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poll: team logging and members

The teams feature is in beta, and we have not decided how to deal with inactive people yet. There are some people in the teams who comment, but don't log often. So maybe we want to make sure that the teams have a more relaxed participation standard than the groups.

But ultimately, what we do will be based on what the PT community wants, so please let us know what you think.


Wed. May 24, 12:09pm

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It seems a bit unwieldly to have a team with 20+ people and only 3 who comment regularly. It is nice they are sorted by latest posting date on the home page, so I can see if anyone has actually been logging in the past few days. It also appears like some members have been added to my team who haven't been active in months, or ever.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006, 12:24 PM

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I think participation is important in a team as well as in a group. I don't think it should be required that team members commen all the time, but they should at least log. I think if you wanted to put a "limit" on the number of days a person has before they are booted from a team I would go with 7 days (a full week). 7 days might be too long, but there is no arguing that if a person doesn't comment or log for 7 days theres more then enough reason to remove them for lack of participation. I agree with the 12:24 poster- it makes no sense to have a large team with only a few participating.

I like that the team rules are more laid back and there are more then 4 members allowed- I think it does spur more conversation and in turn is more motivating. But the teams will only work if there is participation from the members. Everyday participation doesn't need to be required, but it's certinally nice to have regular participation. Thanks for the teams PT!!!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006, 12:49 PM

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I'm in the ten week focus team and there are about 60+ members. It's really interesting having such a big group. About 10 - 15 members post comments but several more log regularly and it is really interesting to scan everyone's logs in that format. But I don't get the impression that people in the team are reading each others logs regularly. With a group that size I think it would be nice to have a mechanism to encourage folks to read each others logs and then encourage people to use the comment section to comment on other's logs and use their own logs (in the notes area) and/or the community section to provide personal updates.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006, 1:06 PM

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I have strong opinions that a group or team should establish its own standards. I am part of a group where 3/4 of us never log, but we have regular conversations in the comments section. I find this as much or more useful than the groups I've been in where everyone logged and commented on logs. This arrangement is satisfying to us and we don't plan to change it. I don't think people should be required to log if the group or team is ok with it. Communication is important. A new member joined our group and we let her know that we don't fill out our logs and she shouldn't take it personally if we don't comment on them--it's not that kind of group.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006, 1:07 PM

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that's interesting ... to me, peertrainner is all about logging and sharing your log and getting and giving feedback. I texpect that's true for most people. Maybe there could be special teams for people who don't want to log or read each others logs.
The non-loggers or infrequent loggers.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006, 3:47 PM

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I will tell you one thing I LOVE about the teams - I love that they have their own little "community" section and that the members' screennames are included when you post. It really enhances the camaraderie.

As for deadbeat teammates, I say probably the best thing to do would be the same thing you have in the regular groups, which is to drop them after a certain period of inactivity. It personally doesn't bother me if they log but don't post, as long as they're logging. I figure some people just aren't as talkative but they still are benefitting from us and from keeping up with their logs, and when we have more people on a team there's just naturally more commenting activity. So it's not like a regular group where if three people don't comment, there's nothing happening.

Kate (kissmekate02)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006, 3:49 PM

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I thought commenting was a HUGE way to motivate people. I have dropped out of groups that don't converse much. I get more from that than just reading the logs. I think it should be all or nothing. Log and comment!!!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006, 9:11 PM

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Give them the Boot

I've joined one group and find it frustrating. It's time consuming to bring up each person's daily log and then to find that most of them haven't bothered to log. I keep waiting for PeerTrainer to drop the deadbeats from our group. It really kills moral to have so many people that do not log and do not comment. I've thought several times that I should just drop the group and concentrate on my team that I'm also in. I like (on teams) that there are only three other people to keep up with and we feel more accountable to each other since it's such a small group -- no place to hide! lol If a member is not logging their food and workouts, how can they understand any gains or losses of weight? I want to log in and find others that are committed to this process. I'm tired of those who don't take this seriously.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006, 10:06 PM

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I find it hard to keep track of so many people. I too have considered dropping the team and only concentrating on my groups because it's too much to try to read 20+ logs and make comments. However, I really like some of the people in my team so I don't want to lose the conversation(s) that I have going there. I think inactive people should get the boot as well - definitely if they haven't logged or posted comments in a period of time (7 days sounds fair). I would leave it up to the team to say whether or not they should have to post logs or just comments - each team behaves/is encouraged differently.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006, 11:13 PM

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Maybe people who don't log but like to converse could create their own teams/groups?

Thursday, May 25, 2006, 8:51 AM

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how many days to boot?

Several people have mentioned that 7 days of inactivity should lead to a boot. I disagree since I have seen that people will go on vacation and return. I think it would be disappointing to come back and find out that you've been booted from a group.

I would like to suggest that when a person creates a group, they are given the responsibility of that group. If in the case, someone has not logged in for 15 days, the group creator can have the option of booting that person.

Thursday, May 25, 2006, 8:53 AM

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hard to keep track

i agree w/ 11:13, i find it hard to keep track of the people in a team of 20+ people. the inactive people don't bother me the way they would in a group.

Thursday, May 25, 2006, 10:14 AM

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I have to say I am the opposite of the poster from 11:13 PM. Sometimes I think I can't give my small groups the support they need. Maybe a team would be easier to keep up with for me or for posters who don't comment often. I usually log like the dickens, but am sometimes not a very good commenter.

Thursday, May 25, 2006, 11:08 AM

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11:08 poster again -- can I just say sometimes I have periods of inactivity because I am struggling, and I am glad I haven't been booted after 7 days. After I've had a hard time, coming back to my groups at peertrainer is a good thing.

Thursday, May 25, 2006, 11:11 AM

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Remember that you can click the "vacation" button in your preferences if you're going to be away, so you won't get booted for that.

Thursday, May 25, 2006, 11:14 AM

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I agree with the last poster- the teams are something I feel like I can go to when I need it. There will always be space, they are always open. And sometimes I want to take a break from logging (though I always suffer when I do), but still want to remain a member.

Thursday, May 25, 2006, 11:14 AM

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to 11:11, good job sticking w/ it even tho u struggle sometimes. you posess the "don't give up" attitude, that's 1/2 the battle. the other day there was a thread about people's sporadic posting and there were a lot of comments "give em the boot" but i imagined it wasn't disinterest, rather, difficulties that keep people from posting.

Thursday, May 25, 2006, 12:58 PM

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I think "giving people the boot" is not very productive or supportive. I, like previous posters, go through phases where I log more or less. It's my choice and I take responsibility for my actions. Do we really want to become so punitive to members for not logging consistently? That would really turn me off. People should take responsibility for their own groups/teams and not expect Peer Trainer to police members.

Thursday, May 25, 2006, 1:50 PM

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logs, comments, and community sections

I think in a team with a lot of members, it would be unwise to expect people to comment on each others' logs regularly. It's too many logs to go through, and aren't we supposed to be getting out there, being active in real life? Keyboarding isn't a good workout and many of us have to fight to get away from the computer (it's one of the default settings of modern life, a distraction).

I think the community section (sadly underused in the team I'm on) could take the position of the log. Not that the log function should be eliminated from the team feature. But the three functions are so different that in a team I think they could be more effectively used. Here's how I see it:

The first place I'd go would be the community function. Here is where the active posters can ask for and get specific feedback, or offer specific suggestions. Some topics might even be preset--for example, topics for daily workout postings, daily calorie counts, regular weight/measurements/BMI checkins. The community function is more organized than the comments section, so not only could the feedback be quicker, but it would also be easier for people to review certain information. For example, if you had been gone for a week on vacation and wanted to see how everyone was doing, you could quickly review the weigh-in topic or the calorie count topic to see not only what people had posted while you were gone, but perhaps also who wasn't posting at all (alarm bells). Newbies could check for relevant or interesting topics (Team Marathon: new member who has never run a marathon before joins, and then scans the community function to find topics such as "Advice to First-timers" and "Best Pre-Race Menu"...Team Healthy Families: new memberwith little kids and a reluctant husband joins and then scans and reads topics such as "Biking with Toddlers" or "How do you guys get your spouses on board?") So much more efficient than scanning through the comments section.

Comments seem to be the primary function in the team I'm on, but they're so inefficient for most things. People will post a question there, and the responses are buried in so much other information. It's a good place to chitchat about stuff like how crappy my workout was today (though if I wanted advice about motivation or hurting knees I should be in the community section) or the funny thing that happened on the way to the gym. It's also a good place to cheer people on, make positive comments--anything that isn't likely to turn into an ongoing topic or be relevant in six months. "Hey, Jan, nice job on your 5K--third place, that's great! When's the 10K? Are you feeling good about that one?" "You guys won't believe this--I just won a year's gym membership from a radio call-in contest!" "My foot's still hurting but guess what? I ran three miles today anyway!"

Logs are something groups use a lot but teams might use less. Still, they're useful for teams, too. Besides the obvious where someone posts a specific request in Community for people to review their log and make suggestions, there are other ways the logs might be a handy reference to give better advice or support than would be possible without them. Scenario: Someone posts the following in the Community section of their team, "Cyclists Central": TOPIC: What Kind of Bike? POST: Hey, what kind of bike do you all ride? I'm ready to get a new one and I'm checking out the possibilities." Smart team members can check the guy's log to see what kind of riding he does, since he wasn't smart enough to post that and since the kind of bike is closely related to the kind of riding. Another example: "Bulge Battlers Unite" is the team. TOPIC: Good diet tips? Workout advice? POST: I'm at a plateau. I'm currently working out about an hour 5X/week and eating about 1600 cal a day. But I've been stuck at the same weight for almost two weeks. Any advice?" Several respondents review a few days' worth of the poster's log and they say the same thing--"You're doing really well but you might try eating more of your calories earlier in the day!" Final example: Someone posts in Comments that his wife is worried about his diet. "She thinks I'm going to starve myself. Today she made a really good dinner. I ate some of everything, just not a huge plateful. I complimented her--it was REALLY good! I don't think she's upset that she worked so hard and I only ate a little, but I can't convince her that I'm not starving! Sheesh, I mean, it's great to be worried about, but come ON! I really want to make this work! And sometimes I wonder if she's right. I do get hungry. A lot." A poster checks the guy's log to see what his wife might be worried about and sees that he's really eating healthy. The poster comes back and says, "Hey, I'm a nutritional assistant. Not a nutritionist, but I have studied a lot about food. It looks to me like you're eating a sufficient number of calories and a pretty well-balanced diet. You might add a few vegetables. But overall, really, it looks good. Quit worrying, keep working at it! BTW, I'm also a wife and I WISH my husband would compliment me on the meals I make! That's great strategy. Keep it up. So much better than refusing to eat what she fixes. I think it's even worth a few extra calories to make her feel appreciated."'

I know this was long...I hope it was helpful.

Friday, May 26, 2006, 11:56 AM

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great job above poster, you said my thoughts exactly.

Friday, May 26, 2006, 2:59 PM

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I think teams should be limited to 12 or 15 members. It's too hard to keep up with 20, 40, 60, or more members.

Saturday, May 27, 2006, 1:11 AM

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Hm. Would it be possible to allow the creator of a team to set a limit, or not, as they prefer? They could set it at 15 or 20, or the number of family members who agreed to participate, or they could leave it open like teams are now. That might be useful for people who wanted a bigger group than a Group but didn't want it to expand indefinitely.

Saturday, May 27, 2006, 3:03 PM

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If a person hasn't logged in 7 days, why should the group continue to carry that dead weight? I know I struggled at the beginning and twice I flaked out on my group. The first time I logged back on after getting the email from peertrainer saying that I hadn't logged in 4 days. The second time I let it go and was kicked off all my groups. When I came back to peertrainer, I had to rejoin my groups and one group I couldn't get back into because someone else took my spot. I've since given certain people in my groups my email address to give me a "kick in the rear" if I flake again. However, knowing that peertrainer will kick me off my groups if I don't log in is a HUGE motivator to log in. Peertrainer is about having accountability, encouragement and motivation for me. I need to know that there are guidelines and if I don't follow through, there are consequences (getting kicked off my groups). Teams, on the otherhand, have an unlimited number of members, so there's no threat for someone taking your spot if you flake out for a time. I think it's totally reasonable for peertrainer to give you the boot if you don't log in after 7 days -- consider it a wake up call!

Sunday, May 28, 2006, 7:19 AM

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Great idea to have the person setting up the team to be able to decide how many members they prefer! Love it!

Sunday, May 28, 2006, 7:21 AM

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We can't expect someone on a team with 30 people to really have the time to comment especially since that means a lot of time, that most of us don't have, in reading other people's logs. I thought this idea was going to be a hard one to keep up with. Personally I think the smaller groups are better. Too many starts becoming overwhelming and you lose motivation to keep up.

Sunday, May 28, 2006, 11:00 AM

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I am in a large group, and yes it is hard to read thru all of the logs,(especially when you have dial up) I do try to read all the comments, and also our community post. What gets me are the people who joined and have never entered a log or comment. Those are the people who I wish someone would delete. I say, if don't comment or log say in 14 days, then you get booted. You are not commited to your group or yourself. I am not a big commenter, however I am a logger. I do try to drop some comments into my group, and I do post, weelky in the community weigh in.
If you know you are going to be gone, use vacation mode. That way you are safe from being booted.

Sunday, May 28, 2006, 9:34 PM

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I get so much from the comments section, whereas on teams with too many people I can't keep up with the logs. I think commenting should be required to some degree because it really helps build the idea of community and accountability.

Thursday, May 24, 2007, 1:54 PM

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In my teams, those who don't log don't comment either. I'd be happy to see the deadbeats deleted after a month. For me, they're a daily reminder that more people fail to stick to a weight loss plan than succeed.

Thursday, May 24, 2007, 2:03 PM

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I've only been here for a few days but I have some comments.

Logging should be mandatory. Isn't it one of the first things listed under the ettiquette section? I have tried keeping my own food/activity diaries but I never stuck with it. There is something really motivating about having to put that info out in the public eye. If a person doesn't log at least 2 or 3 times a week, I assume that they're either not serious or embarassed.

As for commenting, I do it when something comes up that I have an opinion on or if I have something interesting to share. I know this sounds mean but I'm not here to make friends or chit-chat about my vacation plans. In fact, I haven't joined a group, just a team, and it's working out great for me so far.

Thursday, May 24, 2007, 2:50 PM

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I think members who are in a GROUP or a TEAM who do not log or comment should be removed.

If the member at least logs I don't have a problem.

Thursday, May 24, 2007, 3:02 PM

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I also agree with post 1:54 its hard to keep up with so many logs in a team.

Thursday, May 24, 2007, 4:40 PM

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I've must agree. I was actually planning to post a message begging PT to consider dropping non-loggers & non-posters in teams after a set time (I was thinking 30 days).

I belong to a team with about 500 people. I had to resort to emailing the logs to be able to FIND the ones who posted, and still spend a LOT of time scrolling past "nothing logged". I actually counted the number of people who posted something, ANYTHING to their log for several days. Out of about 471 people (at that time, before the People article came out) there were only between 20 and 30 people who logged on any given day. I counted several days because I know sometimes something comes up & you just CAN'T log that day (I've done it myself I think twice or 3 times since I joined 6 months ago), but for 450 to not have logged over 4 or 5 days???

As for the comments & community sections, same basic thing. I haven't actually counted the people who log or post, but its always the same dozen or two dozen people. Again, over 400 people not posting for days?

One member, I know for certain hasn't even logged ON to PT in months -- it was a temporary account set up when that member was having troubles posting & logging. She used the temp account for a few days and hasn't used it since, but it is still a member of that group.

Another team I'm in has about 50-60 members. Before the influx of People magazine readers, there were only 5 people who had logged ANYTHING in over a month.... some of them according to the home page hadn't logged in over SIX months. And the team is/was basically dead -- NOBODY was posting or commenting. Since the People influx, another dozen or so have joined, but still there are only a maximum 5 new logs each day, and posts or comments only every few days.

Long story short, I think each team should be set up (if possible) such that if a person hasn't logged OR posted a comment or community message *IN THAT TEAM* for 30 days, they should be removed from that team. I don't think too many people go on vacation for more than 30 days at a time.

This way, if people have joined several teams and/or groups, but only post to one or a few, they don't lose their membership completely, but those of us in the teams that they are ignoring aren't buried in useless names.

Then, if the person hasn't even logged onto PT in a set length of time (2 months, maybe?) delete them completely from the website.

Thursday, May 24, 2007, 8:14 PM

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Friday, May 25, 2007, 5:16 PM

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i think that you should log and post. what is the sense of being in a group looking for support if you dont have it. i think that it should be mandatory. start another group if you dont want to post. call it no posting required.

Friday, May 25, 2007, 5:38 PM

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I was very surprised to learn that the person starting the group I joined got booted out & now only one other person logs with no communication whatsoever. I think PT should let us "preview" a group to see if everyone is logging and commenting and to see whether we want to take the time out of our busy day & commit to logging in when others could care less!

Friday, May 25, 2007, 6:48 PM

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You can preview -- its as simple as joining, looking around, and, if you don't see that it is active enough for you, you unjoin.

Saturday, May 26, 2007, 11:05 AM

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For what it's worth and reading everyone's comments, here's my two cents:

I agree the creator of the team could limit how many members. I belong to the challenge team that was defunct until some of us joined but I am the one who is keeping the challenge going. If the team got to big,I wouldn't be able to do it.

I think 30 days is reasonable to say that their lack of logging isn't helping others. This is a community. My logs are certainly here to help others but am I also in need of seeing others' logs and not wasting my time going through all these dead logs.

I don't think posting is as important as logging but do think teams can be created where posting could be prioritized over logging. I just won't be joining those teams.

Even if someone is booted, there are no rules that they cannot join the group again. Especially if my team members weren't personally booting me. That the booting is merely a function of etiquette from Personal Trainer. Perhaps booting would help me realize that I have not done my part for my community and I can come back when I am ready to commit. How many groups/teams are out there begging for commitment?

I think it is funny that there are about 30 groups that have been created by someone who hasn't logged in so long that there is not date but they are still asking for members.

Okay that's all.

Saturday, May 26, 2007, 7:31 PM

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