US Embassy Walking Challenge

Sometimes a client truly delights us with their programs. Today, during our all program’s meeting, we were all tickled by the competition currently running between the US Embassy in Katmandu and the US Embassy in Warsaw. The two embassies are competing against each other in a walk from Poland to Tibet. As an embassy brat myself—my stepfather served in Mexico, in Colombia, and in Croatia—I love the idea of embassy friends and colleagues competing and collaborating in a walking challenge. Go Warsaw! Go Katmandu! You think we can get other Embassies to pile on, and do a world-wide challenge?

 

Email lapsed or active walkers – new feature for admins

One of the most important tools we offer is the ability for an organization’s wellness advocate to communicate with employees. For this reason, Walker Tracker’s ‘Email walkers’ feature is one of our most popular features. It lets you send pretty, html-based emails and after your mailing is finished it tells you exactly how many people it reached. There’s nothing like this kind of direction communication for raising the stake and throwing a little excitement into a walking challenge.

However, we began to realize there were two distinct audiences that an administrator might like to reach.

Active walkers — these are people who are fully engaged and enjoying the program. An email about who won which incentive, how everyone is doing in the challenge or a little bit of encouragement is a great choice for this audience.

Lapsed walkers — In our mind, this is our most important audience. Perhaps they’ve became discouraged, or perhaps you’re between challenges and looking to start a new one. Maybe they need an extra hand or a little impetus.

You can now choose between these audiences (or email everyone too) in the Email Users pane in your admin panel.

Let us know what you think!

New for Organizations: Convert activities to steps

This has been an oft-asked-for feature: Convert your other activities to steps.

Say you rode your bike for 5 miles and your pedometer only registered 18 steps: You want credit for that!

Now our custom programs can do just that.

If you’re a program administrator, turn this feature on under Features in your administration panel.

Let us know what you think!

Activity conversion for steps

Is this coming to the Walker Tracker community program for individuals?

Short answer: Maybe…

I’m guessing it’s going to be a controversial issue among the  pedometer-purists. And if it does come, since we offer really a lot of features for free, it would likely be a pro-only feature.

Do you think we should we enable it in the community program? Let us know.

New: Another easy way to start a walking group (and enlist walkers)

We’ve just made it a little easier to organize a walking team.

Now you can pull not-yet-registered walkers directly into your walking group without requiring them to find and join your group.

Create a Walker Tracker group and then surf to your new group’s administration pane.

There’s a new option there for inviting people to your group. You’ve always been able to invite already-registered walkers, but now you can enter in a string of email addresses. Once those people register, they will automatically be placed on your walking team. Presto!

Invite existing members of your walking program, or walkers who haven't yet joined the site.

Invite existing members of your walking program, or walkers who haven't yet joined the site.

While you’re there – check out your Competitions screen. If there are no walking team competitions there yet, start one up!

2) Add a group stats widget to your own website

Hi – this is the second post in a series called:
12 Things You Can Do With Walker Tracker
(that you might not have known about)
I’m going to run through a few nifty Walker Tracker tricks and explain how each of them work. To see each of the series, you can click on the ‘12 things you can do with Walker Tracker‘ category. Feel free to ask questions under each post.

Post your team/group’s progress to your own
website, blog, intranet, Facebook page, etc.

What is a widget? A widget is a little window you put on your own site that pulls data and information from another site. In our case, it shows how many steps your group has walked — and it updates itself auto-magically.

Steps for putting a group widget on your website:

  1. Register for Walker Tracker if you haven’t already. Here’s the registration page for the community site for individuals, here’s custom walking program for corporations or municipalities.
  2. Create a group! (Groups and Teams are the same thing on Walker Tracker. A team is simply a group in a competition)
  3. Click on ‘Group Widget for your blog or website’. Since you’re now the administrator, surf to your group and find this link at the top right. Screen shot 2010-04-07 at 1.25.23 PM
  4. Enable your widget. There will be a message there allowing you to enable/disable your widget, provided you are the administrator of your group.
  5. Note the Group ID # of your group, and follow the link to Widgetbox, which hosts our widget.
  6. Enter your Group ID into the Widgetbox form and get widget code. Click their big GET WIDGET button after you’ve entered your Group ID. This will bring up a screen that will allow you to post your new, shiny widget to any number of other systems. Facebook, WordPress blog, Blogger, etc. Since each environment is a little different, use Widgetbox’s help to get your widget integrated.Screen shot 2010-04-07 at 1.35.29 PM

Why would I do this? Say you’ve got a walking challenge going on between a few different teams in your company, or a walking competition between groups. Take these widgets and slap them together to create your own walking challenge site wherever you like –your own intranet or in a blog post. Or perhaps you just want to show off your team pride.

Enjoy!

p.s. — of course you can also post a widget of just your own stats. Under the ‘Your Stuff’ menu, choose ‘Step Widget”

12 things you can do with Walker Tracker: 1) Add steps by text message

Hi – this is the first post in a series called:

12 Things You Can Do With Walker Tracker

(that you might not have known about)

I’m going to run through a few nifty Walker Tracker tricks and explain how each of them work. To see each of the series, you can click on the ‘12 things you can do with Walker Tracker‘ category. Feel free to ask questions under each post.

1) Add steps by text message (or chat!)

Walker Tracker would like to talk to your mobile phone!

Add a step and step blog entry, check on your Walker Tracker friends or view your stats. Adding steps by text message makes it really easy to stay up to date on your steps when you’re not around a computer.

Here’s how:

Go to your preferences

Preferences is under 'your stuff'

Click on ‘mobile phone integration’ right there at the top.

add steps by text 2

Oh no...the dreaded red shoe -- I'm running below the monthly step goal I set for myself.

Hook up your phone

Send a new text message on your phone to this number:

1-425-522-2960

with the text: YourUsername:YourPassword

Bilbo's password is too guessable!

Bilbo's password is too guessable!

Walker Tracker will answer back within a few seconds to let you know how it worked out.

Walker Tracker accepts various commands. See them all here http://walkertracker.com/index.php?page=devices

Walker Tracker accepts various commands. Log in to see them all here http://walkertracker.com/index.php?page=devices

Feel free to reply with a ? or menu at any time for a list of options.

Add Today’s Step Entry

To add today’s step entry, just reply with a number.

eg: 6471

Or add a step entry/blog for any date using this format:

  • [####] [date] [blog entry] – send a number, a date and a blog entry and it will record your steps/blog for that date 
    eg: 4838 Oct7 I’m currently hiking up the side of a mountain!

*If you’re outside of the USA/Canada, have a look at the devices page to hook up an Instant Messaging account.

This feature is included in Walker Tracker Pro accounts and all Employee Walking Program accounts. Please keep in mind that your phone service might have text-messaging fees.

Good luck!