The last volume of Ewha Voice featured a report on how online communities have implemented multiple platforms to achieve learning support. Along with the increased interest in ways of maintaining motivation online, specific applications designed for such purposes are rapidly gaining fame. One such platform, Chlngers, is a mobile application where individuals can bet money on their success to complete challenges.
The format of the application closely resembles study groups that involve a deposit and fine system. Usually, one or more members are given the role of the accountant to collect money and manage it until the end of the activity. Chlngers takes on the role of the community starter and the accountant. Without the need to gather people and manage the deposit, any individual can create a “challenge” or become a participant.
Henry Choi, the founder of Chlngers, shared his journey from being a study group manager as a university student to an enterprise CEO.
“I used to be the one helping my friends use their time efficiently,” Choi said. “Usually, I would be the one to start a study group.”
He developed his experience of leading a study group further by testing out what continues a person to stay motivated through a free program called “Being & Doing” for three months. It was an offline community with two types of activities. Concerning “Being,” Choi would devise questions that drove the members to articulate about their current state of mind and better investigate about themselves. For the “Doing” part, every member was obliged to formulate a specific plan which the members will try to live accordingly for the next week or month.
Among the various tryouts for the members to achieve more at Being & Doing, he determined that the one in which participants bet and win money according to the percentage of completion of the challenge was the most successful. In fact, it had the fewest dropouts. This discovery gave rise to the reward system of Chlngers.
“The most crucial part is to prevent withdrawal in the middle of a challenge, so that people won’t think ‘Ah, I failed this time too’,” Choi said.
Choi pointed out that this system of keeping users motivated attributed Chlngers to achieve its primary goal. Since more effort resulted in a higher compensation rate, the motivation seemed to persist longer.
Choi once mentioned in an interview on EO, a YouTube channel that interviews start-ups, that one other factor that disturbs motivation is loneliness. Consequently at Chlngers a number of functions exist for the purpose of reminding users how other people are challenging themselves as well. Users can view the results of others’ challenges, provide feedback about each challenge, and interact with other users via a community feature. Choi is also looking forward to testing a challenge mate system where users are matched one on one in the future.
Overall, Choi mentioned that the most crucial goal of Chlngers is providing the environment for seeking desirable action and supporting its realization.
“Currently Chlngers only interfere with goal-achieving,” Choi said. “I hope to develop Chlngers further so that later it will become a life management service.”
Gymbuddy shares their experience with Chlngers
Gymbuddy is one enterprise that took advantage of Chlngers’ system. Interviewed by Ewha Voice last year as a social enterprise that accommodates exercise activities for women, Gymbuddy’s CEO Yang Min-yeong shared her experience from 2020, when barely any offline activities with their followers could take place. As their offline coaching and numerous one-day coaching classes came to a halt, Gymbuddy had to depend on online platforms.
They regularly uploaded easy-to-follow, no-equipment exercise videos via YouTube and actively communicated with their followers on social media such as Instagram. Gymbuddy’s first challenges on Chlngers were for the followers to do calisthenics. However, throughout the year the intention behind the challenges they opened had a gradual change.
“With the persisting pandemic, unlike how we focused on obligating individuals to prove having done specific movements in the beginning, we started to devise items that help maintain healthier lifestyles and routines,” Yang said.
For instance, taking a walk outside, waking up early, and devising a healthy diet are among Gymbuddy’s new challenges.
“The importance of establishing a routine is increasing, but the reality is that it has been becoming harder to maintain regular cycles,” Yang added. “The simplicity of creating and participating in a challenge on Chlngers seems to adhere to the situation.”