25 gift certificates!
The contest runs through July 12.
How to Set Web Search as Your Homepage
It's easy! Simply visit www.sparkpeople.com/websearch , log in to your SparkPeople account, and then click the link just below the search box that says "Click Here to Make This Your Homepage." Please note that if you've already added us as your homepage, you'll need to click the link again to earn your SparkPoints and be entered into the contest.
Click here for full sweepstakes rules.
As always, SparkPeople thanks you for your support!
Share Your Feedback, Ideas and Support for the SparkPeople Store Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Are you a big fan of our online store, SparkPeopleStore.com? Are you looking for a place to share your ideas and feedback on new products that can help you reach your goals? Maybe you want a forum to raise questions or share reviews of the products you buy. If so, we have just the SparkTeam for you: the new Fans of the SparkPeople Store Team!
We created this Team to get YOUR input and insights about the SparkPeople Store and its products. When you join the Team, you'll be able to:
Post reviews the SparkPeople Store products you've purchased
Share your suggestions for new products you'd like us to sell
Post photos of you using and/or wearing your SparkPeople products
Participate in exclusive surveys about store products
Be the first to know about special SparkPeople Store promotions and discounts
Also, as we develop new products, Team members could have the opportunity to preview and test new products for us as well! Plus, YOUR photos and product reviews could be used to help promote the SparkPeople store to others!
Our ultimate goal is to make sure we get your feedback so we can provide SparkPeople members with the best products possible—now and in the future!
Join the "Fans of the SparkPeople Store" Team today!
Spark Certificates Now Available in SparkPeople Store Friday, June 26, 2009
Many members have expressed interest in buying gift certificates to the SparkPeople Store. We are happy to announce that Spark Certificates, which you can buy for friends, family members or fellow members, are now available in the SparkPeople store. They are available in increments of $10, $25, $50, $75 and $100.
Spark Certificates are perfect gifts to reward those who are working toward their own goals, and a convenient way for them to purchase what they want, when they want it!
When you order a Spark Certificate from our store, you'll receive an email containing a unique code that can be used to purchase anything in the SparkPeople Store. Please note that all gift certificates are valid for 6 months from their purchase date.
Check out Spark Certificates here to learn more or purchase yours today!
We hope you enjoy buying Spark Certificates for your friends!
New Feature - Video Blog Entries Thursday, June 25, 2009
You now have the option to upload a video blog entry! To do this simply go to your blog page and you will see a new "Add a Video Blog" button under the "Add a Blog Entry" button. Uploading is 3 easy steps: 1) On the first page enter your video title and description, agree to the video Terms and Conditions, and choose the video file* from your computer to upload. You can then click the Upload button. It will take a few minutes to upload your video - with more or less time based on your video's file size. 2) After uploading you will come to a page to make your blog entry. We have pre-filled your title and description, but you can add more here if you would like. You can also pick an optional category for your video. 3) After posting your blog entry it will take a few minutes for us to process your video. You will see a message saying your video is processing. You can hit refresh every few minutes until you see your video. It typically takes around 10-15 minutes for your video to be ready to play.
Once your video is up other members can view your video from your blog and make comments like they would any other blog.
Members have asked for this feature for some time - to share progress, share Woohoo moments, and even share tips like their favorite workout or recipe. We hope you like this feature! If you want to see a few sample upload videos you can click here or here.
* Note that we support a wide variety of video formats, including: avi, dv, fl4, m4a, mov, mp4, mpeg, wav, wma, wmv, mp3, mpg, mts, qcelp, qt, mod, 3gp, 3gpp, amr-nb, and asf.
2 New Features - Enhanced Weigh-In Page & Dining Out Guide Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Hi everyone, we launched 2 new features today that we think you will like!
Enhanced Weigh-In and Measurements Page While many of our members look a lot at the scale to measure their progress, many also like to watch their progress in other ways such as energy level, body measurements, or fitness levels. We have set up a number of other types of things you can track, with information on how to track and levels to try to reach. In addition, we have made it so that for some goals you can track progress more than one time a day. This has been a common request from members who track their blood sugar throughout the day! To see these changes go to your Weigh In page and click Add/Change Measurements.
Dining Out Guide When eating healthy a common challenge is making the right choices when eating away from home. Our Dining Out Guide can help! We have a list of the most popular restaurant chains, and tips from SparkPeople for eating at each chain. Plus, we allow members to submit their favorite "Healthy Finds" from these restaurants, and for other members to vote for items they feel are healthy as well. You can find this feature under Healthy Lifestyle, then Nutrition, then in the center column of the Nutrition page.
SparkMail Tweaks Launched Today Tuesday, June 23, 2009
We launched a few tweaks to SparkMail today: 1) You can now save "Drafts" of SparkMail messages. When composing or replying to a message you will now see a button to save your Draft, and you also have a Drafts folder in your list of folders. 2) An overall visual redesign, making the buttons and links easier to find and use.
We hope you like these enhancements, we know that many members find SparkMail a great way to support one another!
SparkRecipes Has a Fresh New Look AND New Features! Thursday, June 18, 2009
We're excited to launch a BIG update to www.SparkRecipes.com today! There are two main aspects of this update:
1. A new overall design Since we launched SparkRecipes, the number of recipes members have shared has really exploded! We wanted to make the design cleaner and more organized so the site is easier for everyone to use.
We added our "Advanced Search" to the homepage so new members can quickly find the recipes they're looking for.
You can now get to ALL of our recipe categories from every page of the site; just mouse over "Browse Recipes" on the upper left of the site navigation.
We added a new navigation for "What's Popular" so you can find what searches and recipes are popular.
2. New features We love adding new features that our members request! Some of the new features include:
The ability to select foods (ingredients) from your SparkPeople Favorites and search foods "shared" from other members when using the Recipe Calculator. Both of these features should make it quicker and easier to use the calculator!
More food and cooking articles on SparkRecipes. You can find these under the "What's Popular" tab at the top of the site.
We hope you like the new updates, but wanted to let you know we won't stop here! We haven't announced this anywhere else yet, but SparkPeople is now working with a World Master Chef (and active mother of 3) who will develop new recipes, create video demonstrations and even makeover some recipes from our members! Keep an eye out for this next month!
Late last week we launched an enhancement to our Friend Feed feature. Now, when your friends set their status or reach a goal you can leave a comment, and your friend can reply with another comment. You can also receive an email notification when a friend leaves a comment on your Feed.
We hope you like this feature! Please drop a comment in this topic on our Site/Technical Help Forum if you have any questions!
Fitness Minutes: (149,085) Posts: 7,198 6/11/09 10:31 A
I noticed this yesterday - very cool -thank you!!!
"Patience, practice and persistence" Carolyn Albuquerque, NM Mountain time zone
Pounds lost: 6.0
Posts: 42,795 6/10/09 4:29 P
Chat on SparkPeople with our New Instant Messaging Feature Wednesday, June 10, 2009
We're very happy to offer an instant messaging (IM) service on SparkPeople.com!
The ability to chat in real-time, like instant messaging allows, has been a longstanding request from our members. We think this feature will help you better connect with other members so you can get more help and support on your healthy lifestyle journey.
You can access our IM service by looking at the lower right corner of your browser when you are logged in to SparkPeople. This feature is provided by a third party company called Meebo. Please note that IM only shows up if you have a SparkPage (because you have to have SparkFriends in order to chat). You can IM only with members who are your mutual friends, meaning you each have added one another as a friend. You can click here to use our Mutual Friend Finder tool.
Each time you log in to SparkPeople, Meebo will automatically log you in as "available" for chat. However, you can sign yourself offline by opening your friends list window, clicking on your username at the top and changing your "available" status to "sign me offline." If you do NOT want IM to always turn on when you sign in to SparkPeople, you can log yourself out permanently by changing your Community preferences for IM here: www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/preference_community.asp.
This IM feature is a "beta" or test version, which means we're testing it on the site for now; we're curious to see what our SparkPeople members think of it and how well it works. Finally, please keep in mind that our Community Guidelines also apply to all IM communications.
If you have any questions or problems, please post them in our Site/Technical Help Forum. For help using Meebo's IM, please refer to this FAQ page they created for SparkPeople users: www.meebo.com/support/communityim/47/. If you are having trouble seeing the bar in FireFox, you may need to clear your cookies and cache.
Thanks! We hope you enjoy chatting in real-time with your mutual SparkFriends!
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