Sunday, 19 February 2012

And... we're online!

With thanks to family and friends who've been assisting with design/content ideas and of course to ING Direct for helping make it happen, I can now officially say that Fitness Protection has arrived! An online network with a focus on helping individuals and teams connect and engage in physical exercise and training together.

The full social outcome of the network as planned (helping people meet up with exercise partners - new and old - with great ease) will require reaching a considerably large critical mass in terms of membership, and targeted promotion will be undertaken in the near future. The site is currently in an active development phase (beta-testing), so whilst members are signing up and communicating I can make sure everything's running smoothly and make any necessary adjustments.

I will be very keen to hear any feedback - suggestions for improvement, ideas for inclusion, reaction to the green colour scheme(...?), and also notification of any bugs! Either leave them here or contact me on the network itself! Without further ado, go ahead and check it out....

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Back in action

Just a quick update - after a short hiatus resulting from the general life-engulfing stresses and time constraints of starting out as a medical intern (I'm 4 weeks in now, and part of that included a run of 12 days straight, often finishing at 10pm!), development has resumed and we are on track to commence the beta-testing period this weekend.... time to open the books to the public, diagnose some technological disorders, write out a few scripts, and then it's all systems go-- putting the message out there that exercise truly is the best medicine!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

I'm turning to the scene below for inspiration at the moment - quite relevant really, given its sporting theme and the fact that the film is about the granddaddy of all social networks. Having been to Henley-on-Thames, and watched some boat races along the famous stretch of river, the scene is all the more poignant. I guess the underlying theme is that failure should only serve to fuel the fire of motivation for the future (which hopefully won't simply be converted into lawsuits, as it was for these fellas...).

Monday, 12 December 2011

Name Your Future

As previously intimated within these pages, I'm in need of a name. Not an alternative moniker for myself (there's enough of those) but for my soon-to-be-unleashed social fitness network. And as you would imagine, when your primary real estate is going to be online, a name is only as good as its corresponding (and hopefully available) domain. Preceding the "dot com", as far as I know you generally want a short, catchy and memorable phrase. Going along with the theme of fitness, here are a few possibilities I'm looking at:
  • Fit Happens - probably my favourite, but the domain name's unavailable; I'm trying to establish whether it's for sale.
  • The Fitness Society - shortened to, or; I figure these are short and catchy URLs in an internet that's certainly running out of them.
  • The Fitness Protection Program - as in "witness protection"... lameness threshold passed here? I'm not sure, but I quite like the advertising options this name could lead on to:
    • Have you witnessed crimes against personal health, nutrition and lifestyle? Are you afraid for your own safety and longevity? Then check yourself into Fitness Protection, and let your old physical identity disappear!

Would greatly appreciate any feedback on those ideas, as well as any additional names to consider! I've also thrown around ideas such as ACommonFit, SocialFit and PavementPals but think that I prefer the 3 above. Thoughts?

On another note, here's another MYF progress blog that I will be following with great interest - Kim's Visual-eyes The Future project, which aims to develop a course that will teach lasting skills about how to navigate social media to vision-impaired children and their carers in Vietnam. What a worthy cause indeed; good luck with it all Kim!

The gears are in motion

... and not just on the pathetic excuse for a bike I put up with during breaks from this project. I've been busy researching various web hosting companies and trialling their offerings in terms of online systems, to see whether they can be configured in line with my ideas. After many not-so-great options, I think I'm finally happy with one and ready to sign on the line with them. There'll be much work to do in perfecting it, so perhaps I should set myself a bit of a timeline for what I hope to achieve over the next few weeks (nothing like the pressure of a fast-approaching deadline to inspire productivity...!).

To-do list

  1. Finalise name selection (next day or so).
  2. Complete basic system set-up (within the next week).
  3. Run a beta-testing period to iron out any issues that arise and make improvements (the following 2-3 weeks). Produce logos/artwork over this time as well.
  4. Officially launch the network (around the first week of January).
  5. Promotion! Create and run targeted advertising strategies (throughout the rest of January).

Monday, 5 December 2011

Student no more, and starting the name game

The news that I would be supported by the Map Your Future campaign coincided with another momentous occasion for me - graduation from university after a solid 6 years of effort (though the intensity of that effort may have varied from time to time). It really was a great day, spent celebrating with friends made over the journey. However, now that graduation and associated festivities have started winding down, it's time to get down to the dirty work of mapping futures and networking exercisers...

School's out for summer ever, so get to work buddy!

By the way, the name of this blog is a bit of a reference to the Orange Everyday account I've got with the generous financial backers of this project, ING Direct. There's going to be a fair amount of Orange action going on behind the scenes; in fact, I may have already snapped up a couple of sneaky domain names today... in preparation for the first big decision needing attention - selecting a name! I'm going to need to suss out community opinions in regards to potential names, so I'll be looking for some help on this one through various channels. I have a few ideas but if there are any suggestions for a fun and catchy name for the network, please leave them below!

Hello and welcome!

Hi, I'm Jeremy and I've created this blog to record my progress as I "Map My Future" thanks to ING DIRECT. A few weeks ago I submitted a proposal as part of their Map Your Future campaign for final year university students. My idea ran something along these lines:

My inspiration is to help promote physical activity, fitness and social involvement in the broader community, by creating an online network that exists to allow people to find exercise partners. Whether users are looking for a group of fellow mums to push prams around with midweek, an intense triathlon training regimen in the early hours of the morning, or a fellow senior citizen with whom to gently amble around the local park, this community would act as the portal through which these meetings could be arranged.....

Well, the team at ING DIRECT have jumped on board and provided an incredibly generous amount of support (financial and otherwise) to help get this project off the ground! I cannot say thank you enough to everyone involved with the Map Your Future promotion for providing the means to make this idea come to life, and I'm looking forward to posting updates right here as it does, every step of the way. Stay tuned!