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January 15, 2013

Community Management of an Online Gym

by massmarotta
Weight Rack

It’s kind of a joke title, more hypothetical than anything else. But I started to realize how much my gym is similar to an online community. My fellow gym members all have common goals. We’re passionate about being healthy or getting into shape. We use it as another networking opportunity or social outlet. We even look to it for support, either for spotters, positive coaching or tips. In fact, the dedication it takes to keep going back is reminiscent of online community power users.

You can easily match up the roles in this metaphor too.

Gym Community >> Online Community Equivalent

Front Desk >> Login

Personal Trainer >> Subject Matter Expert

Housekeeping >>  Moderator

Classes >> Groups

Next time you’re at your gym, take a look around. You’ll see signs posted containing the club guidelines.

  • Cell phone use in designated areas only
  • Re-rack your weights
  • Wipe down machine after each use
  • No smoking, drugs or alcohol of any kind
  • Keep voices and personal audio devices at reasonable levels
  • Be courteous to and considerate of others
  • Wear proper workout attire

These are pretty standard across all gyms. Being a community manager myself, I would love to have a crack at writing the community guidelines for this hypothetical online gym. Here’s my spin:

  • All shirts must have sleeves
  • Hair dryers are for the hair on your head, not on your body.
  • No grunting or sexual sounding noises when lifting. If you do make said noises, you shouldn’t be lifting it.
  • Even though you’ve reached an age where you don’t care what’s sagging on your body, guaranteed other members do care. Please wear a towel at all times when in the locker rooms.
  • Girls are there to work out, not to be hit on. Don’t be that guy.

Would you attend my online gym? What other guidelines would you add? Are there other gym roles that have a online community equivalent?