Web 2.0 as a motivational tool for runners in Africa: A textual analysis of nikerunning.com.
The paper demonstrates the use of Web 2.0 social media facilities to organize and motivate runners in Africa. Short and long distance runners are often discouraged by lack of training facilities, gear, coaches and competitions. Through Web 2.0, these runners can now connect and compete without meeting each other. Their statistics are accurately recorded on sites such as Nikerunning.com, Facebook and Twitter.
The research spotlights a challenge/event called “Running the Coast of Africa” on Nikerunning.com. This challenge or event is composed of 425 runners whose cumulative running miles should total the entire length of the African coast at 26,000 km (16,100 miles) within a one-year time frame from September 2009, to October 2010.
Nikerunning.com is a pioneer in providing coaching advice; allowing single runners to organize events (or challenges) that other runners can join; and advising on type of shoes and equipment.
Even though connection to the Internet is required for runners to participate in these Web 2.0 facilitated events, participation is free thus reducing barriers to entry.