N E W

M E D I A

I N S T I T U T E

Universit y of G eorgia

M AY 1 , 2 0 1 0

P R E S E N T E D B Y:

New Media I nstitute • University of Georgia • w w w.mynmi.net

Facebook
Platform overview
• Developed in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg • Although originally designed only for college students, now anyone with an email address is able to become a member • More than 400 million active users (visited the site within 30 days) worldwide (“Statistics,” 2010) • More than 65 million active Facebook Mobile users (“Statistics,” 2010) • Facebook Mobile users are 50% more active than non-mobile users • 94,748,820 users in the United States (largest user nation in the world followed by the UK) (Gonzalez, 2009) • 56.7% Female; 43.3% male • 18-24 year olds are largest user group (25.2%) followed by 25-34 year olds (24.9%) • About 70% of users are outside of the United States (“Statistics,” 2010) • Over 70 translations available on the website • Average users spend more than 55 minutes a day on Facebook (“Statistics,” 2010) • More than 500,000 active applications on the website (“Statistics,” 2010) In March 2010, Facebook eclipsed Google as the most visited site on the Internet in the United States, receiving 7.07 percent of weekly website traffic. Despite the site’s astronomical popularity, the potential of this relatively new platform remains largely untapped. Although developers have experimented with Facebook as a personal, entertainment, and business oriented social media outlet, the potential to use Facebook as a means to encourage public health has been scarcely explored. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could use Facebook to help you lose weight? Our project transforms facebook into a virtual personal trainer that connects users through live video feed to help them achieve their personal fitness goals. The MyFitness Live application capitalizes on the popularity of Facebook to encourage users to become more active. By providing Facebook users with exercise-related content customized to their personal interests and goals, as well as the opportunity to interact and learn from others who share these interests, the MyFitness Live application will motivate Facebook users to spend some of the time that they already dedicate to Facebook to being more active and, consequently, getting healthier. The MyFitness Live application encourages and motivates Facebook users to persevere and master the exercise videos in order to achieve the Expert status, wherein they will be able to help other users of the application. Therefore, the social and community
New Media Institute
1

Fa c e b o o k | M y Fi t n e s s L i v e

aspects of the application encourage users to stick with it and continue to interact with the application as they reach their personal fitness goals. This paper will show how we made this project possible. First, the different ways in which Facebook is used will be discussed, including: Personal/Social, Business/Philanthropic, and Entertainment. Next is a case study of a Facebook application that works well to help users keep track and reach their personal fitness goals. This is followed by a description of our project, the MyFitness Live application. To better present our project, a user case study follows the project description, depicting how a typical Facebook user would interact with the MyFitness Live application.

Social/Personal
The most popular way in which Facebook is used is as a mechanism for social interaction and personal expression. The connection that users feel with others in the Facebook community has led the platform to explode in popularity. Facebook is a powerful way for users to stay connected with people that they may not typically call on the phone or see on a regular basis. Profile A key component of Facebook is the Profile. All Facebook users have a Profile, which allows them to control how they are depicted to the rest of the Facebook community. Users can choose to include information about their relationship status, religious and political views, interests, hobbies, favorite books, movies, and quotes. Wall One of the most frequently used components of every Facebook users’ Profile is the Wall. Users are able to leave messages on each other’s Walls that can be viewed by their Friends. The Wall also displays photos that the user was recently Tagged in, Groups and Events that the user has recently joined or plans to attend, and other interactions that the user had with his or her Friends. Friends Users can connect with each other by sending Friend Requests. Users have the option to either accept or ignore requests. Facebook is a useful avenue for users to stay connected with people that they know and to learn more about new acquaintances. The average Facebook user has about 130 Friends and sends roughly eight Friend Requests per month (“Statistics,” 2010). Facebook is an easy way to stay connected with people that one may not communicate with in person. It also provides the opportunity for users to find and communicate with others who share their interests.

New Media Institute
2

Fa c e b o o k | M y Fi t n e s s L i v e

Friend Requests Friend Requests are requests to connect with another Facebook user; by accepting a Friend Request, a Facebook user grants access to his or her profile, including Photos, Videos, Applications and other information. However, users have the option to limit the access their Friends have to this information. Status The Facebook Status feature enables users to tell the Facebook community what they are doing, what they are thinking about, or to post a link to other online content. Facebook Statuses can be customized in a practically infinite number of ways, and are one of the most commonly used features of the social networking site. Each time users update their Statuses, a notification appears on the News Feed of their friends, allowing them to comment. News Feed News Feeds are a useful tool for observing what others are doing, as well as current trends that are developing on the site. The News Feed is a type of Wall that is located on users’ home pages, and includes information about their Friends’ recent Facebook activities, such as uploaded Photos, comments, and Groups or Events that they had joined or attended. Photos The Photo application enables Facebook users to upload pictures to share with their Friends. After an event or get together, a new album is often made by users to display their documentation of the festivities. Tag The Tag feature is within the Photo application. This feature enables users to link images of other users to their Profiles. Users’ linked photos are displayed on their Profiles and in the photo albums of the user who uploaded them. Users have the ability to “Untag” a picture if they do not want others to see it on their Profile. More than 2.5 million photos are uploaded on Facebook each month (“Statistics,” 2010). Events Facebook Events have become a logical and simple way to send out invitations, as the majority of people’s friends are Facebook users. It also provides an easy way to draw more people to an event, as Facebook users constantly receive notifications about events that their Friends are attending on their News Feeds. There are more than 3.5 million Facebook Events created each month, and the average user is invited to three Events per month (“Statistics,” 2010). Chat Rather than having to text or pick up the phone and call someone, users are given the ability to have real-time communication with Friends via back-and-forth instant messaging. If users have a quick question about something or want to tell someone something short and they see that the person that they want to talk to is on Facebook, the Chat function can be an extremely useful and appropriate communication tool.
New Media Institute
3

Fa c e b o o k | M y Fi t n e s s L i v e

Business/Philanthropic
Facebook was once written off as another means to help college students waste away precious study time by browsing photos from last night’s party or posting witty status updates. However, fast forward to today, and you can see the tremendous influence this social networking platform has had on the success of businesses and philanthropies. Both large and small organizations are taking advantage of access to a staggering audience of over 400 million active users. Facebook has quickly become a staple marketing tool for corporations and non-profit organizations around the globe since its creation in 2004. Though businesses and philanthropies have different objectives—one to generate money and awareness for a product or service for profit, the other for charities and public good—many of the same Facebook features can be used to achieve each result by simply altering their content and promoting continuous interaction with their audiences. There are several ways in which an organization may develop an identity through Facebook. Advertisements Advertisements on Facebook serve the same purpose as banner advertisements on websites. These ads appear on the right side of the Facebook users’ screen and are customized to his or her stated interests and location, as is displayed on their Profile. Groups Facebook Groups are a group of people that share a common interest. Some groups require an invitation, while others are open for all users to join. Group pages are very similar to regular Profile pages, featuring a Wall, Info, Discussions, Photos, Video, and Events. Fan Page The Fan Page is basically a glorified version of a Group. More than 700,000 local businesses have active Fan Pages on Facebook (“Statistics,” 2010). Similar to an individual Facebook user’s Profile, a Fan Page serves virtually the same purpose for a professional business, charity foundation or any number of other causes or endeavors that rely on user interaction and feedback (“Social Media Guide,” 2010). Anyone can become a Fan of a Page by clicking the “Become a Fan” button in the Page header. Fans are equivalent to Friends on a personal profile. Fan Pages have created more than 5.3 billion Fans (“Social Media Guide,” 2010). Fans are granted access to view all content on the Fan Page, receive all messages, etc. A Fan Page serves as an umbrella for additional features that allow the business to interact with the user on a more personal level, such as applications, user-generated content, videos, images, group discussions, two-way conversation, and much more. Info Within both the Group and the Fan Page is an info tab, which is set aside for general information, such as the companies’ contact information, location, mission statements, and links that enable users to purchase products, make donations or view the business or philanthropy’s external website. Events
New Media Institute
4

Fa c e b o o k | M y Fi t n e s s L i v e

Businesses and philanthropies use the Events tool to invite fans or group members to sponsored events and provide information about how many people will be, will not be, or maybe attending the Event. Wall The Wall is used to post the recent Facebook activity or news related to the business or philanthropy for a Group or on a Fan Page, while also enabling fans to respond and interact with the content. Discussions Other user-generated content can be posted in the Discussions section of the Group and Fan Page. Here, users can respond with feedback, testimonials, and opinions regarding a particular cause, product, etc. Applications Another notable feature of the Fan Page is the ability to incorporate Applications to further engage fans. There are thousands of applications used for many different purposes, such as: • • • • Keeping records Voting Streaming outsourced content Simple entertainment

The following list is a few Applications that may prove quite useful once added to a Fan Page: • The Twitter app automatically pulls tweets into Facebook statuses, saving time updating and remaining consistent The Video app provides the ability to upload user-generated video feeds The RSS Reader pulls in content from users’ blogs to their Facebook Profiles The HTML/FBML (Facebook markup language) enables developers to add images, video, interactive comments, etc. The Flash Player enables users to embed Flash content, i.e. video, widgets, and games. It also enables users to create their own Applications.

• • •

Facebook Connect Facebook Connect is another very important tool that enables users to seamlessly transport their Facebook identities to an external website or application (“Build and Grow,” 2010). This tool is extremely beneficial in increasing traffic to a website, encouraging Facebook user engagement, and potentially boosting revenue for the business or philanthropy. More than 80,000 websites have implemented Facebook Connect since its development in December, 2008 (“Build and Grow,” 2010). Facebook users may visit a website using Facebook Connect, allowing them to stream this content to their Facebook profiles and share it with their friends who,
New Media Institute
5

Fa c e b o o k | M y Fi t n e s s L i v e

in turn, are likely to click back to the external website. More than 60 million Facebook users use Facebook Connect each month (“Statistics,” 2010). Two thirds of comScore’s U.S. top 100 websites and half of comScore’s global top 100 websites use Facebook Connect (“Build and Grow,” 2010).

Entertainment
Facebook provides its users with an outlet for something everyone can relate to: entertainment. While Facebook’s primary application is as a social media tool that allows users to connect with their friends and stay up to date with what is going on in their social circles, it is also the perfect medium for people of all backgrounds to entertain themselves. Facebook enables its users to engage in activities through different mediums including applications, gaming, music, videos, and celebrities. Applications Applications are software programs that can be both externally and user-generated and range from games to non-profit donation buttons. Applications personalize users’ profiles, creating a more unique and personal space within Facebook. Games Facebook Games are developed for the active user and are generated with a different purpose than traditional video games. These Games are intended to be played for short periods of time while users are on the Facebook website. Therefore, users do not have to open separate browsers and are able to continue interacting with the website while they are playing. Facebook Games also allow users to share their progress with the game and play with all of their Facebook Friends. Competition and community are the driving forces behind a successful game on Facebook. Music and Videos Music and Videos allow users to listen to, share, and interact with their favorite artists and bands. Groups market themselves through Facebook Fan Pages, while Applications, such as iLike and Music Challenge, provide a way for users to share their Music with friends and connect to their favorite songs, artists, and Videos. Users can watch, listen, rate, and comment on Music and Videos and Post them to their profiles, allowing for further personalization of their page. Celebrities Celebrities use Facebook to reach out to fans and to promote their endeavors. While Facebook has become a less popular means of following celebrities because of sites like Twitter, it still provides a place for fans to interact and support their favorite celebrities. The Fan Pages also draw attention to causes that the celebrities find important and enable users to interact and post commentary. Facebook provides a personal look into celebrity life with Photos, Videos, and frequent, real-time postings and Status Updates.

New Media Institute
6

Fa c e b o o k | M y Fi t n e s s L i v e

Feature Case Study: Fit-ify Exercise Tracker
Since Facebook first leapt onto the social media scene around six years ago, the social networking site has exploded in popularity, today serving over 400 million users online. Unfortunately, many of its users have also exploded in size, especially in America. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention data compiled in 2008, around one-third of all American adults are obese or overweight (Flegal et al., 2010). Among children and teenagers, the numbers are similarly staggering: according to government data cited in a February USA Today article, around 32% of children and teens are currently obese (“Premature,” 2010). Another recent government study shows that obese children and teenagers may live two to five years less than their parents because of future health complications caused by childhood obesity (“Premature,” 2010). Should this trend continue, future generations will be forced to pay for the astronomical healthcare bills and insurance premiums that will be incurred down the road by many obese children, who are likely to become obese adults. Facebook’s emergence as one of our generation’s most popular modes of communication is likely not helping the problem. Internet use amongst our generation has reached an all-time high: a recent British study estimated that youth under the age of 20 spend over 30 hours per week on the Internet, the majority of which is spent on Facebook (Greenhow et al., 2009). The average Facebook user spends an average of 55 minutes per day perusing the site, clicking through photos from last weekend or checking up on old friends (“Statistics,” 2010). On a daily basis, Facebook’s nearly 400 million users are spending almost an entire hour sitting in front of a computer screen, browsing through the site. This is precious time that could be otherwise spent walking, running, or participating in some other form of physical activity. Though the exorbitant amount of time that Americans are spending in front of their computer screens may be a problem, one study has shown that the Internet, if used effectively, does have the power to get people back on the move. A 2001 study commissioned by the Weight Risk Investigators Study Council, which examined 91 healthy but overweight adults, found that the Internet can be an effective vehicle for public health intervention, especially for such public health problems as obesity (Tate et al., 2010). Researchers found that the study participants who were enrolled in an immersive online weight loss program, complete with a sequence of 24 weekly weight loss lessons delivered via e-mail and required weekly submissions of an online self monitoring diary, lost significantly more weight than those assigned to the study group that participated in a simple weight loss education program online (Tate et al., 2010). It was found that the repeated contact with participants, offered by the immersive behavior therapy program, was one of the most important reasons why participants receiving that particular treatment fared better in their weight loss endeavors (Tate et al., 2010). Clearly, a key component of any web-based weight loss program must be constant interaction with the individual. Given the amount of time users spend on its website, Facebook presents a logical platform for application developers looking to venture into the realm of public health. Several Facebook applications and pages have attempted to address the issue of mass inactivity that is plaguing America, from the personalizable “Tickers” that users can add to their Facebook profiles to keep tabs on their weight or exercise habits to the countless fan pages dedicated to gyms or fitness programs around the country. However, these attempts to mobilize the Facebook community lack the capacity to allow users to set specific and personalized fitness or
New Media Institute
7

Fa c e b o o k | M y Fi t n e s s L i v e

weight loss goals, and to provide users with a means to track their progress towards their own personal objectives. Fortunately, one developer has created a Facebook application aimed at spearheading this problem in a convenient and effective way. Developed by independent application developer Don Holloway, the Fit-ify Exercise and Health Tracker is a useful application for Facebook users looking to set and achieve specific health and fitness goals. The application aims to take advantage of the enormous amount of time that Facebook users spend in front of a computer screen as a way to keep them focused on and moving towards their stated fitness or weight loss goals. Considered a “lifestyle” type application, Fit-ify has been available to Facebook users for nearly two years. The application was launched in March 2008 but, despite its somewhat lengthy availability on the Facebook landscape, the application has just over 5,500 monthly active users. Despite its relatively small base of users, Fit-ify is a very unique and innovative application, especially considering its use of the Facebook platform. Capitalizing on the compulsive use of Facebook by many Americans today, Fit-ify aims to keep its users focused on their health and fitness goals. After installing the application to your profile, the application requires users to enter information about their current height and weight. Based on the information provided, the application calculates the user’s Body Mass Index (BMI), a statistical measure that compares his or her weight and height. Though a person’s BMI doesn’t provide an exact measure of a person’s percentage of body fat, it is a useful tool for estimating an individual’s healthy body weight based on his or her height. If one’s BMI is currently over 25, a number above which is considered to be unhealthy, Fit-ify will calculate how many pounds he or she needs to lose to achieve a healthy BMI. Though the application’s BMI calculator is a useful tool for Facebook users to gauge their physical fitness, perhaps the most innovative feature of the Fit-ify application is its ability to visually display your progress towards a healthy weight and physical fitness level. On each subsequent visit to the application’s Facebook page, users are asked to “weigh in”, or enter their current body weight. Using the weight information that is entered over periods of weeks and months, the application generates a graphical representation of the individual’s “90 Day Weight History.” This line graph gives users the unique ability to see their progress towards a healthy BMI, while also allowing them to see trends and fluctuations in their weight. It also allows users to pinpoint time periods where they made real progress towards their weight loss goals, and also to take notice of periods of weight gain or stagnation. This visualization of progress is an important tool for anyone trying to shed a few pounds. By charting users’ weight loss over time, Fit-ify allows them to consider their eating and exercise habits during times of significant weight reduction so that they can adjust their current diet and exercise regimen accordingly. Any effective exercise tracker must do just that: allow users to craft a workout and fitness regimen that suits their abilities, schedule, and weight loss goals, and track their progress towards achieving those goals. Fit-ify, perhaps more than any other fitness-focused Facebook application currently available, does just that. The application features an “Exercise History” tab, which allows users to enter their recent workouts. Users can log distance workouts in one of four areas of exercise activity: running, walking, swimming or cycling. For those interested in getting in shape via alternative types of physical activity, Fit-ify also allows its users to record a number of types of timed workouts: aerobics, yoga, pilates, spinning, mixed workouts or even boxing.
New Media Institute
8

Fa c e b o o k | M y Fi t n e s s L i v e

Fit-ify stores users’ workouts in a personal “Workout History,” allowing them to look at their activity levels over the past week or month. Often, a major struggle for individuals trying to get in shape or lose weight is developing a feasible workout regimen. However, outlining the workout is only half the battle. If individuals really want to get in shape or lose weight, they must stay dedicated to their fitness program and focused on their weight loss goals. Acknowledging this issue, Fit-ify provides its users with workout suggestions, as well as links in the “Exercise History” section of the application to popular running or aerobics programs. This feature makes it easy for Fit-ify users to choose a regular workout program and stick to it. As another tactic to keep users dedicated to their weight loss objectives, Fit-ify offers various awards and other forms of recognition as users record more workouts and accumulate mileage and aerobics time. In any athletic or goal-oriented endeavor, competition is a key motivating factor for people in a variety of disciplines. The developers of Fit-ify, recognizing this innate human desire to compete with others, have incorporated a competitive element into their exercise tracker. The application features a “Top Ten” section, which ranks the ten best Fit-ify runners, walkers, cyclists and swimmers based on distance logged. This ranking of users, and the competitive spirit that it fosters amongst the Fit-ify community, is one of the most significant features of the exercise tracker. Overall, user reviews that have been posted on the Fit-ify application’s wall are very positive. Many users explain that because they are already on Facebook so much, Fit-ify is a perfect way for them to stay focused on their fitness goals and also to record their weight loss progress. Some users have suggested a section for recording non-distance based activities besides aerobics, such as weightlifting or sports activities. Also, a few users have suggested a calorie burn calculator to give them an idea of how many calories they are burning during their 2-mile run or 30-minute aerobic workout. Social media technologies are constantly evolving, as evidenced by the seemingly never-ending platform adjustments that hit Facebook every couple of weeks. Despite the ever-changing nature of the social media landscape, there are a number of ways that Fit-ify and other applications of its kind can be improved and advanced to better serve the public good in the future. Allowing users to enter their food intake and diet information would further enhance the Fit-ify experience. By calculating daily caloric intake, the application could then calculate exactly how many calories users need to burn to meet their stated weight loss or BMI goals. Also, the issue of accountability is one that needs to be addressed by Fit-ify and similar applications in the future. Currently, there is no way for Fit-ify to determine whether its users are actually running and swimming the distances that they claim to be in their exercise history logs. Right now, technologies exist in several products sold by Nike and other sportswear companies that utilize a computer chip embedded in an individual’s shoe that can be synced with the individual’s iPhone or iPod to record a user’s workouts. Perhaps something using this or a similar technology could be developed to track workouts and record them automatically on the user’s Fit-ify Exercise History. Though there is still much room for improvement for the Fit-ify Exercise Tracker and future public healthrelated Facebook applications of its kind, Fit-ify represents a noteworthy use of the Facebook platform as a means to get people in shape. Though it may seem somewhat odd to even use the words “Facebook” and
New Media Institute
9

Fa c e b o o k | M y Fi t n e s s L i v e

“weight loss” in the same sentence, Fit-ify strives to do just that: to get Facebook users focused on achieving personal fitness and weight loss goals.

Wouldn't it be cool if...
…you could use Facebook to help you lose weight?  Our project transforms Facebook into a virtual personal trainer that connects users through a live video feed to help them achieve their personal fitness goals. Our group wanted to find a way to use Facebook to get people to be more active.  Ultimately, we were trying to contribute to the nationwide battle against obesity, which has become a major public health epidemic across the entire country.  According to the Get America Fit Foundation, obesity is currently the #2 cause of preventable deaths. One of the major contributors to obesity is inactivity, a problem that goes hand-in-hand with the rising popularity of Internet use, specifically social media sites like Facebook.  According to Nielsen (2008), Facebook was the ninth most popular brand on the Internet and had the longest time spent on its website per person in comparison to the 75 most popular internet brands.  Between December 2007 and December 2008, the amount of time that Facebook users spent on the site increased by 566%. The most common and successful solution for battling the obesity problem is exercise. Unfortunately, many exercise programs require people to take time out of their days to leave home and attend a gym. This proves difficult not only due to busy schedules, but also the costs associated with a gym membership. We were looking for an opportunity to take advantage of Facebook's popularity, while providing a free peer-oriented opportunity for people to exercise while in the comfort of their own home. 

Proposed Solution
Users of the MyFitness Live application will be able to exercise during the time that they already spend on Facebook.  Facebook users will have the opportunity to download the application and begin working out instantly.  The application will provide users with a community setting that will encourage and motivate them to achieve their fitness goals.  It also gives them the one-on-one attention that is characteristic of a personal trainer at a gym...but for free! The application will not only give users workout videos that are personalized to their own exercise interests and goals, but also the opportunity to receive help from others that have mastered that particular exercise.   Rather than simply becoming a "Fan" of a gym or exercise-related organization, our application allows Facebook users to actually participate and interact with the exercise content and other users!  The opportunity to become an Expert of a specific exercise provides users with the motivation to continue working out and ultimately reach their fitness goals.

New Media Institute
10

Fa c e b o o k | M y Fi t n e s s L i v e

Facebook project: MyFitness Live
When Facebook users download the MyFitness Live application, they will be prompted to choose three out of the five provided exercises—yoga, pilates, Tae Bo, step, and dance—in which they are interested. Once the users choose their three exercises, they will be provided with three videos related to their selected exercises will be provided. Users are able to choose between beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels of each exercise.  Upon selecting a video, an enlarged screen will appear, where the users are able to click play and begin watching the selected video.  Following the completion of the video, users will be provided with the option of watching the next video in the series or a video related to one of the other exercises that they selected.  Users also have access to still photos of exercises and poses, as well as additional exercise videos from which they can choose in a gallery section of the application. At the bottom left hand side of each video screen is a help button that users can click while viewing the video if they have a question regarding the workout.  Upon clicking the help button, a list of all of the available Experts of that particular exercise will drop down for their selection.

Once the user selects an Expert from the list, an interactive screen featuring a live video feed with the Expert will pop-up in a new window. The Expert will be available to all users that are currently viewing a video in his or her area of expertise. He or she will be equipped with a screen layout of one large video screen, on which he or she will appear to the users, as well as multiple smaller video screens displaying the live feeds of the users that are currently in need of assistance. When the Expert is helping a particular user, he or she is able to enlarge that user's video feed by simply clicking on that user's small screen to better see the problem. If the Expert appears busy helping another user, users have the option of exiting the live feed and returning to the previous page where they will be able to choose another available Expert from the drop-down menu. After users complete ten videos of a particular exercise, at least one of which is an intermediate and advanced video, they have the option of becoming an Expert of that exercise. Once users become an expert,
New Media Institute
11

Fa c e b o o k | M y Fi t n e s s L i v e

they can be called upon by other users for help regarding that particular exercise. Upon agreeing to be an expert, users' names will be added to the Expert drop-down list that is provided to all other users who are in need of assistance.

Technology
We thought that an application would be the most effective way to use Facebook to get users to be more active. Applications provide the opportunity for Facebook users to customize their profile pages with free content--think of it as adding flair to your Facebook…only this flair can interact with you!  We had two options for the creation of the application: applications can be developed either through the Facebook website or externally with Flash or Dreamweaver and then imported onto the Facebook page. If the application is developed through Facebook, all of the fonts, colors, links, etc. would be exactly like the Facebook page. If the application is developed externally, the developer is able to choose his or her own colors, fonts, and layout. We decided to develop the application externally in order to have this creative freedom. Originally, we decided to use Dreamweaver to create the application; however, it limited our options for development. Flash was our next choice.  It allowed our project to go above and beyond: it was cleaner, easier to work with, and required no coding or decoding.  To create our application, we decided to go with a Fitness Sport & Health Flash template. We customized the template by changing the pictures, content, etc. First, our task was to find where the content was located in Flash. Each piece of our template was located on different layers that needed to be either changed or deleted to fit with our project. However, certain animation and predetermined layouts were a challenge to work with. We also had to find workout videos on YouTube for each of our workout categories: yoga, Tae Bo, dance, pilates, and step. We then linked each video to our application through a video streaming database called Stickam.  Stickam is a social networking site featuring professional and user-generated images, audio, and video.  It is the first website of its kind to accommodate the live-streaming video chat for which it is most prominently known.  Users are able to host live group chats and debates and participate in public chat rooms.  The website has expanded to include live-streaming shows, as well as live performances by many musicians and celebrities.  We chose this program for our application because it has the convenient ability to embed its streaming webcam feeds into other websites using a Flash player.  By merging this social networking resource with the most popular social networking platform to date—Facebook—we have been able to expand Sitckam’s functional capabilities to create more interactive social communities.

New Media Institute
12

Fa c e b o o k | M y Fi t n e s s L i v e

There is currently a Stickam application on Facebook that enables users to broadcast themselves through Stickam on their profiles.  However, we believe that this application has more potential than just enabling Facebook users to broadcast themselves online.  The MyFitness Live application uses the Stickam interface to unite Facebook users that share a common interest: fitness.  The MyFitness Live application is centered around the opportunity for developers to embed their streaming webcam feeds from their Stickam accounts into the Facebook application using a Flash player.  By inserting the embed code for a given Stickam host account into the application, viewers are able to sign into Stickam and join the live conversation.  We linked the list of fitness Experts on our application to their Stickam live accounts.  By clicking their names on the list, users will be instantly connected to the Experts’ live feeds and prompted to sign in to Stickam.com so they may be assisted in their workout.  It is necessary to have an active Stickam.com account in order to use the service. If the Expert of the embedded account is not signed in to Stickam, however, he or she will not be visible or available to the MyFitness Live users.  The Expert is able to maximize the size of each guest’s screen for better viewing of each individual user.  Multiple guest windows allow the Expert to assist several users at once.

Challenges
We faced many challenges in the development of this project. The first challenge that we faced was when we attempted to create a project that none of us had the skills to actually develop.  In our attempt to be innovative in a medium that has done little in the realm of public good, we lost touch with our true technological abilities.   While we had a great deal of good ideas about what the project should do, we were not sure how exactly it could be done.  Originally we came up with a project that created a new version of Facebook and would, thus, require the permission and partnership of the Facebook developers.   As this would be very difficult to acquire and develop, we decided to break the project down into feasible components, while maintaining its original innovativeness.  We decided that we wanted to include live video conferencing within our project, but we had several different ideas of how it should be incorporated.  First, we thought that it should be a live workout, wherein users would be connected with an instructor who would be able to watch and help them throughout the workout.  As we were discussing the logistics of this program, we realized that it would be impossible for an instructor to keep up with a large group of users and actually be any help.  We tossed around the idea of setting a maximum number of users that could participate in the live chat, but realized that there was probably an easier way to incorporate the live video feed.  That was when we decided that the video feed would only be used when a user clicks a help button while watching a provided workout video, thus leading to a live conversation with the Expert. After we decided the basic premise of the MyFitness Live application, we had to find a live video program that we could embed into a Facebook application.  After researching and playing around with a variety of programs, including SkypeMe, an application that was currently used on Facebook, we found the Stickam program. We were then faced with the challenge of learning how to use the application and incorporating it into our project.
New Media Institute
13

Fa c e b o o k | M y Fi t n e s s L i v e

Future
Fitness is ever-changing and will continue to be a hot topic as long as people desire healthy lifestyles. The media world changes each and every day and will inevitably open more doors for advertising, community involvement, and other social media outlets within the fitness world. In the future, the MyFitness Live application will provide the option for users to not only interact with an individual Expert through the live video feed, but to also participate in a live video workout with an instructor and other participants in the class of their choice.  Additionally, because it is an external application—developed outside of Facebook—the MyFitness Live application can be adapted to other social media websites, as well as mobile media players, in the future.

Conclusion
Despite the almost infinite number of applications available to Facebook users, the market for effective, easyto-use applications aimed at getting people off of the couch and on the move remains largely unexplored. The MyFitness Live application represents a unique transformation of the Facebook platform. By capitalizing on Facebook’s tremendous capacity to connect its users, as well as its widespread use among the general population, MyFitness Live allows users to exercise from the comfort of their homes with the ability to receive real-time fitness assistance.

New Media Institute
14

Fa c e b o o k | M y Fi t n e s s L i v e

MyFitness Live Team
Genevieve di Leonardo          genevievedileonardo@gmail.com Expected Graduation Date: December 2010 Genevieve served as the leader for the Facebook group.  She was in charge of bringing together and facilitating communications between members of the group—keeping everyone on the same page and working toward the same goal.  She also participated in the brainstorming and idea generation that eventually led to the development of the MyFitness Live application.  Finally, she contributed to the research and writing of the final paper and was in charge of all of the editing. Genevieve is a first year graduate student at the University of Georgia, where she is completing her master's degree in advertising.  She attended the College of Charleston for her undergraduate education, where she majored in corporate communication and minored in business administration.  While at CofC, she served as the vice president of PRSSA and a reporter for the student newspaper The George Street Observer.  She is currently working as a graduate publications assistant in the College of Education's Office of Communications and Publications.  Upon graduating, Genevieve plans to pursue a career as an account executive, either in an advertising agency or a political consulting firm.  Even though she was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Genevieve plans to spend the rest of her life in the south. Nicole Bennett njlbennett@gmail.com Expected Graduation Date: May 2010 Nicole contributed to the writing and editing of the final report, as well as research and assisting in the development of the application. Nicole is a senior at the University of Georgia, completing her education in Sociology and New Media. She has always had an interest in the newest gadgets and technologies to hit the market, so the New Media Certificate program was a perfect fit. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her parents and her closest friends, taking trips, eating out, being in the sun, and trying anything new and adventurous. After graduation this upcoming May, Nicole is moving to Greenville to start her career with one of the nation's leading commercial printing companies, Consolidated Graphics, where she will start as an Associate in the Leadership Development Program.

New Media Institute
15

Fa c e b o o k | M y Fi t n e s s L i v e

Sierra Fenton sierrapf@gmail.com   Expected Graduation Date: May 2011 Sierra proposed the original concept of using a live video interface to create a specialized community within the platform for the project development.  She was also part of collaboration in concept execution, and was responsible for finding an applicable live stream video client.  It was necessary for her to become fluent with this program and aid in the creation of the featured Facebook application: embedding live stream interface and enhancing program appearance and capabilities using raw HTML code and text editing software. Sierra is the artist, the designer, and the nerd… all rolled into one.  She spends much of her extra time enhancing her graphic design and web development skills.  Painting, drawing and Discovery Channel specials are some of her favorite past times.  Her most recent challenge has been teaching herself raw HTML code to better understand some of the software she uses.  Sierra is an Advertising major pursuing a New Media Certificate and has been involved with campus organizations such as Fashion Design Student Association, Little Red Book fashion magazine, and AD Club.  Following graduation, Sierra plans to either enroll in portfolio school or begin her career in an advertising agency.  Meghan Irwin Mei6589@uga.edu, meghan6589@yahoo.com Expected Graduation Date: May 2011 Meghan was the marketing representative for Facebook Group.  She was in charge of contacting people about the New Media Public Good conference, including Facebook developers and experts in fitness and physical health. She also helped design the MyFitness Live application on Flash and assisted in the writing of the technology section within the project description. Meghan is currently a junior majoring in Advertising and getting a certificate in New Mix Media. She is a member of the Phi Mu fraternity on campus. In her free time, she enjoys being social, working out and watching television series. Her plans for the future are to attend graduate school and earn a degree in Marketing. She would love to live in a large, populated city and work for an advertising firm or magazine company. If you would like to know more about her, contact her via email.

New Media Institute
16

Fa c e b o o k | M y Fi t n e s s L i v e

Magan Jenkins magannj@gmail.com, magannj@uga.edu Expected Graduation Date: December 2010 Magan helped design the application logo. She was also a main designer and developer of the application and its layout. Magan is majoring in Public Relations and is expected to obtain the New Media Certificate. She is a fanatic for film and loves watching movies in her free time. In the future, Magan hopes to be a part of an entertainment PR firm and living the life! Andrew Kann dkann88@gmail.com  Expected Graduation Date: May 2010 Andrew wrote the feature case study portion of the final report.  He also contributed to background research and designed and created the project poster. Andrew is a senior magazines major in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications and is in the process of working towards completing his New Media Certificate. Since May 2009, Andrew has worked as a sports reporter for the Red and Black, the University's independent student newspaper, covering men's basketball, baseball and women's soccer. Drew enjoys sports and being outdoors, as well as writing about topics that interest him. Caitlin Peterson cbarrettp@gmail.com Expected Graduation Rate: December 2010 Caitlin was a main designer and developer of the poster and the logo.  She also contributed to the writing and editing of the final paper.  Caitlin is currently a senior majoring in Public Relations and receiving a certificate in New Media. Outside of class she is involved with many different organizations on campus including Delta Delta Delta Sorority; the Guide Dog Foundation, wherein she raises and trains Isaiah, a future guide dog for the blind; as well as serving as the Campus Relations Chair for UGA Relay For Life. She is looking forward to getting out into the "real world" and utilizing the skills she has acquired while at The Grady College and The New Media Institute. Social Media and its assimilation into the business world is something that really interests her, especially social media's ability to become more than just a forum for discussion and really be one for action, brand identity and communication.

New Media Institute
17

Fa c e b o o k | M y Fi t n e s s L i v e

Works Cited
Build and Grow with Facebook Connect (2010). Facebook Developers. Retrieved February 4, 2010 from http://developers.facebook/connect.php. Facebook Marketing Statistics, Demographics, Reports, and News. CheckFacebook.com. Retrieved February 2, 2010 from http://www.checkfacebook.com/. 1Flegal, K. M., Carroll, M.D., Ogden, C.L., & Curtin, L.R. (2010). Prevalence and Trends in Obesity Among U.S. Adults, 1999-2008. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 303 (3), 235-241. Greenhow, C. & Reifman, J. (2009). Engaging youth in social media: Is Facebook the new media frontier? Nieman Reports. Retrieved February 3, 2010 from http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reportsitem.aspx?id=101906. Hellmich, N. (2010). Premature death is more likely in obese children. USA Today. Retrieved February 3, 2010 from http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/weightloss/2010-02-11-obesekidsdieearlier11_ST_N.htm. Statistics (2010). Facebook Press Room. Retrieved February 2, 2010, from http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics. Tate, D.F., Wing, R.R., & Winett, R.A. (2001). Using Internet Technology to Deliver a Behavioral Weight Loss Program. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 285(9), 1172-1177.Gonzalez, Nick (2009). The Social Media Guide (2010). Mashable. Retrieved February 4, 2010 from http://mashable.com/guidebook/facebook/.

New Media Institute
18

Fa c e b o o k | M y Fi t n e s s L i v e