I'm sure I'm not the only one saddened to see the announcement posted early this Sunday morning that SparkPeople will be shutting down in August.
I want to start by saying that I am very grateful to the people who created SP, and all of the resources they built and maintained that helped me gain my footing in health and wellness. I did start out in 2009 using the food tracker / nutrition pie chart, and reading the articles, and participating on the teams, and my life is much richer for it. This has been a very special place on the internet, a community of overwhelming positivity, and having been a part of it has deeply touched me and influenced who I am, today.
If you read the announcement carefully, you'll see that they're asking people to join FB, "as we work to build community features on SparkAmerica." So it sounds like there isn't currently a community platform for anyone over there, even people from the US. I personally find FB as a platform too toxic and ephemeral for my taste, so I created an alternative this morning.
I've created a Google Group so we can continue supporting maintainers and aspiring maintainers. Please note that EVERYONE presumably aspires to maintain - even if that day may seem far off. The AG&M+TM team has been inclusive, and the Google Group is too. Please don't feel like you have to be "at or near goal" to join! Just have maintenance on the horizon, even if you're just preparing early.
Here's the URL:
Note: If you have trouble joining using the above link, send me a SparkMail message with your email address and I'll send you a direct "invitation" to join, via email.
Feel free to share the link, join, use it as needed, to replace the AG&M+TM team, which apparently will be going away. It won't be the same as SP, but at least we can continue our connections in an email and forum-based place.
I see no reason why the Hall of Fame and challenges cannot continue; they're on Google Docs, anyway!
This community is what has made SP so special. It's the only reason I came back, when it became technically feasible. These days I track my food and my activity elsewhere; I get my fitness and nutrition information elsewhere. It's the PEOPLE, from all over the globe, and the connections we have built over decades that I cherish. I'm not going to just let that disappear, without trying to find a way for us to stay in touch, on a platform that is about communication, and positive support.
Edited to add a link to the landing page for the Group: