To be honest, this the first Strava challenge that I thought was actually do-able. Most of them seem to require such an investment of time that they’re beyond the reach of anyone who, well, has a job, basically.
I’ve heard people criticize these things as meaningless, with comments like “why bother doing all that, just for a jpeg?
I don’t see it like that. It’s a bit of fun, and the end result is that I probably wouldn’t have had such a good workout today if it weren’t for this little motivational gimmick. So why not? Where’s the harm?
I’d actually like to see Strava extend this aspect of their system. I’ve already written about the gamification aspect of Strava – it’s the reason for their success.
I do feel however, that there’s massive potential to really expand on it. You’ve only got to look at console games like Battlefield 3, or any of the recent COD games to see how the gamification element can be intensified and it keeps people playing for longer.
I’m not suggesting that Strava should be aiming to make people ride longer and harder though. It’s about long term involvement. How many people – hands up – know someone who signed up to a gym membership and then only went once or twice? Probably everyone, right? I recently heard that 80% of all gym memberships are never used… Applying gaming principles could change all that.
Here’s an interesting TED talk from 2010 which talks about some of these ideas.
Here’s my little video of our 79 mile challenge (in 30 seconds)
Perhaps Strava can expand their gaming concept beyond the simple leaderboards and KOM’s, and bring in deeper levels of “achievements”. This would not only provide more novelty and fun to motivate those of us who are easily lead by this sort of thing, but it could also help newcomers stick with it, and make the long lasting changes that they may be looking for, but struggling to achieve.