That headline looks like a jumble of concepts if ever you've seen one. But bear with me, it will all make sense.
Early this year, Steve Crescenzo tweeted that he'd like to lose weight by the start of the 2011 IABC World Conference. A number of us responded that we had the same goal, and Tom Keefe created the #IABCLite hashtag as a means of discussing the idea.
I noodled around and found a website, Weight Loss Wars, where the five of us could join in a "competition." We weren't really competing; it was more of a support group where we could share our progress and cheer one another on.
By the time the conference rolled around, only Tom and I were still participating-both of us lost weight-but as we discussed the notion at the conference in San Diego early last month, we heard from a lot of other IABC members who were interested in getting involved in a follow-up effort.
Personally, I find it easier to stay on track with both exercise and diet if I'm part of an online group. My personal downfall is evening snacking, but I'm able to resist when I know I'll have to confess that I've fallen off the wagon to other members of the group. Doing my daily workout is equally easy when I know I'll be reporting the results.
So the interest voiced at the conference was enough to set up #IABCLite, Round II. And, since we're looking to recruit more IABC members to participate, it made sense to find a way to have more regular engagement among members of the group. To that end, I set up an IABC Lite Facebook group.
I'm part of several Facebook groups, including an IABC-focused group that's the antithesis of IABC Lite. IABC Eats is a group where members share pictures of food: food from restaurants, food from the grill, food from the kitchen. It's a popular group, with members sharing often.
It occurred to me as I configured the IABC Lite group that, even if Google+ was open to all comers, we wouldn't be able to duplicate the IABC Lite experience on the new social network contender. Google+ offers no Group-like feature.
Sure, there are Circles, but having you in my circle doesn't automatically mean I'm in yours. Circles and Groups are dramatically different. Think of Groups as a clubhouse or meeting room that everybody comes to. Circles, on the other hand, is a list for my own personal use, allowing me to see postings and distribute my own content only to people I've added to the Circle.
Recognizing that Google+ doesn't offer Group-like functionality is one of the reasons (among many) I don't see departing Facebook any time soon. Those Groups remain important communities for me. It's also why I check Facebook frequently and Google+ only occassionally.
In any case...
If you're an IABC member who wants to join an informal, unsanctioned IABC group dedicated to supporting one another in their efforts to lose weight:
- Ask to join the Facebook group
- Start following the #IABCLite hashtag
- Sign up for Weight Loss Wars and join the competition called IABC Lite (there's a one-time $10 fee to join the competition, which ends on June 24, the first day of the 2012 conference in Chicago). To join the competition, let me know you're interested an I'll send you an invitation, since it's not open to the public at large.
If this goes well, we'll all be proud to call ourselves losers!