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Rooted stories, tales, lies...

Why Rooted Challenges are Working

My previous post was highly theoretical, mostly in anticipation of initiating the first Rooted Challenges.  A thesis of sorts that explained the idea, went into a bit of detail about the program I’d be running with Dun and Bradstreet Credibility (who I continue to thank for taking a leap and piloting the first challenge.  Finding open minded, supportive people is not always easy – so thanks, guys).

Smoothie                   Soccer

Above are two recent uploads by users.

Now, a few weeks on, I’ve had a bit of time to asses the challenges (I am running a second one in conjunction with Topanga Creek Bicycles – a bike shop I spend a fair bit of time at) and get an overall sense for if this idea has any legs.  And, against all odds, I can say with confidence that it does.  Don’t get me wrong, Rooted as an app is far from perfect, but it’s getting closer to where it needs to be – thanks to some of the great feedback I’ve already gotten.

I was talking with a Dun and Bradstreet employee the other day and one of the first things she said to me was, “Hey, this Rooted Challenge thing is actually working.  People walked to lunch today so they could add it to their Rooted.”  Damn, I thought.  That’s sweet.

Because I like to think about these things to exhaustion, here are a few reasons why I believe it’s working – and why I spent the time and effort to develop Rooted in the first place.

1.  People are social beings.  They want to interact, they want to see what their friends are doing and have their friends see what they are doing.  Rooted allows for this to happen – and in a positive way.

2.  All the behaviors in Rooted are positive (as just noted), so people feel good about doing them and sharing them.  Think about this – when you go out on a Saturday night and get really drunk it’s fun (duh, that’s why we do it).  Maybe you post a photo to facebook to share how much fun you are having.  But then you wake up Sunday and feel like shit, are mad at yourself, and say you’re never gonna do that again.  But you do (at least I do).

But the behaviors that users are keeping track of and sharing in Rooted are all positive.  You can feel good while you are doing them, and you can feel good after.  People like feeling good about themselves, so they continue to positive things.  It seems so simple – and it is.

3.  Rooted has created an environment where positive behavior is encouraged.  Think of Rooted like AA (ok, not exactly like AA, but let me make my point).  People need environments where they are comfortable, surrounded by like-minded people, and know they can be who they are at their core and be accepted.  For whatever reason, in our society, often times “being healthy” is frowned upon – though deep down most of us would like to be.  When people post photos of all the healthy things they are doing on most social networking sites, the reaction of others might be, “that weird healthy person is posting more bragy photos again…great.”  But in Rooted – that’s the point, everyone is doing it, and everyone thinks it’s awesome that you went for that hike.

4.  People like being recognized for doing good things.  Hell, I do.  No one likes doing a bunch of work and either not getting the credit for it, or even worse, having someone else get the credit for it.  I’m sure this happens to you (it definitely happens to me).  In Rooted, users’ positive behavior is recognized, appreciated by others, and immediately rewarded with points that will lead to more recognition and rewards.

5.  It’s a game (to an extent).  People like games, we know this.  And in Rooted, it’s no different.  Yes, ultimately it’s a way for people to keep track of the healthy things they are doing – but it’s gamified, which keeps people engaged.  Not to mention, if you do well, you are rewarded with an awesome experience of eating good food and drinking good beer and wine with other people like you.  So keep it up.

6.  The app itself is intuitive, aesthetically pleasing, easy to use, and simple.  Thanks to some smart developers and a great design team – VeryNice Co.

strawberries                        Venice Surf

Sharing is caring – a few more uploads.

The opportunities for different communities, businesses, and groups of people to use something like this is very broad.  I am looking forward to the progression to see where it goes.

That’s my Friday morning brain dump.  If you are not participating in one of the current Rooted Challenges, I hope that you will participate in the next one.  I think you’ll like it.





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