Archive for the 'running' Category

Going 500 in 2008 for Diabetes

At this point, I can’t even remember how I came across Jamie, the Diabetic Runner‘s blog, but I’m glad I did. Jamie is an inspiration to people living with diabetes or, in my case, to their parents. He aims high, and gets there. Go Jamie!

In an effort to raise awareness about diabetes, Jamie created the Diabetic Runner 2008 Challenge. Runners will set a goal of running 500 or 1000 miles (total) during 2008 – I’m in for 500.

We also have a Nike+ Challenge setup, for wicked 2.0-ish visualization of the group’s achievement.

Who else is on board out there?

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My Wishlist for Garmin Connect

As some of us die hard geek runners wait for the upcoming release of Garmin Connect for additional Garmin devices, I thought I would send them a few features on my wishlist:

  • flickr-style privacy levels
    I want to be able to setup levels like family, friends, and public and decide who sees what. Sounds like this is already on the schedule. Facebook has a nice fine-grained (maybe ad nauseum) model around sharing – maybe I want to share distance, pace, and time with everyone but specific location with only friends.
  • Facebook-style groups
    I want to be able to join spontaneous groups the Facebook way. It would be great to have groups for events, groups for specific training goals, or who knows what else. In addition to the usual discussion/calendar stuff, Connect would have the interesting advantage of being able to mash member data.
  • Go nuts with feeds
    I want a few more feed options. URI-based querying for feed filtering would be a great start. And how about not just HTML-based content in the feeds, but maybe a GPX-based feed for…
  • More widget options
    Featuring elevation in your whole enchilada Viewport isn’t so interesting to some of us in flatland. Even though I’m no Boston qualifier, pace might be a little more equalizing. You’ve got such a wicked cool Player, which not throw that into a widget? But like I said above, maybe structured feeds would be a good start – then your community can innovate the widgets.
  • Better pricing models
    I hate to throw this one at anybody, but when I see what I get for $25/year with flickr pro, it sets the bar (low) for everyone. Maybe I should have played with Standard features more during my first 30 days to appreciate them, but without some of the above, $100/year is sounding spendy. I don’t think people hesitate at flickr’s price level. Who knows what Garmin will do with pricing though…

But it’s easy to point out shortcomings. The fact is that MotionBased rocks and is a cool way to track and share running experiences. Evidently Garmin agreed – great job gang!

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What Do You Want From a Community?

I have been exploring online communities much more actively over the past month or so. I have been a bit player over time, and have trapsed in and out of them, but I’m now on a mission. Prompted by a promised Facebook group that didn’t seem to go anywhere, I (finally?) created a Facebook account for the Office 2.0 Conference. I can’t say that I’m a Facebook addict like some, but it has seriously opened my eyes to the platform aspect of online communities. The development ecosystem around Facebook is fascinating, but that’s another post.

I then discovered MotionBased and the marriage of that with Facebook in MyMotionBased. I am becoming an active runner thanks to my wife introducing me a few years ago and some enthusiastic friends at work (hi guys!). I picked up a Garmin Forerunner recently… then discovered MotionBased. Wow. Dangerous tools in the hands of a geek. Not only does MyMotionBased give you wicked cool 3-D visualizations via Google Earth:

Wicked Cool 3D Google Earth View of a Run

But you can even view animations of runs, and dot racing to “compete” against others. All of this, courtesy of docs at the MotionBased wiki (note: need to create user page).

So this has me thinking about what do people really want from an online community?

I want to discover new running routes. I want to be able to compare myself against my friends. I want to be able to share running experiences with them when I run apart from the group – show them my successes and struggles. I want to keep enjoying my hobby, even when I can’t be out there doing it. I want to play with feeds and APIs.

But that’s me, not everyone. What do you want from online communities?

Sidenote: it’s a good month for dreamjobs, unfortunately for them I am happy at my current employer. MotionBased is hiring web developers.

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Diabetic Runner Challenge – 500

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