Archive for Social Networking

DailyMile.com: Social Networking for Endurance Athletes

Posted in Health/Fitness, Social Networking with tags , , , on October 7, 2008 by webzealot

Social networking websites are all the rage these days, so it makes sense that we would eventually start seeing sites directly at specific sectors of users.  DailyMile.com is one such site, with a focus on the triathlon sports: running, swimming, and cycling.

I joined up a couple weeks ago and have had some time to go through it and live with it on a daily basis, and so far I am pretty impressed… But first the background… DailyMile is run by its two founders Ben Weiner and Kelly Kroevec, two fitness buffs who had the foresight to see there might be a future in combining their love of fitness into a combination workout log and social site.  And so progress began in May of 2008.

DailyMile is visually intuitive, and has all the “gee-whiz” web 2.0 feel that folks are used to on sites like FaceBook and Twitter.  They are still in invitation-only mode, although it looks like most anyone who asks will get an invite (hey, they accepted me, right?).  For a site that’s only been up for a few months, I have yet to encounter my first script or server error.

The site functions like a light weight workout log.  There are any number of online logs out there, and some are better than others.  DailyMile keeps it pretty simple… Enter your workout, how far you went and for how long… No need to wax eloquent about weather conditions, heart rate, diet, etc etc.  Just KISS… Keep It Simple Stupid.  I like that.  It’s really not a log for stat geeks, and endurance athletes tend to be big stat geeks.

You can add friends and follow their workouts as well, and they can follow yours.  You can comment on workouts posted by others…  There is the possibility to get some good advice and training critiques, and watch others make mistakes.

I will say at this point the total number of folks using the site seems low… Seems like I am seeing the same two or three dozen folks all through the site, but I guess that’s to be expected.  For the most part I would say the user base leans toward the novice side of things.  Lots of first time marathoners and triathletes, but overall probably a pretty good cross section of the general endurance athlete population.

The site does lack a couple things that some other networking sites have.  First, there doesn’t appear to be a phone interface.  Log into the site on your Blackberry and the site is virtually unusable.  Also, there is no means for posting messages to the site via SMS or email, or to get SMS alerts delivered to your phone.  Minor complaints, but that sort of functionality is becoming the norm these days rather than the exception.

One issue I’ve noticed with the site is the inability to edit ALL of the information for previous workouts.  I posted a run to the site, but made a mistake and posted it for the wrong date.  Well, there doesn’t seem to be a way to go back and fix it now.  Another oddity is the “points system” the site uses.  People who post events, or answer questions in the forums are awarded points.  However, there does not look to be a way to figure out how many points a person has earned.  And not that it matters as there doesn’t seem to be much solid information on the site even explaining what the points are for anyway.  I suspect this may be a beta feature that has only been partially developed.

But all-in-all DailyMile.com seems very complete, polished, and functions very well, and I for one certainly plan on continuing to use it!

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