Jennifer Hudson may have gotten skinny using WeightWatchers.com, but according to the Washington Post, that doesn’t mean that the original online weight management program isn’t feeling the heat from free or inexpensive apps like Nike+ and devices like FitBit.
In fact, the Internet itself contains a wealth of weight loss content, from websites that help you calculate calories consumed to online trainers who guide you, in real time, through exercises via video messaging.
In addition to weight loss information, just think about the amount of lifestyle, career, general health, and self-improvement content you encounter each day – and then consider the channels through which you’re digesting that information.
Probably via television channels like HGTV and the Food Network, online news websites like the New York Times Health section or Yahoo! news stories, or a blogger’s review of fitness apps that your friend shared on Facebook. Don’t forget lifehacker.com, one of my favorite rabbit-hole websites devoted to tips and advice on everything from more efficient computer use to the optimal length of a nap.
This sort of self-improvement content is readily available, easily digested, and deceptively productive – and it’s about to get even more powerful, perhaps more personal, thanks to new gTLDs.
How? Because new gTLDs are the next step in connecting online identities to communities – and the relationship between identity and community is key to achieving fitness and weight loss goals, as was recently demonstrated in a study of weight loss success stories that involved social media.
Given the powerful connection between identity and community (not to mention identity and brands), will future fitness trackers link to [yourname].FITNESS? Will Oprah’s favorite life coaches buy domain names on the recently approved .GURU? Will Martha Stewart snag marthastewart.LIVING?
But wait, there’s more! Though some of the following gTLDs will be restricted or closed, I’m pretty confident that whoever is behind any of these gTLDs is betting that our society’s fascination/obsession with well-being, lifestyle, and fitness will pay off in a big way (especially given that the total revenue of the fitness industry reached $21.8 billion last year):
FairWinds’ own Phil Lodico, an avid runner, uses a Garmin to track his fitness and progress. Phil is, in fact, so dedicated to running that he recruited employees for the recent Washington D.C. Ragnar Race.
I don’t really, um, run – but I can say that the race has increased the amount of bonding in the office and that, not surprisingly, our digitally savvy staff has embraced all that the Internet has to offer them as they train – from apps to websites to Ragnar fan pages. Maybe if I just find the right app and tracked my stats on Facebook – I, too, could run through the night with my colleagues and swap race stories in the office. Until then, I’ll just focus on optimizing my nap times…
Fun Fact: if you search for the term “gym” in ICANN’s new gTLD application database, the result is the application for “.PIZZA”…?!