Site News

What the Hell Happened to the Blog And Other Important Matters

Saturday morning at Social Workout HQ, and four of us are hard at work in an otherwise quiet Soho office space. As the designers design and the developer develops, I figure it's high time to do a bit of catching up on the blog. It feels like forever since we last had a good chat.

First, a very brief history: Once, Social Workout was a simple blog. Then we were a blog that did communal challenges. We did nine or so of them, and along the way we bonded and discovered that setting a goal and having a bunch of strangers watching your back was a good thing. Naturally, we wanted to share the love, but there were some problems....

Many people found our old website confusing. Also, a virtual community works for several hundred people, but when you get to several thousand, things start to get noisy. If someone wanted to create their own challenge, or set their own goal (and share that with just a few friends), they couldn't do it. 

SO, we started from scratch to build a WHOLE NEW VERSION of the site that would be both more personal, but also bigger and more sophisticated. We launched that baby on Labor Day, and many of our dear friends migrated from cozy blog to awkward, gangly SW 2.0. People began to create challenges and click away on their activity counters, and we saw that there was potential, but it was far from perfect. 

Newcomers were still a bit confused by the interface, and veterans missed the warmth of the old site. SO, before the paint had dried, we dove back into to make some changes. And now, believe it or not, we're poised to release another BIG upgrade. It's exciting, and coming in a week or so, which is roughly about the same time we will launch a couple of big community challenges. Damn the torpedos! 

Ok, that's the (yawn) history, but there is one other IMPORTANT thing to cover that we forgot to mention along the way. What, you might ask, has happened to the blog? Well, one tough side effect of our focus on the new site, and our attempt to remain solvent, was that we had to pull back a bit from all the daily blogging. (Focus, focus, focus!) Sadly, this meant parting ways with Charity Shumway, our fabulous Managing Editor. Please stand for a round of applause for Charity. If there was an important new health study to cover, or a fabulous new fitness class to review, or some good Gwyneth/Tracy Anderson gossip, Charity was all over it. We'll miss her blogging, and her humor, but we hope and expect she'll come around and visit from time to time as we grow up. And meanwhile we wish her very well at her phat new day job and in her ongoing (successful) effort to write awesome fiction. 

Right. So, what will happen now on the blog? Well, we'll absolutely continue to run regular pieces from our freelancers, AND I will use this space increasingly to host a conversation around all things "wellness tracking," the pros-and-cons of SW 2.0, and, of course, the future of exercise ball chairs. And, when we get our feet under us on the fancy tech stuff, we may well double down on the blogging again. 

Well, that brings us almost up to date. But let me say that I/we remain endlessly inspired by all of you who have come to the site and participated in our challenges, (or started your own), and grateful for YOUR humor and patience. (Give it up for yourselves!) Speaking of celebrating, there is also the small issue of our long delayed Million Minute Month Victory Bash/New Site Launch party. Can you say Holiday Bash? Details still fuzzy, frankly, on exactly when and where this gig is going to go down, but we'll send out proper invites in plenty of time for you to cancel all your other plans. That would be an ideal place for you to come and give us a piece of your mind on all the changes we've been making without your permission. And not to worry if you can't make it, we'll post the von Hottie candids. 

More very soon....


Charity Shumway!


bye, charity :-(

msh258's picture

fyi --- oliver, did you know that in germany i get german adds on SW. weird.

msh258's picture

msh--I get Australian adverts.

volcane09's picture

our ad sales force spans the globe!


(either that, or it's those clever google people.)

Oliver's picture

New challenges! ooh, ooh!

whatodds's picture

1) I am very sad to hear of Charity's departure. I always loved her pieces and wish her the best.

2) I miss the blog, too.  I'm a writer; it's what I do. I want to communicate the experience of fitness.  I want to share it with others.  The new site is not blog friendly.  Stat charts, while a useful tool for an individual, do little to build a community and quite honestly give Type A'ers like me hives when I fall behind in making an entry.  Then I just stop making entries at all. And then I stop visiting the site.  This makes me sad.

3) I'm delighted to hear that another version is in the works because I have missed you all.  Crossing my fingers.

zuzupetals's picture

I'm happy to hear about some new community challenges - I need that to stay motivated - I haven't loved the new format so I haven't really been posting - so excited to try the new one and hopefully get my motivation back!

swell1's picture

I agree with zuzupetals... i miss the old version. b4 the new site, i used to read SW blog every day, not anymore..  I find the new site unappealing and confusing.

sandella's picture

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