I just gave someone a goat - review update

A while ago I wrote about an exercise incentive site that had a few bugs.  EarndIt and Nike have made friends since then and things seem to be working out, so I have an update.  I'd earned almost 2,000 points and decided it was time to spend. I'm actually not in a buying mood so I gave 500 of my points to Heifer International to buy a goat for a poor farmer in Africa.  500 points didn't buy the whole goat.  Turns out 1200 people need to donate 500 points for the goat, but I was part of the solution.  Here's the update:

Things you'll like when you try the site:
  • I actually track my exercise much more than in the past.  Even now if it's a short run or a run with friends, I'm totally using my Nike+ kit, just because I want the points.  (This run could give someone a goat!)
  • The Nike+ information syncs perfectly now.  (Thanks for working that out.)
  • The website is quite user friendly.  Both the workout section that lists points and the 'redeem' section where I can get stuff are straight forward .
  • Totally not required to log in thrugh Facebook.  (Am I the only person annoyed by that trend?)
  • I like the 'challenges' don't use points to determine an outright winner (whom I imagine would be some crazy person who did nothing but work out and brag on facebook) but are more "if you get this many points you'll be entered for this level of drawing..."

Things that can get better - Redeeming points for charity:
  • The FAQ section should address how this works, becuase my 500 points would've turned into about a $50 gift certificate to one of the vendors but my 500 points turned into about fifty cents when I donated them to a charity.  I'm okay with this (what other place can my slow ass running help so many charities?), but the site should explain how it works.
  • The site should list when the number of goats/camels/flu shots/care packages/whatever that have already been given to these charities.  Most of the comments on the Heifer International page are all "dude, do they ever really give anyone a goat?"  Brag about what you've done so far.
  • Send an email or give me a trophy or a notification or something when someone gets the goat I made a donation for.  (I don't know if this happens.  Maybe my goat just hasn't been given yet?) I just need to be patient.

Things that can get better - other stuff
  • Please, for goodness sake, start to sync with Endomondo and its apps.. Done. Thank you!
  • When users 'accept a challenge' - the site should automatically credit points earned from the first day of the challenge, no matter when the invitation was accepted.  You know I gave your site a junk email address I check like once a week right?  I tried to accept a challenge some time after it started and got zero points because of when I'd accepted versus synced my data to the site.
  • The vendors that offer deals seem to have interesting stuff but are all little unknown.  (I understand Reebok and Adidas might not have a lot of incentive to offer deals on this site.)  I'm not super excited about buying from a company I don't know just because I get a deal.  (This is a great site for all you impulse shoppers out there though.)
  • In addition to energy bars and workout clothing, get some tech vendors for gift certificates and deals.  I know this is an exercise site but by definition, everyone using the site has a computer and some pretty sophisticated equipment to track workouts.  There's got to be some weird brand of headphones or bike computer or something that would love to get business from the site.

Stuff I have yet to do on the site
  • Refer a friend - I've never referred anyone.  If you want a referral and some free points, drop me a line with your email and I'll shoot you a link.  In real life I don't know any other runners who are as manic about tracking workouts as me.
  • Redeem points for a gift certificate - I actually haven't done it yet.  Those make your own granola bars are still looking good but the timing has never worked out with vacations and stuff.  I do have a Christmas gift planned for one of you though.  Pooky Bear, it's not you, but you can let me know if you see something you like.
  • Accept a challenge - I've kind of blown those off so far because of the experience above and because I estimate that so many people enter them I'm just as likely to win the lottery as one of these

1 comment:

  1. Hi, this is Andres, the co-founder of Earndit. Thanks so much for your thorough writeup! I appreciate the aspects of the service that you feel can be improved. We'll certainly look to add some tech-centric rewards. A couple of your suggestions are actually things that are already in place. Once the goal of giving a goat is reached, you'll receive an email confirming the success of the goal. I like your idea of getting a trophy as well. As for Endomondo, we integrated that service a few weeks ago. Just go to your Earndit settings page and add your Endomondo account from there.

    Thanks again. We love your feedback and appreciate the writeup.