Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Now I have to live without 43Things

I am sad to announce that this site, which has been my friend for a decade, is now to close down.    On 43things.com , you could list and track up to 43 open goals of yours - sleep more, learn French, kiss in the rain, or whatever.
It allowed journal-style entries, with replies, pictures, comments, and a host of meta features - you could mark the goal as done, or postpone it, or even give up. Just for fun, you could give and get cheers on your goals and updates, browse for funny or popular goals, or create New Year resolutions.

I first discovered it while blog-surfing (cyberstalking really) a software-head friend's girlfriend, seated at my desk at my room in the Cats (Catalina apartments) in grad school.  I really liked 43things.  It was a fabulous Web2.0 social application. 

The founders/creators of 43Things also created a lively site called 43places, and there was also 43people, allconsuming, then I stopped noticing their new sites.

I used 43places to organize my dreams of travel.  You could write entries on places you'd been, but front-and-center was a list of where you'd like to visit.  It featured flexible, intelligent programming using RubyonRails tech, such that you could list a country or continent, or a site or town; it didn't restrict you to one level, while it unobtrusively tracked the relationships between those places e.g. it was cool that I could indicate India, and separately the Taj Mahal, and do photos and 'social' relating to each in a way that felt natural.
43people was rather short-lived, and I mourned when they axed it.  "Who do you want to meet?" it said, and I did indeed meet some of my 43people :)

I liked to keep my front-page list very short; my last 43things profile had only five items on it.  Meanwhile, over the years, I learned from others how to simplify, unclutter, have fun, crush on my crushes, like my likes and choose my choices :)  For most of my years with 43, I really meant to get the PhD, but that's not yet done, and who knows if ever.  When I finally publish my first novel, I won't be able to share that milestone with my cyberfriend the robot and my anonymous 43things friends.  Still, it's amazing how much one little site helped me along the way.  Thanks, kids of the robot co-op.  Thanks, 43 community.  One love.
The good news is that Coursera is still alive.  Plus, maybe there is a Web 3.0 around the corner.  California (and Seattle, well, West-Coast) idealism rocks.  


t said...

Here is an answer to my call for an alternative: bucketlist.org -> they followed me on twitter, so I noticed and followed and am now going to try the service.


hopena said...

A lot of people moved to popclogs.com. :)

t said...

Thank you, hopena. It looks great. Bucketlist or popclogs?

t said...

I will try popclogs at some point. Bucketlist so far is 1. nice but 2. mildly irritating. It has this achievement orientation that I don't remember 43things bothering users with. E.g. When you add a goal, it asks for an (optional) target date while reminding that "Goal without target date is a dream" - well, first, insert the "a" thank you. Second, so bleeding what if it's a dream?

Then they send me tips on prioritizing, on marking off the goals, succeeding...just shut up and let me play.

It took a bit of a workaround for me to get on without having my full name attached to the page. Obviously, I would rather an anonymous or semi-anonymous goals site, but I can see their business reasons for needing my true name.

Anyway, those are some early observations from bucketlist. It seems to be a very good site, just not a laid-back site.

isaacnewton666 said...

it's like they took this living, breathing organic heart that was 43things, mechanically separated it, and shoved it into this left-brained, mechanical, cold, dead, artificial thing called popclogs... there's no sense of community on popclogs... it just sucks. i loved scrolling down and being able to read everyone's work of art... from everyone's heart... on the same page... now everything is insulated and separated.

Charl said...

I only realised today that 43 Things has shut down! :( I wanted to check out my old goals - I haven't visited for more than two years and just wanted to visit an old friend - 43Things. At one stage I was very active... I feel a bit sad.