UGC Site SparkPeople Cited by a. . .Medical Journal

We know mainstream America is riding the 2.0 rapids. But to my knowledge no UGC site has been endorsed by a medical journal until today. 

A study of 18 online user groups devoted to weight loss, published in the American Journal of Medicine, cited SparkPeople as a site users should turn to for support and accurate information.

While the authors don’t use the term, they essentially were testing the veracity of the “wisdom of the crowds” when it comes to weight loss advice. They found that larger communities with many regular posters were indeed mostly self-correcting (as Wikipedia allegedy is, but don’t get me started).

Wrote the authors, addressing clinicians seeking to help patients lose weight:

Refer patients to high-activity forums, such as the “Diet and Nutrition” or “Fitness and Exercise” forums on http://www.SparkPeople.com or other forums with more than 1,000 messages per month.

Stat freaks should check out the full study linked above, which cites how many errors they found, how many were corrected by the community, how many were serious, etc. (Answers: Not many, about 1/3, very few).

As it turns out, I participated in the SparkPeople community for a year or so, way before I got into 2.0biz. I can tell you it is a great source of motivation and support, plus first-rate expert advice. I don’t think I ever got a bum steer. 

Of course I could have written a novel in the time I spent on the site, but that’s another story.

Explore posts in the same categories: Sparkpeople, UGC, wisdom of the crowds

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