This is an interesting concept. It combines andragogical learning theory (that's learning for adults), with online education, the power of visualization and social networking to help people lose weight. Folks who are really into the virtual worlds like Second Life often develop an affinity with their avatars, and this weight-loss program harnesses the power of that to help people improve their lives. Most people create impossibly attractive avatars; this program helps people look more like their avatars in real life.
According to the Club One Island is, "a digital world...a playground...a 12-week program...[and] an effective way to lose weight." Here are the statistics so far on this fairly new concept, and some "success stories," videos.
It's a bit pricey, but if you're shopping around for gym memberships, this one might be an alternative to at least consider. Just like the Wii is trying to shatter the stereotype that computer games make families fat, this type of program could soon challenge the notion that social networking is bad for one's health.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.