A Beginner's Guide to the SparkPeople Message Boards

We are very excited you are here and hope this will be a timely source of support and motivation as you work toward your goals. Did you know that SparkPeople members who use the Message Boards are more likely to lose weight than those who do not? In fact, in a recent survey, message board users lost more weight and stuck with the program longer than non-posters.

As effective as they are, Message Boards can be intimidating to a new user. Just take your time looking through the different forums and support groups. Everyone here is welcoming and wants to help each other, so feel free to pop in to any of the threads and say hello!

Here are some other tips to help you get started and make the best of your experience:
  • Start a new thread on the Message Boards (the "Introduce Yourself" forum is a great place to start). You’ll soon receive responses of people who are welcoming you!
  • Not sure how to make a post? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions which explain how to use some of the features on the site.
  • Personalize your experience! Set up your SparkPage to help people get to know you. Your pictures and text could be of you or anything else that represents who you are.
  • Use the Message Board "Search" function to look for answers to common questions such as "What are some snacks I can take to work?" Check the dates of threads before you reply; if the most recent post is more than a few weeks old, start a new thread for your question.
  • Try your best to post questions in the proper forum. For example, questions about your workout should be posted in the "Fitness and Exercise" forum.
  • Make the topic of your thread specific. Rather than "I need advice," it is more helpful for other members if the title relates to your question or comment, such as "Any advice for healthy breakfasts?"
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help! The SparkPeople "Resident Experts" can answer any questions you might have, and other members are always willing to help too!
  • It’s always a good idea to read over your posts before you send them. This gives you a chance to clarify anything that might be misunderstood. What sounds great in your head may come across differently in print.
  • You’ll see a lot of abbreviations on the boards that can be confusing. Here are some of the most common:
    ((( )))- hugs
    J/K- just kidding
    IOW- in other words
    IMHO- in my humble opinion
    BBL- be back later
    BTW- by the way
    LOL- laugh out loud
    DH- dear husband
    OMG- oh my goodness
    TIA- thanks in advance
    WDYT- what do you think
A Quick Reminder About Online Community Etiquette

Online communities are just like real-world communities in many ways. Occasionally you will disagree with someone or find people who have different views or beliefs. That's okay as long as we keep the tone of messages as supportive and positive as possible.

Communication experts say that the "tone" of communication is more important than what is actually said. This means that there are positive and negative ways to give feedback to each other. You always have a choice in how to respond to any post. If someone happens to make a mistake or uses a negative tone in a post, you can prevent a negative cycle by choosing to respond in a positive tone. We work hard to keep SparkPeople a positive community. If you see anything that is a violation of our Community Guidelines, please click the "Report Inappropriate Post" link at the bottom of any thread and our staff will be notified of the problem via email.

Lastly, SparkPeople takes the safety of its members very seriously. Please keep in mind that other Internet users can see your posts. Also, be very cautious about giving out personal contact information on the Message Boards (or via e-mail) to other members.

We’re glad you are here and hope to see you on the Message Boards soon! If you have any questions or if there is anything we can do to help make your experience better, just let us know!

Once again, welcome!

The SparkPeople Team
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Member Comments

PLCHAPPELL
Good tips! Report
This is my first day. I hope I can figure it all out. Iíve been working on my own and Iíve lost 11 lbs , but I seem to have come to a stop. I could use all the hints for reving back up I can get. Iím starting to get a little depressed and could use the help of anyone who has been there. Report
Today is my first day joining this community. I am hoping the positive support will help me achieve my goal. I am a 66 year old retired school teacher and have gained a lot of unwelcome weight that I hope to shed. The idea of this communitiy appeals to me as I cannot do this journey alone and I realized I need help and support to achieve my goals. Journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Today is my first step of this journey. Report
Today is my first day joining this community. I am hoping the positive support will help me achieve my goal. I am a 66 year old retired school teacher and have gained a lot of unwelcome weight that I hope to shed. The idea of this communitiy appeals to me as I cannot do this journey alone and I realized I need help and support to achieve my goals. Journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Today is my first step of this journey. Report
Good info! In re Tone: Two people reading the same message can interpret tone as being opposite of each other's interpretation, so I think it's important to take the high road while reading messages, and to be extra careful when using upper-case letters -- even then, there are those who have no choice but to use upper-case letters. Think Positive/Read Positive. 8-) (((( )))) Report
Wish I read this long ago Report
Good article. Report
how do give spark points to my team Report
i'm back.i was in the hospital for a bit but now I an ready to go.
Report
Thanks for the explanations - I'm another one of the "I'm back" people and I'm determined to succeed this time. Report
Thanks for the great info on Message Boards Report
Thank you for the information x Report
Wow! This is a great site. It's easy & convenient to use. This will work great for me because I have health issues that need attention by losing weight & getting active everyday. I struggle with depression & type diabetes. I'm looking forward to starting this! Report
Thank you! Report
KATIESCLOSET
Trying to learn everything about this challenge. Report


 

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